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Stars, Galaxies, and Constellations. Stars = objects in space, made of gases, which produce their own light and heat. Earth’s nearest star is the sun (149,600,000 km away) The next nearest star is Proxima Centauri (4.24 light years away) Light year = the distance light travels in 1 year

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stars galaxies and constellations
Stars, Galaxies, and Constellations

Stars = objects in space, made of gases, which produce their own light and heat.

Earth’s nearest star is the sun (149,600,000 km away)

The next nearest star is Proxima Centauri (4.24 light years away)

Light year = the distance light travels in 1 year

  • Light travels at 300,000 km/s, or about 9.5 trillion km in one year.
slide2
Measurement in Space

Parallax - the apparent shift in the position of an object when viewed from two different positions

slide3
Nuclear Fusion = reactions occur when hydrogen atoms combine to form helium atoms. *this produces great amounts of light and heat*

Different stars produce different amounts of energy.

The amount of energy produced by a star determines the star’s color and surface temperature.

Stars differ in composition, age, and size.*young stars are rich in hydrogen*older stars use up hydrogen to produce more helium

slide4
Classifying stars

Based on brightness and temperature

Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

slide5
Evolution of Stars

Nebula - Stars begin as a large cloud of gas and dust

Main sequence – pressure from heat is in balance with gravity

Giant – outer layers of the star expand and cool

Supernova – star explodes

White dwarf – outer layer contracts (about size of Earth)

Neutron star – only neutrons can exist in the dense core

Black hole – gravity is so strong that nothing can escape, not even light

slide6
Apparent magnitude – how bright the star appears from Earth.

Absolute magnitude – how bright the star really is (if all stars were the same distance from Earth)

slide7
Galaxy = system of stars, dust, and gas held together by gravity.

Three major classes of galaxies:

  • Spiral Galaxy (Milky Way Galaxy)-disk-shaped with arms
  • Elliptical Galaxy-shaped like a football
  • Irregular Galaxy-no distinct shape
slide8

Orion

Constellations – groups of stars that form pictures in the night sky.

slide9

View of the north sky

Astronomers recognize 88 constellations.