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Announcements Test this week (all about stars) Turn in Homework 11 today Pick up Homework 12 Questions on last 3 assignments? Second project is due December.

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Presentation on theme: "Announcements Test this week (all about stars) Turn in Homework 11 today Pick up Homework 12 Questions on last 3 assignments? Second project is due December."— Presentation transcript:

1 Announcements Test this week (all about stars) Turn in Homework 11 today Pick up Homework 12 Questions on last 3 assignments? Second project is due December 1

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7 Summary of Stellar Properties DistanceMeasure using parallax (if close enough) VelocityProper motion and Doppler shift Luminosity Calculate from apparent brightness and distance TemperatureFrom overall color or spectral class CompositionFrom detailed analysis of spectral lines Size Calculate from temperature and luminosity MassFrom binary star orbits, Newton’s laws

8 Course Outline Naked-eye astronomy Crash course in physics Our solar system The stars Structure and history of the universe

9 Course Outline Naked-eye astronomy Crash course in physics Our solar system The stars Structure and history of the universe You are here

10 Star Clusters 13 November 2006

11 Today : Fuzzy objects in deep space Two types of star clusters Measuring distances beyond the range of parallax (variable stars as standard candles)

12 Fuzzy Objects Nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies Most famous list was compliled by Charles Messier, to avoid confusion with comets William Herschel started what became the NGC list (New General Catalog)

13 Messier Catalog 27 “open” clusters 29 globular clusters 6 diffuse nebulae 4 planetary nebulae 1 supernova remnant 2 small groups of stars 40 other fuzzy things in which no individual stars are visible

14 Diffuse Nebulae Huge clouds of gas, mostly hydrogen Often associated with clusters of young stars that formed from the gas and illuminate it

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19 Open Clusters Irregular in shape Typically contain a few hundred stars H-R diagrams indicate that they are fairly young (few or no giant stars) Double cluster in Perseus Pleiades (Subaru)

20 Globular Clusters Spherical clusters, each containing stars About 100 known H-R diagrams indicate that they are very old (no massive main- sequence stars left) Nearly all are on one side of the sky, centered on Sagittarius Most are known by Messier numbers (M4, M13, etc.) or NGC numbers

21 A young star cluster (Pleiades) Main sequence only, no red giants or white dwarfs

22 An old star cluster (Messier 3) Main sequence “cuts off” above a certain point; plenty of red giants and white dwarfs Oldest known cluster ages are about 12 billion years

23 Brightness of Stars True brightness (or “luminosity”) is a star’s actual rate of energy output, measured (for example) in watts. The sun’s luminosity is about 4 x watts. Apparent brightness is determined by the “intensity” of starlight striking a detector. It is measured (for example) in watts per square meter. The sun’s apparent brightness from earth’s location is about 1400 watts per square meter. Formula: Apparent brightness = True brightness 4π(distance) 2

24 Brightness of Stars Formula: Apparent brightness = True brightness 4π(distance) 2

25 Measuring distances beyond parallax Principal method is “Standard candles”: Find an object whose true luminosity we can guess, measure its apparent brightness, then calculate distance Out to a few million light-years, the best standard candles are pulsating variable stars Apparent brightness True brightness 4π(distance) 2 =

26 Variable stars as standard candles Longer period of variation implies greater luminosity Tricky because there are different types of variable stars Henrietta Leavitt

27 The Magellanic Clouds


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