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Lecture Astronomy Chapter 9

# Lecture Astronomy Chapter 9

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Lecture Astronomy Chapter 9
Introduction
Objective: Finding out the following about stars:1. how much energy they emit2. how big they are3. how much mass they containDistance from earth to sun is 93 million miles, or 8 light minutes. Next nearest star is 4 lightyears from Earth! (A light year is equal to 5.9 trillion miles!)
9-1 Measuring the Distance to Stars
The Surveyor's Method: Use trigonometry to find distance d using angles A and BThe Astronomer's Method:Parallax: apparent change in position of an object due to change in location of anastronomer Farther away an object is, smaller parallaxCloser object is, larger parallaxUnit used to express parallax: seconds of arcDistance/parallax formula: d=1/p where d=distance to star in parsecs, p=parallax inseconds of arcParsec: distance to a star with a parallax of 1 second arc; 3.26 light years; 206265 AUsPiece of paper held edgewise and extended at arm's length has about 30 seconds of arc, while nearest star, a Centuari, has .76 seconds of arc.Why so hard to measure accurately star images? Blurring by atmosphere smearsimages to 1 second of arcProper MotionProper motion: rate at which a star moves across sky; unit: in seconds of arc per year Why would 1 star have a larger proper motion than another? A star might be movingdirectly toward or away from Earth; a star might be very far away from EarthStars with large proper motions are usually nearbyStars with small proper motions are usually distant
9-2 Intrinsic Brightness
Intrinsic BrightnessMore distant a light source is, fainter is appearsFlux received from light is proportional to intrinsic brightness or luminosity (L) andinversely proportional to square of distance (d) Absolute Magnitude

To characterize star's intrinsic brightness, we define absolute magnitude, Mv. Absolute Magnitude = magnitude that a star would have at a distance of 10 parsecIf we know a star's absolute magnitude, we can infer its distance by comparingabsolute and apparent magnitudes
9-3 The Diameter of Stars
Size of a star and LuminosityFlux increases with surface temperature; hotter stars are brighter Brightness increases with size; absolute brightness is proportional to radius squaredFormula for luminosity: L=4piR^2oT^4Polaris has similar temperature to sun but is 100 times larger and therefore 10,000times more luminousOrganizing the Family of Stars: The Hertzsprung-Russell DiagramStars have different temperatures, different luminosities, and different sizesin H-R diagram, most stars are found along main sequence; stars spend most of their active life on main sequence
9-4 The Masses of Stars
Binary stars: pairs of stars orbiting around a common center of massBinary stars in comparison to child's seesaw: center of mass is point where 2 masses onseesaw must be balancedTo find mass of binary system, we must know size of orbits and orbital periodSmaller orbits --> Shorter orbital periodFormula for calculating masses of binary stars: ma+mb=a^3/p^2; ma and mb are star masses; a is average distance between stars in AUs; p is orbital period in years2 challenges facing scientists trying to find mass of a binary star system: orbits might beelliptical which distorts shapes, finding distances t stars to estimate size of orbits3 Types of Binary Star Systems1. Visual: separately visual in telescopes; astronomers measure position of two starsdirectly2. Spectroscopic: only by taking a spectrum can we see there are 2 stars; astronomerswait to see how long it takes for spectral lines to return to their starting positions3. Eclipsing: Stars eclipse one another; astronomers study light curves from each star More than 50% of all stars are members of a binary star systemLight curve: graph of brightness vs time to eclipsing binariesFrom studying binary stars, astronomers have found that masses of stars range fromroughly .1 solar mass at low end to somewhere between 60-100 solar masses at high end
9-5 A Survey of the Stars
If we label an H-R diagram with masses of plotted stars, we discover that main-sequence stars are ordered by massMost massive main-sequence stars are hot starsLowest mass stars are coolest and faintestStars that do not lie on main sequence are not in order according to massMass-luminosity relationship: L=M^3.5 so more massive, more luminousGiants and supergiants do not follow mass-luminosity relation very closely and whitedwarfs do not at all

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