By Martin Harwit (auth.)
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This may sound simpler than it actually is, because we do after all have to determine the direction along which the stars are moving through the diagram and the sequence in which various stages are reached. For that, we very much depend on nuclear burning theories-theories that tell us in what sequence a star converts various elements found in its interior into other elements, and how much energy can be released in each process. We note one other feature, that is shown in Fig. 5. As a star moves off the main sequence it apparently gets redder and, if anything more luminous than it was on the main sequence.
There are neutral and ionized clouds of gas, groups of stars, clusters of stars, dwarf and giant galaxies, small groupings of galaxies as in Fig. 10, and clusters of galaxies. Evidently a number of different physical processes compete in determining the characteristics and makeup ofthese various types of aggregates. The physical processes which lead to the substantial differences that distinguish globular clusters from galaxies, and individual galaxies from clusters of galaxies, are completely unknown.
At point B, hydrogen at the center ofthe star is exhausted, and there is hydrogen to helium conversion only in a shell around adepleted central core. The star moves from B to C in a first red giant phase in which this hydrogen shell burning is the main source of energy ; and the helium core slowly increases in mass while the burning shell moves outward converting more hydrogen into helium as it goes (see Fig. 8). I :S AN APPROACH TO ASTROPHYSICS 21 At point C, the massive core has heated up through contraction to a temperature at which helium can be converted into carbon.