Within a star, hydrogen atoms are moving around rapidly and colliding into one another. At some point things get so hot (heat is a measure of atomic motion - hot things contain atoms moving more quickly than cold things), that instead of bouncing, those atoms collide with enough energy that their nuclei fuse together (nuclear fusion).
That heat generates immense pressure. So you have pressure pushing atoms apart, but gravity pulling them together. With enough fuel (hydrogen atoms), there’s a kind of equilibrium or “steady state”, like we have with our sun today.
But that reaction only lasts so long as their is enough fuel to power it, enough hydrogen. When that’s no longer the case, you get less heat and the core of the star contracts (not enough pressure to counteract gravity).
During this phase when the star is “dying” the core is contracting, but the outer shell expands greatly (less gravity) and it shines more brightly.
But who cares about stars anyway? (our future generations not withstanding)
Well, you might say that humans too sometimes shine most brightly before burning out.
In recent years, we’ve seen countless examples of the most beautiful and successful people dealing with the most severe inner tumult. Michael Phelps, Tiger Woods, Brittany Spears, Robin Williams. The is too long to recount. (I’m not sure I can bring myself to watch the Michael Jackson documentary 😟)
The fact of the matter is, despite the position in life, we are all human and we all struggle with the same challenges. Our world today is dying for more psychological safety when it comes dealing with their complexities!
-Jeremy & Jake