3.1.1 Stellar masses and stellar evolution
Measured stellar masses range from about 0.08M⊙ to about 50M⊙, with stars of lower mass being more common.
Stars lose a rather small fraction of their masses during much of their lifetimes, but much larger fractions when they shed planetary nebulae, or when they undergo supernova explosions.
When stellar masses are placed on an H-R diagram, and coupled with observations of mass loss, we obtain important clues to stellar evolution, leading us to a plausible model of some of the stages, as follows:
after the main sequence phase the less massive stars become red giants, and the more massive stars become supergiants
red giants evolve to the point where they shed planetary nebulae, the stellar remnant evolving to become a white dwarf
supergiants end their lives as star-destroying Type II supernovae.