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Identifying stellar objects
Identification sheet
Red dwarf star
Red giant/supergiant star
red in colour
powered by fusion of elements heavier
than hydrogen
supergiants have mass of at least 1.5
of the Sun’s.
Main sequence star
usually yellow, white or blue depending
on temperature (hotter = more blue)
mass varies hugely
usually orbited by planets
sometimes exists in a pair (called binary
almost entirely hydrogen.
White dwarf star
a cloud of billions of stars
more distant than all other objects
often have irregular shapes or spiral
low-density cloud of gas and dust
mostly made of hydrogen
other objects can be seen through it.
Neutron star
typically found inside ‘stellar nurseries’
(very large nebulae)
emits light due to pressure heating of
the moving particles
no planets or orbiters
energy comes from residual heat
leftover after red giant sheds outer
relatively dim.
Black hole
© 2016
about 8-15km across
mass around 2x sun’s mass
emits lots of x-rays.
typically red and infrared in colour
dim - cannot be seen at great distances
low mass
no fusion.
singularity invisible
causes light to bend around it
usually spotted by hot mass of former
star which is being sucked inwards
very high mass.
short-lived process
giant star turns into something else
extremely bright in all electromagnetic
can be seen in distant galaxies.
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