Confirmation of Stellar Evolution Models

Confirmation of Stellar Evolution Models - Confirmation of...

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Confirmation of Stellar Evolution Models
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Finding the Ages of Clusters Cluster color-magnitude diagrams change with age. More massive stars evolve quicker than low- mass stars. The hot, luminous main sequence stars will die before the cool, dim main sequence stars. This means that an old cluster will have only the low-mass stars still on the main sequence, but a young cluster will have both high and low-mass stars on the main sequence. The most massive star still on the main sequence tells us the age of the cluster. That point on the main sequence is called the main sequence turnoff . All stars in a cluster are assumed to have formed at about the same time (observations of current star formation do show that stars form in
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batches). Stars slightly more massive than the turnoff point have already evolved "away" from main sequence. The main sequence turnoff is analogous to a candle burning—a candle that has been lit longer will be shorter than an identical candle lit more recently. The age of the cluster equals the lifetime of the stars with masses at the main sequence turnoff.
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Confirmation of Stellar Evolution Models - Confirmation of...

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