You already know how tough reading passages are in IELTS reading tasks. We don’t have to talk about it. But how to tackle these complicated and long passages in a very short time? Well, it’s all about practice.

Find an interesting topic in this article called “The lifecycle of a star”. Learn how to answer the questions below.

IELTS Reading Topic: The Life Cycle of a Star

It is estimated approximately that the universe contains 10,000 billion stars. It is impossible to determine the precise age of a star (astronomers have discovered stars as young as 25,000 years old, while some are believed to be over 10 billion years old), but cosmologists do know that there are several different types.

The type and lifespan of stars are influenced by how they shape and their mass. A star is formed in a nebula, which is a massive disc of gas and dust. The greater the volume of matter in the nebula, the larger the mass of the star formed.

Section B of the Paragraph: IELTS Exam

Among these nebulae are thick fields of gas, which have a greater gravitational force than the remainder of the nebula relative to their mass. Gravity gradually pulls the gas in the nebula together, causing it to rotate and become exponentially hot.

When the temperature reaches 15,000,000°C, nuclear fusion occurs in the cloud’s core, causing it to shine brightly. At this stage, it stabilises, expands somewhat, and becomes a main sequence star. It could be in this state for billions and billions of years.

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When it glows, hydrogen in the core (via nuclear fusion) converts to helium. Ultimately, the hydrogen reserve in the nucleus depletes, and the star’s core becomes brittle, contracting ever further. However, the star’s outer layers (which are also mostly hydrogen) stretch and cool, causing the star to glow red.

Section C of the Paragraph: IELTS Reading

At this point, the star has evolved into a red giant. It is expected that the Sun will take another 5 billion years to hit this point. It would have evolved massive enough to surround the three nearest planets (Mercury, Venus, and Earth) and will be 2,000 times brighter than it is now.

The mass of a star determines how it will react during its red giant period. Throughout the red giant process, the hydrogen in the outer sections continues to burn, while the centre becomes increasingly warmer. When the temperature reaches 200,000,000°C, the helium atoms combine, becoming carbon atoms. The remaining hydrogen explodes, forming a ring around the nucleus known as a planetary nebula.

Section D of the Paragraph: IELTS Exam

When the last helium atoms in a medium-sized star collide into carbon atoms, the star begins to die. Because of the gravitational force, the last of the star’s matter collapses inwards and compacts to become highly dense. A star like this is considered a white dwarf. It will glow white-hot until the residual energy (thermal energy contained in its inner surface) is depleted, at which point it will stop emitting light. This process could take billions of years. It is then classified as a black dwarf (a cold, dark star, perhaps encrusted with diamonds) and stays in that state indefinitely.

As the bigger red giants (gigantic stars) collide, which occurs in a moment, they produce so much emission nebula that this gas and debris can be used to form planets in forming solar systems.

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Section E of the Paragraph: IELTS Reading

Furthermore, as the temperature rises in giant stars, carbon atoms are drawn together to form exponentially heavy elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, and eventually iron. As this occurs, fusion stops and the iron atoms continue to consume electricity. This energy will be unleashed in the future in a massive explosion known as a supernova. A supernova’s central temperature can reach 1,000,000,000°C, and the blast can illuminate the sky for hours, outshining an entire universe. Astronomers conclude the Earth is composed of elements created from the interiors of stars, specifically red giants that burst as supernovas. These big stars have a million-year lifetime on average.

Section F of the Paragraph: IELTS Exam

The surviving nucleus of a giant star 1.5 to 4 times the mass of the Sun becomes a neutron star until it explodes as a supernova. It begins to spin and frequently emits radio waves. The neutron star is related to a pulsar if these waves appear in bursts. When a giant star has 8 or even more times the size of the Sun, it will survive the supernova. Its nucleus is no longer supported by nuclear fusion, and it is absorbed by its own gravity. This creates a black hole, which absorbs all matter or energy that comes close to it. A black hole’s gravitational field is strong enough to block light from escaping and is so dense that it cannot be determined. The term “black hole” was coined by astronomer John Archibald Wheeler; previously, black holes were referred to as “frozen stars.”

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Section G of the Paragraph: IELTS Reading

Wheeler coined this name 2 years before the discovery of the very first black hole, the X-ray binary star Cygnus X-1, in 1971. Astronomers believe that a black hole exists at the middle of each galaxy.

A star’s life cycle is just that — the elements from an exploded star combine with the hydrogen of the cosmos. This mixture would then serve as the starting point for the next star. The Sun is an example of this, since it contains matter from many other stars that erupted well before the Sun was born.

Questions: IELTS Reading Answers

# Hydrogen will turn into helium after _____ occurs.

# The colour of the red giant is formed as the ___ becomes smaller and the outer areas cool.

# At 200,000,000°C the star’s helium atoms fuse into carbon atoms, and then the star____.

# Unlike small and medium-sized stars, large stars ______quickly.

# A black hole’s ________ stops light from being emitted.

# Astronomers knew about _______ before they were able to confirm their existence.

# Planets and stars are likely to consist of _______ from exploded celestial bodies.

Answers: IELTS Reading









We hope that you have gotten an idea of answering the questions of a reading passage. The questions can be of any type from vocabulary to the message of the whole passage. It is hard to pick the right option as every option seems correct. Therefore to solve these complicated passages, you must have a lot of practice.

Find more passages like this on IELTS Ninja and max up your preparation.

Also Read: Matching Heading Type of Questions in IELTS Reading: Here’s How to do It

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Madhurjya Chowdhury, a web content writer in Ufaber EduTech has a very strong passion for writing and alluring the readers. You can find him writing articles for the betterment of exam aspirants and children. With immense interest in research-based content writing and copywriting, he likes to reach out to more and more people with his creative writing style. On the other side, he is an Electronics and Communication Engineer from LPU, Jalandhar. In his leisure time, he likes to play badminton or read about space discoveries. Apart from this, he is a pro gamer on PC, PS and Mobile gaming platforms.

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