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  The original massive starsOct 02, 2014 6:10 AM PDT | url
Added 1 new A* page:Hints of elusive early stars found (BBC) discusses results from recent research that scanned sky survey data looking for "low-metallicity" stars—stars "with 1,000 times less iron than that found in our Sun." The idea is that among these should be stars that are the direct descendents of the very first stars: stars that formed a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, when there was nothing around but hydrogen and helium—so they were able to grow very large, over 100 times as massive as our Sun; there are some modern stars that big, but in general, the metals that the first and succeeding stars formed limits the size to which modern stars are able to grow, according to the article. Stars that massive (or more specifically, from 130 to 250 solar masses) only live for about 3 million years (our tiny Sun, on the other hand, is a little more than halfway through its expected 8 billion year lifespan), and don't leave remnants like black holes when they go supernova; instead, they undergo a pair-instability supernova, in which gamma rays being generated in the intense heat and pressure of the star's core first cause it to expand, but, as they become more abundant and more powerful, their energy instead goes into creating electron-positron matter-antimatter particle pairs, which annihilate each other: the gamma rays and particles disappear, there is no longer sufficient energy to hold the star up against its own gravity, and it collapses suddenly, rebounding in a particularly violent supernova that blows it apart completely. In theory. So far the findings bear out the theory about the first stars, but since that first generation of stars died fairly soon after the Big Bang, it will take a very powerful telescope, such as perhaps NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, to be able to pick up their extremely distant/old/faint light.
Here's one of a number of rejected heads I started drawing for today's page:
As I was doing them I posted 'em on my tumblr/Twitter/Instagram. There were more but I started getting a little flustered. ; ) Problem is I generally start out drawing the eyes, then the head, then the body attached to it (this is probably a bad habit : P), so if I then go back and find that I have to redo the head (the original one and many of the later ones I tried were too small : ppp), it's a lot trickier than drawing it to start with. Darn heads! : P
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