Written Assignment #3

Written Assignment - Jason Mallette Astronomy Written Assignment#3 1 Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is a scatter graph

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Jason Mallette 12/8/2010 Astronomy Written Assignment #3 1. Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is a scatter graph of stars showing the relationship between the effects of temperature and surface area on stellar luminosities. It also enables astronomers to sort the stars according to their diameters (pg.150). There are four main groupings of stars on the diagram. The four grouping are giant stars, supergiant stars, red dwarfs, and white dwarfs. Giant stars are about 10 to 100 times larger than the sun. A giant star is developed by a star after all the hydrogen available for fusion at its core has been depleted, which causes it to leave the main sequence. A supergiant star is about 1,000 times larger than the sun. Because of supergiant stars large masses they have a short lifespan of about a few thousand years. A red dwarf star has a mass of less than ½ of that of the sun. The lifespan of a red dwarf is hundreds of billions of years because they are fully convective so that the nuclear fuel hydrogen is constantly remixed to be burned to helium, which causes them to develop very slowly. A white dwarf is mostly composed of electron-degenerate matter and is very dense. The emission of stored thermal energy causes the faint luminosity in a white dwarf. 2. “A Star is Born”! A star starts out as low-density gas and dust. These materials sit around in nebulae and are called the interstellar medium. Most of the material is 75% hydrogen and 25% helium. Other materials such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, calcium, sodium, and
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heavier atoms are present.
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This note was uploaded on 07/15/2011 for the course AST 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '10 term at Edison State College.

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Written Assignment - Jason Mallette Astronomy Written Assignment#3 1 Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is a scatter graph

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