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Stellar_Classification_Lab02-02-10

Stellar_Classification_Lab02-02-10 - Stellar Classification...

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Stellar Classification Lab Purpose: Understand some of the factors important to classifying stellar spectra and analyze spectra collected with a simulated telescope. Understand how continuum and absorption lines are used in classifying stars and be able to calculate the temperature of a star based on the continuum of the spectrum. Introduction: The spectral type of a star is a way of sorting stars that allows the astronomer to figure out not only the temperature of the star, but also its luminosity (expressed often as the absolute magnitude of the star) and its color. These properties, in turn, can help in determining the distance, mass, and many other physical quantities associated with the star, its surrounding environment, and its past history. Knowledge of spectral classification is fundamental to understanding how astronomers put together a description of the nature of stars and a theory of their evolution. In this lab you will use standard spectra to develop a classification scheme for spectra; then compare it to the established classification pattern developed by astronomers. You will use the established pattern to classify unknown spectra and spectra of stars you collect with a simulated telescope. Procedure: Your instructor will give each pair of students a set of stellar spectra and will ask you to come up with a way of ordering them based on their characteristics. You will be asked to explain how you developed the scheme and then will compare it to the order for the standard spectra used by astronomers. You will then practice identifying main sequence stars using the standard set of 13 representative spectra to identify the classification of each spectrum you are asked to classify and to identify strength of spectral lines and temperature of each star.
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