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Chapter 30.1: Characteristics of Stars . Star: ball of gas that gives off a tremendous amount of energy in the form of heat and light. Our own ‘ Sun’ is considered an average star!. Characteristics:. Starlight- light given off by stars. Composition- what elements make up the stars.

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chapter 30 1 characteristics of stars

Chapter 30.1: Characteristics of Stars

Star: ball of gas that gives off a tremendous amount of energy in the form of heat and light.

Our own ‘Sun’ is considered an average star!

characteristics
Characteristics:
  • Starlight- light given off by stars.
  • Composition- what elements make up the stars.
  • Temperature- how hot; how cold?
  • Size & Mass- how big; how small?
  • Motion- actual motion vs. apparent.
  • Distance- how close; how far away?
  • Brightness- apparent vs. absolute magnitude.
starlight
Starlight:

-by analyzing the light stars emit, we can determine the star’s composition (elements present) and temperature.

composition
Composition:

-Star composition is determined by analyzing the light being emitted. Equipment is called a spectrometer.

-Since different elements absorb different wavelengths of light, elements can be determined.

-Stars are made up of gas elements. (Hydrogen is the most common!)

temperature
Temperature:

-temperature is determined by the star’s color.

-temp.’s range from

2,800 to 50,000 oC.

size mass
Size & Mass:

-Some dwarf stars are as small

as the Earth.

-Our sun is a medium size star (1,390,000 km).

-Some stars are 1,000 times larger than our sun.

-Density affects mass…no relationship between size and mass.

Example: a star can be smaller than our sun, but have a greater mass…meaning it is more dense!

motion
Motion:

1. Actual motion- what we see with telescopes.

2. Apparent motion- This is motion visible to the unaided eye in a dark sky; due to movement of Earth.

Stars have three actual motions:

1. rotate

2. revolve

3. move toward (blue shift) or away (red shift)

from Earth

distance
Distance:

-Light Year = 9.5x1012km; Distance that light travels in one year.

Example: light from the sun takes 8 mins.

to reach the Earth

-Astronomical Unit (AU) - A unit of length used to measure distances in solar system.

Example: Sun to Earth = 1 A.U.

brightness a ka stellar magnitude
Brightness: a.ka. Stellar Magnitude

-Absolute Magnitude: true brightness

-Apparent Magnitude: brightness of a star as it

appears to us on Earth.

  • Brightest stars have lowest numbers.

(negative #’s)

  • Dimmest stars have highest numbers.

(positive #’s)