Why do stars have dif­fer­ent masses?

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stars have dif­fer­ent masses be­cause they are born that way, un­like hu­mans who con­tinue to gain weight through­out their life­times. the dif­fer­ence lies in the fact that stars gain all their mass at birth when they ac­crete nearby ma­te­rial in their grav­i­ta­tional in­flu­ence un­til there is no more ma­te­rial left, whereas hu­mans ‘ac­crete’ food when­ever their ap­petite says so!

stars gen­er­ally have masses be­tween one tenth and a few hun­dred-times the mass of the sun. at the low end, stars with in­suf­fi­cient mass do not burn hy­dro­gen be­cause there is not enough mass to com­press the ma­te­rial in their cores to high enough pres­sures. at the high end, it is not clear what lim­its the masses of stars. some as­tronomers claim that there is an up­per limit of around 150-times the mass of the sun, al­though other as­tronomers be­lieve that there is no limit, or that the limit is higher.

Don­ald Figer, astronomer at the Rochester In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and direc­tor of the Fu­ture Pho­ton Ini­tia­tive and the Cen­ter for De­tec­tors

the size of a star de­pends on how much ma­te­rial it ab­sorbed from dust clouds and gases in space

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