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Stellar Astrophysics
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The prominent feature that allows for the existence of life on Earth is the Sun. Radiation from our closest star provides heat and energy to our planet, driving biological processes and providing the necessary conditions for liquid water to naturally exist. But our Sun is only but one star in this vast Universe. And as it turns out, most stars are quite different than the one that...

UV Astronomy
2004-10-19 04:45:43

UV Astronomy -- UV astronomy is the branch of astronomy and astrophysics which deals with objects visible in ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation ranges approximatively from 10nm (extreme UV) to 380nm (near UV). Ultraviolet line spectrum measurements are used to discern the chemical composition, densities, and temperatures of interstellar medium, and the temperature and composition...

Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
2004-10-19 04:45:43

Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram -- In stellar astronomy, the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram (H-R diagram) shows the relation between the absolute magnitude and the spectral types of stars. It was invented around 1910 by Ejnar Hertzsprung and Henry Norris Russell. There are two equivalent forms. One is the observer's form which plots the color of the star on one axis and the absolute magnitude on...

X-ray Burster
2004-10-19 04:45:43

X-ray Burster -- X-ray bursters are a class of binary stars which are luminous in X-rays. They contain a neutron star and a low-mass companion star. The companion fills its Roche lobe and therefore the neutron star is accreting matter from it. The inflowing gas forms an accretion disk around the neutron star. Sometimes X-ray bursters show a sudden increase in their X-ray luminosity, called...

Variable Star
2004-10-19 04:45:43

Variable Star -- Most stars are of nearly constant luminosity. Our own Sun is a good example which goes through practically no measurable variation in brightness. There are, however, stars which do vary in brightness, called variable stars. They fall into two main groups: Intrinsic variables These are stars which have intrinsic variations in brightness, that is the star itself gets...

Triple Star
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Triple Star -- A triple star system consists of three gravitationally bound stars. The stars are in orbits around a common center of mass, usually so that two of the stars form a close binary star and the third is further away. This configuration is often called a hierarchical triple star. Multiple stars containing more than three stars can usually be decomposed to binaries and...

T Tauri
2004-10-19 04:45:42

T Tauri -- T Tauri stars are a class of stars thought to represent extremely young pre-main sequence stars, in an early stage of life. They are seen near many molecular clouds in our galaxy. The first ones were found in 1945, identified by their optical variability and strong chromospheric lines. T Tauri stars have masses and temperatures similar to the Sun, but are significantly...

Supergiant Star
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Supergiant Star -- A star of 15 solar masses exhausts its hydrogen in about one-thousandth the lifetime of our sun. It proceeds through the red giant phase, but when it reaches the triple-alpha process of nuclear fusion, it continues to burn for a time and expands to an even larger volume. The much brighter, but still reddened star is called a red supergiant. Betelgeuse, at the shoulder...

Stellar Evolution
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Stellar Evolution -- Stellar evolution is the process of formation, life, and death of stars. It is one of the major topics of cosmogony. Star Birth and Life A star starts out as an enormous cloud of gas and dust many light-years across. Star formation begins when the cloud begins to condense under its own gravity. The processes that initiate this contraction are not fully understood....

Star Formation
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Star Formation -- Star formation is the process by which gas in molecular clouds gets transformed into stars. In the current paradigm of star formation, cores of molecular clouds (regions of specially high density) became gravitationally unstable, and start to concentrate. Part of the gravitational energy lost in the process is radiated in the infrared, another part increases the...

Word of the Day
ramage
  • Boughs or branches.
  • Warbling of birds in trees.
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