Solar mass evolution questions

Sun, 10/20/2013 - 19:49

If I wanted to sit around and watch our sun's life I'd have to live 5 billion years or so. I better come up with a better plan.  What are some stars that could be analogs to the sun's life cycle. Perhaps T Tauri could represent  the beginning. Then the sun could represent itself for much of the main sequence. Then as we leave the main sequence there may be several twists and turns. Mira? Mira is only slightly more massive than the sun, but presumably has undergone much more mass loss.  Or maybe it could be more irregular like Z Uma? What about Cepheids? Do Cepheids only come from more massive stars?  Then perhaps a few other variables types could fit the bill as it nears white dwarf stage and then any planetary nebula would be a good example.  If you were out under that sky , explaining the evolution of the sun, what stars would you point out to someone to represent different solar stages of life?

Are there any other major research questions left to be answered about the evolutionary path solar mass stars take?

Thank You,