Types of Stars Red Giants Very large, cool stars with a reddish appearance. All main sequence stars evolve into a red giant. In red giants there are nuclear reactions involving the fusion of helium into heavier elements. Types of Stars White dwarfs A red giant at the end stage of its evolution will throw off mass and leave behind a very small size (the size of the Earth), very dense star in which no nuclear reactions take place. It is very hot but its small size gives it a very small luminosity.
As white dwarfs have mass comparable to the Sun's and their volume is comparable to the Earth's, they are very dense. A comparison between the white dwarf IK Pegasi B (center), its A-class companion IK Pegasi A (left) and the Sun (right). This white dwarf has a surface temperature of 35,500 K. Types of Stars Neutron stars
A neutron star is formed from the collapsed remnant of a massive star (usually supergiant stars very big red stars). Models predict that neutron stars consist mostly of neutrons, hence the name. Such stars are very hot. A neutron star is one of the few possible conclusions of stellar evolution. The first direct observation of a neutron star in visible light. The neutron star
being RX J1856353754. Types of Stars Pulsars Pulsars are highly magnetized rotating neutron stars which emit a beam of detectable electromagnetic radiation in the form of radio waves. Periods of rotation vary from a few milliseconds to seconds.
Schematic view of a pulsar. The sphere in the middle represents the neutron star, the curves indicate the magnetic field lines and the protruding cones represent the emission beams. Types of Stars Supernovae A supernova is a stellar explosion that creates an extremely luminous object. The explosion expels much or all of a star's material at a velocity of up to a tenth the speed of light, driving a shock
wave into the surrounding interstellar medium. This shock wave sweeps up an expanding shell of gas and dust called a supernova remnant. Crab Nebula Types of Stars Supernovae A supernova causes a burst of radiation that may briefly outshine its entire host galaxy before fading from view over several
weeks or months. During this short interval, a supernova can radiate as much energy as the Sun would emit over 10 billion years. Supernova remnant N 63A lies within a clumpy region of gas and dust in the Large Magellanic Cloud. NASA image. Types of Stars Black Holes A black hole is a region of space in which the
gravitational field is so powerful that nothing can escape after having fallen past the event horizon. The name comes from the fact that even electromagnetic radiation is unable to escape, rendering the interior invisible. However, black holes can be detected if they interact with matter outside the event horizon, for example by drawing in gas from an orbiting star. The gas spirals inward, heating up to very high temperatures and emitting large amounts of radiation in the process. Types of Stars Cepheid variables Cepheid variables are stars of variable luminosity. The luminosity increases sharply and falls of gently with a well-defined period. The period is related to the absolute luminosity
of the star and so can be used to estimate the distance to the star. A Cepheid is usually a giant yellow star, pulsing regularly by expanding and contracting, resulting in a regular oscillation of its luminosity. The luminosity of Cepheid stars range from 103 to 104 times that of the Sun. Types of Stars Binary stars A binary star is a stellar system consisting of two stars orbiting around their centre of mass. For each star, the other is its companion star. A large percentage of stars are part of systems with at least two stars. Binary star systems are very
important in astrophysics, because observing their mutual orbits allows their mass to be determined. The masses of many single stars can then be determined by extrapolations made from the observation of binaries. Hubble image of the Sirius binary system, in which Sirius B can be clearly distinguished (lower left). Binary stars
There are three types of binary stars Visual binaries these appear as two separate stars when viewed through a telescope and consist of two stars orbiting about common centre. The common rotation period is given by the formula: 2 3 4 d 2 T G(M1 M 2 ) where d is the distance between the stars. Because the rotation period can be measured directly, the sum of the masses can be determined as well as the individual masses. This is useful as it allows us to determine
the mass of singles stars just by knowing their luminosities. Binary stars Eclipsing binaries some binaries are two far to be resolved visually as two separate stars (at big distances two stars may seem to be one). But if the plane of the orbit of the two stars is suitably oriented relative to that of the Earth, the light of one of the stars in the binary may be blocked by the other, resulting in an eclipse of the star, which may be total or partial
Binary stars Spectroscopic binaries this system is detected by analysing the light from one or both of its members and observing that there is a periodic Doppler shifting of the lines in the spectrum. Binary stars A blue shift is expected as the star approaches the Earth and a red shift as it moves away from the Earth in its orbit around its companion.
If 0 is the wavelength of a spectral line and the wavelength received on earth, the shift, z, is defined as: z 0 0 If the speed of the source is small compared with the speed of light, it can be shown that: v z c The speed is proportional to the shift
H-R diagram The stars are not randomly distributed on the diagram. There are 3 features that emerge from the H-R diagram: Most stars fall on a strip extending diagonally across the diagram from top left to bottom right. This is called the MAIN SEQUENCE. Some large stars, reddish in colour occupy the top right these are red giants (large, cool stars). The bottom left is a region of small stars known as
white dwarfs (small and hot) H-R diagram (by Richard Powell) 22 000 stars are plotted from the Hipparcos catalog and 1000 from the Gliese catalog of nearby stars. An examination of the diagram shows that stars tend to fall only into certain regions on the diagram. The most predominant is the diagonal, going from the upperleft (hot and bright) to the lowerright (cooler and less bright), called the main sequence.
In the lower-left is where white dwarfs are found, and above the main sequence are the subgiants, giants and supergiants. The Sun is found on the main sequence at Astronomical distances The SI unit for length, the metre, is a very small unit to measure astronomical distances. There units usually used is astronomy: The Astronomical Unit (AU) this is the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. This unit is more used within the Solar System. 1 AU = 150 000 000 km
or 1 AU = 1.5x1011m Astronomical distances The light year (ly) this is the distance travelled by the light in one year. c = 3x108 m/s t = 1 year = 365.25 x 24 x 60 x 60= 3.16 x 107 s Speed =Distance / Time Distance = Speed x Time = 3x108 x 3.16 x 107 = 9.46 x 1015 m 1 ly = 9.46x1015 m
Astronomical distances The parsec (pc) this is the distance at which 1 AU subtends an angle of 1 arcsencond. Parsec is short for parallax arcsecond 1 pc = 3.086x1016 m or 1 pc = 3.26 ly 1 parsec = 3.086 X 10 metres 16
Nearest Star 1.3 pc (206,000 times further than the Earth is from the Sun) Parallax Bjorks Eyes Where star/ball appears relative to background Angle star/ball appears to shift Distance to
star/ball Baseline Space Parallax Parallax, more accurately motion parallax, is the change of angular position of two observations of a single object relative to each other as seen by an observer, caused by the motion of the observer. Simply put, it is the apparent shift of an object against the background that is caused by a change in the observer's
position. Parallax We know how big the Earths orbit is, we measure the shift (parallax), and then we get the distance Distance to Star - d Parallax - p (Angle) Baseline R (Earths orbit) Parallax R (Baseline)
tan p (Parallax) d (Distance) For very small angles tan p p R p d In conventional units it means that 1.5 x 1011 1 pc m 3.986 x 1016 m 2 1
360 3600 Parallax 1.5 x 1011 1 pc m 3.986 x 1016 m 2 1 360 3600 R p d
R d p 1 d (parsec) p ( arcsecond) Angular sizes 360 degrees (360o) in a circle 60 arcminutes (60) in a degree 60 arcseconds (60) in an arcminute
Parallax has its limits The farther away an object gets, the smaller its shift. Eventually, the shift is too small to see. Another thing we can figure out about stars is their colors Weve figured out brightness, but stars dont put out an equal amount of all light some put out more
blue light, while others put out more red light! Usually, what we know is how bright the star looks to us here on Earth We call this its Apparent Magnitude What you see is what you get The Magnitude Scale Magnitudes are a way of assigning a number to a star so we know how bright it is
Similar to how the Richter scale assigns a number to the strength of an Betelgeuse and Rigel,earthquake stars in Orion with apparent magnitudes 0.3 and 0.9 This is the 8.9 earthquake off of Sumatra The historical magnitude scale Greeks ordered the stars in the sky from brightest to
faintest so brighter stars have smaller magnitudes. Magnitude Description 1st The 20 brightest stars 2nd stars less bright
than the 20 brightest 3rd and so on... 4th getting dimmer each time 5th and more in each group, until
6th the dimmest stars (depending on your eyesight) Later, astronomers quantified this system. Because stars have such a wide range in brightness, magnitudes are on a log scale Every one magnitude corresponds to a factor of 2.5 change in brightness Every 5 magnitudes is a factor of 100 change in brightness (because (2.5)5 = 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 = 100)
Brighter = Smaller magnitudes Fainter = Bigger magnitudes Magnitudes can even be negative for really bright stuff! Object Apparent Magnitude The Sun -26.8 Full Moon
-12.6 Venus (at brightest) -4.4 Sirius (brightest star) -1.5 Faintest naked eye stars 6 to 7 Faintest star visible from ~25 Earth telescopes However: knowing how bright a star looks doesnt really tell us
anything about the star itself! Wed really like to know things that are intrinsic properties of the star like: Luminosity (energy output) and Temperature In order to get from how bright something looks to how much energy its putting out
we need to know its distance! The whole point of knowing the distance using the parallax method is to figure out luminosity Once we have both It is often helpful to put luminosity on the magnitude scale brightness and distance, we can do that! Absolute Magnitude: The magnitude an object would have if
we put it 10 parsecs away from Earth Absolute Magnitude (M) removes the effect of distance and puts stars on a common scale The Sun is -26.5 in apparent magnitude, but would be 4.4 if we moved it far away Aldebaran is farther than 10pc, so its absolute magnitude is brighter than its apparent magnitude Remember magnitude scale is backwards
Absolute Magnitude (M) Knowing the apparent magnitude (m) and the distance in pc (d) of a star its absolute magnitude (M) can be found using the following equation: m M 5 log d 5 Example: Find the absolute magnitude of the Sun. The apparent magnitude is -26.7 The distance of the Sun from the Earth is 1 AU = 4.9x10 -6 pc Therefore, M= -26.7 log (4.9x10-6) + 5 = = +4.8 So we have three ways of talking about brightness:
Apparent Magnitude - How bright a star looks from Earth Luminosity - How much energy a star puts out per second Absolute Magnitude - How bright a star would look if it was 10 parsecs away Spectroscopic parallax Spectroscopic parallax is an astronomical method for measuring the distances to stars. Despite its name, it does not rely on the apparent change in the position of the star. This technique can be applied to any main sequence star for which a spectrum can be recorded.
Spectroscopic parallax The Luminosity of a star can be found using an absorption spectrum. Using its spectrum a star can be placed in a spectral class. Also the stars surface temperature can determined from its spectrum (Wiens law) Using the H-R diagram and knowing both temperature and spectral class of the star, its luminosity can be found.
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