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Note how the hydrogen-burning shell (shaded) has expanded outward, leaving in its wake a helium-rich shell; eventually hydrogen-burning may extend to the surface causing the disruption of the star's surface and produce a planetary nebula.
(C) The internal structure of a massive star which has evolved past a helium-burning stage.
The account of the origin and differentiation of planets we present is such a theory or model; it explains our current understanding of facts and observations.
It will certainly be revised as we continue to explore the solar system and beyond, but the basic elements of the theory are firmly established.
Neutrons and protons contain most of each atom's mass and reside within a central nucleus.
The "death" of such a massive star is marked by the production of a type II supernova.
Earth may seem rather insignificant when viewed in the context of the solar system, especially if one considers the vast expanses of empty space surrounding the planet.
Nonetheless, our solar system and Earth take on great importance to our understanding of the universe because they were produced by the same processes that formed other stars and planets.
(B) Small stars burning hydrogen and helium become cooler at their surfaces and redder, and consequently are called red giants.
These giants may be 10 to 20 times the diameter of their precursor.