Lecture 7-Chapter 15-Surveying the Stars

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University of Toronto St. George
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Stefan Mochnacki

Chapter 15 Surveying the Stars Measuring Stellar Luminosities N The brightness of a star as it appears to our eyes is its apparent brightness. It is the amount of power reaching us per unit area. N Luminosity is the total amount of power that a star emits into space. It tells us how bright stars are in an absolute sense. o A 100-watt light-bulb has always the same luminosity, since it always put out the same amount of light. However, it will look brighter if u stand closer and dimmer if farther, thus its apparent brightness changes. DIAGRAM 15.1 The Inverse Square Law for Light N Apparent brightness = luminosity (4 pie X distance^2) N The units of apparent brightness are watts per square meter. DIAGRAM 15.2 N .,3-0:809420,8:70,89,78,55,7039-7LJK93ess as it records how much energy strikes its light-sensitive surface each second. N %K02489L70.9Z,9420,8:70,89,78L89,3.0L8ZL9Kstellar parallax the 82,OO,33:,O8KL198L3,89,78,55,7039548L9L43.,:80-,79K8249L43,74:3 the Sun. N The distance to an object with a parallax angle of 1 arcsecond is 1 parsec (pc). N d (in parsecs) = 1 p (in arcseconds) N d (in light-years) = 3.26 X [1 p (in arcseconds)] DIAGRAM 15.3 The Luminosity Range of Stars N Stars have a wide range of luminosities. The dimmest stars have luminosities 110,000 times that of the Sun, while the brightest stars are about 1 million times as luminous as the Sun. The Magnitude System N The magnitude system is an ancient way to describe apparent brightness and luminosity quantities by classifying stars according to their brightness first magnitude (brightest) to magnitude 6 (faintest). N Absolute magnitudes are a way of describing stellar luminosities. It is the apparent magnitude it would have if it were at a distance of 10 parsecs. Measuring Stellar Temperature Colour and Temperature N Stars come in different colours because they emit thermal radiation. N An ideal thermal radiation spectrum depends only on the surface temperature of the object that emits it. N Cooler stars look red because they emit a little more blue light than red light. N Hotter stars emit more blue light than red light and therefore have a bluer colour to it. www.notesolution.com
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