Overview: End of stellar life story

of "Tales of … The glorious end of stellar life"
Tales of … The glorious end of stellar life presents the story of stellar evolution of Sun-like stars. It chronicles the death of the star and formation of the planetary nebulae. This selection originally appeared as background information for a press release on planetary nebulae.
Format(s) available: Printer-friendly web page
Grades: 9-12, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion
How to use it in the classroom

Teachers can use Tales of … The glorious end of stellar life as:

A content reading selection. Teachers should discuss the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary prior to having students read this selection.

An engagement activity. Have students read the selection. Ask them what might happen to Earth when the Sun dies.

An inquiry tool. Propose a question, such as "What will happen to the Earth when the Sun dies?" Have students read the selection and write down as many questions as they can about the information in the text.

A source of information. Students can sequence the steps in the lives of Sun-like stars. After reading the selection, have students list or draw the stages in the death of the star and birth of the planetary nebula. Students might include a time period for each stage.

Related materials

Hubble images: Hubble's Planetary Nebula Gallery

Astrofile: "Life on the Edge"

Press release: "Hubble Witnesses the Final Blaze of Glory of Sun-Like Stars"

Overview: End of stellar life story