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Science of Stars

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Science of Stars
This paper is about the science of the stars. In this paper I will address how astronomers determine the composition, temperature, speed, and rotation rate of distant objects. I will briefly explain the properties of stars in the H-R diagram from Chapter 15 of the course textbook “The Cosmic Perspective”. I will also summarize the lifecycle of the Sun and identify where the Sun is in its lifecycle.
Studying Distant Objects
Astronomers study light which comes from distant objects to determine its composition, temperature, speed, and rotation of distant objects. This process is called spectroscopy. Spectroscopy was first used to study celestial objects in 1863 by William Higgins. By using this process he discovered the Sun and most stars are primarily composed of hydrogen gases.
By using the spectroscopy technique it was discovered that different objects give off and absorb different spectrums of light. Where the object falls in the spectrum of light can be determined by examining its peak intensity at each wave length of light. The light helps us to determine an objects composition, temperature, and rotation.
There are three types of spectra used to evaluate light. Objects which absorb light at different wavelengths are referred to as absorption spectrum. The intensity of light drops in objects which absorb light and therefore appear as dark lines on a rainbow of colors. Objects such are stars, planets with atmospheres, and galaxies absorb light and are plotted in the absorption spectra. (Col, 2010)
Emission spectrum gives off light at different wavelengths. The atoms and molecules in the hot gases create extra light and produce bright lines on a black background. Comets, nebula and certain types of stars fall in these spectra. (Col, 2010)
Objects whose light gives off a rainbow of colors without interruption fall within the...

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