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Almost all naturally occurring elements heavier than helium are created by stellar nucleosynthesis during the star's lifetime, and for some stars by supernova nucleosynthesis when it explodes.
Near the end of its life, a star can also contain degenerate matter.
William Herschel was the first astronomer to attempt to determine the distribution of stars in the sky.
A star with mass greater than 0.4 times the Sun's will expand to become a red giant when the hydrogen fuel in its core is exhausted.The Italian astronomer Geminiano Montanari recorded observing variations in luminosity of the star Algol in 1667.Edmond Halley published the first measurements of the proper motion of a pair of nearby "fixed" stars, demonstrating that they had changed positions since the time of the ancient Greek astronomers Ptolemy and Hipparchus.They built the first large observatory research institutes, mainly for the purpose of producing Zij star catalogues.
Among these, the Book of Fixed Stars (964) was written by the Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi, who observed a number of stars, star clusters (including the Omicron Velorum and Brocchi's Clusters) and galaxies (including the Andromeda Galaxy). Zahoor, in the 11th century, the Persian polymath scholar Abu Rayhan Biruni described the Milky Way galaxy as a multitude of fragments having the properties of nebulous stars, and also gave the latitudes of various stars during a lunar eclipse in 1019.
Meanwhile, the core becomes a stellar remnant: a white dwarf, a neutron star, or if it is sufficiently massive a black hole.