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Star Properties. Star Distances Units of Distance for Space: Astronomical Units (AU): The distance from the earth to the sun (150,000,000 km) Light Years:

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Presentation on theme: "Star Properties. Star Distances Units of Distance for Space: Astronomical Units (AU): The distance from the earth to the sun (150,000,000 km) Light Years:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Star Properties

2 Star Distances Units of Distance for Space: Astronomical Units (AU): The distance from the earth to the sun (150,000,000 km) Light Years: Distance light travels in a year. 9.4 trilliion km

3 Physical Properties of Stars: Size and Density Color, temperature, size and density vary greatly between stars. Some are smaller than earth, others are 2000 times wider than the sun

4 Elements in Stars Stars are mainly 99% Hydrogen (H) and Helium (He) 1-2% may be heavier elements like Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen, Calcium Sun is 70% Hydrogen and 28% Helium Stars produce energy (heat and light) by fusing hydrogen atoms to make helium

5 Star Color The color of the star is dependant on its surface temperature. Hot stars = Blue or White, ~30,000 K Cool stars = Red or Orange, ~3,000 K The Sun = Orange or Yellow, ~5,500 K

6 Star Brightness Luminosity How bright a star actually is. Dependant on the size and temperature of the star. Hotter = Brighter Bigger = Brighter

7 Star Brightness Apparent Magnitude: How bright the star appears to be to an observer on Earth. Ranking 1 st to 6 th, 1 st being brightest A 1 st is 100x brighter than a 6 th magnitude Absolute Magnitude: The luminosity of stars if they were all seen from the same distance (32.6 light years from the sun)

8 Star Types Nebula: a cloud of dust and gas that stars are born out of; most are invisible

9 2 Visible types of Nebulas Diffuse Nebula: visible due to the light provided by close stars Dark Nebula: A nebula that you can see blocking other stars

10 Star Types Protostars: “baby stars” that appear as a nebula contracts and heats up. Main Sequence/Stable State: Young stars that are still mostly hydrogen that is fusing into helium Stars in “The prime of their life” The more mass, the hotter

11 Star Types Giants: Highly luminous due to their overwhelming size Supergiant: Largest and brightest of all stars Dwarfs: Small, less luminous stars Can still be very hot, but dim because they are so small

12 Test  Tomorrow (Tuesday 10/19) 1. Stars, Galaxies, Universe 2. Review Sheet Due Tomorrow Constellations Presentations Start Wednesday (

13 Star Life Cycle Activity Diagram and describe YOUNGEST to OLDEST in order. Nebula, Protostar Main Sequence Giant/Supergiant Dwarf Supernova Neutron Black Hole

14 High Temp Low Temp A B C D Determine Star Color & Type….

15 Origin of Stars Start as huge clouds of gas and dust (nebulae) Gas & clouds originated from supernovas

16 Formation of Protostars Something outside the nebula triggers the gravity between the gasses and dust As the nebula contracts, spots begin to glow with heat, forming protostars.


18 Formation of Main Sequence Stars As protostars continue to contract, they get hotter and brighter until fusion begins. IMPORTANT: STARS ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO COLLAPSE DUE TO THEIR OWN GRAVITY Stars release energy equal to the force of gravity, which stops the contracting It is now a Main Sequence Star

19 Formation of Giants/Supergiants When hydrogen is almost depleted, the energy of fusion no longer balances the force of gravity. Core of the star contracts and increases in heat. Increased energy causes the outer layers to expand creating a Giant/Supergiant


21 Formation of Dwarfs With no fuel, no energy is released to support the outer layers of the star THE STAR COLLAPSES ON ITSELF DUE TO GRAVITY This squeezes the nuclei together very tightly and it becomes a dwarf Causing the star to glow for billions of years as they cool

22 Massive Star Life Cycle: Supernova When fusion stops in very MASSIVE STARS, a super dense central iron core is left. The core’s gravity is so strong that it collapses further, increasing pressure. All the pressure on the core makes the star explode violently and half its mass is blown away in a great cloud called a supernova

23 Supernova Before and After

24 Neutron stars The leftover half of supernova. Its gravity is so strong that all of the atoms particles are crushed together, leaving only neutrons. Neutron stars may be 10km wide but are a trillions times as dense as the sun.

25 Black Holes If the neutron star is massive enough, its gravity causes it to collapse, creating Black Holes. Gravity is so great that not even light can escape Gathering evidence supports the theory that the central core of the galaxy is a black hole


27 If we can’t see them, how do we know that they are there? Strong X-Ray emissions from the Cygnus constellation were detected. Upon observation, we saw a star orbiting around an empty spot in space When something gets sucked into a black hole, its atoms get ripped apart and it emits x-rays This was what was happening to the star’s matter It is believed that the center of our galaxy and many others are massive black holes


29 Galaxies and Universe

30 Starting small Solar system: the sun and its orbiting planets, asteroids, meteors, and comets. Galaxy: groups of millions or billions of stars held together by gravity. Universe: contains all the planets, stars, solar systems, and galaxies.

31 The Milky Way Sun is 1 of 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy It is 1 of 17 nearby galaxies that make up the Local Group

32 Milky Way Facts Diameter: 140,000 light years 1 light year =9,460,730,472,580.8 km Width: 20,000 light years Sun is 23,000 light years from the center That’s Us!

33 Galaxy Types: Spiral Galaxies Spiral Galaxies have a central nucleus made of millions of stars Have arms extending from the nucleus, (made of clouds of dust & gas) 75% of known galaxies are spiral.


35 Barred Spiral Galaxies Same as spiral galaxies, except they have a bar that goes through the middle.

36 Which is Which?

37 Elliptical Galaxies Elliptical Galaxies range from spherical to lens shaped Contain no gas and dust clouds

38 Irregular Galaxies Irregular Galaxies are smaller, fainter, and less common; Stars have no pattern

39 The Origin of the Universe Big-Bang Theory 1. Universe started as 1 dense sphere of hydrogen 2. 13.7 bya it exploded, forming an expanding cloud of gas & dust 3. Cloud parts condensed into stars. Stars joined with other stars to become galaxies

40 Evidence for the Big Bang 1. Edwin Hubble discovered that the light of distant stars is constantly becoming more red. Red Shift  the object producing the light is moving away from us 2. Microwaves coming from all directions in the universe Echoes of the original explosion

41 What is Dark Matter?

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