Life cycle of a star

A star goes through a life cycle. This is determined by the size of the star. The diagram summarises the stages:

A star goes through a life cycle. This is determined by the size of the star.  Larger protostars eventually become black holes or neutron stars whilst smaller stars become black dwarves.

Stars about the same size as our Sun:

  • follow the left hand path
  • main sequence: star → red giant → white dwarf → black dwarf

Stars much bigger than our Sun:

  • follow the right hand path
  • main sequence: star → red super giant → supernova → neutron star or black hole