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Name: _____________________________________Date: ________________
Earth Science
Mr. Herman
Exeter SHS
Chapter 25.1 Properties of Stars
Binary star
Apparent magnitude
Absolute magnitude
Main-sequence star
Red giant
Questions for discussion
1. Binary stars are used to calculate the stars _____________
2. What three factors control the apparent brightness of stars as seen from Earth?
Characteristics of Stars
 A constellation is an apparent group of stars originally named for mythical
 The sky contains 88 constellations.
Star Color and Temperature
 Color is a clue to a star’s temperature.
Constellation Orion
Binary Stars and Stellar Mass
 A binary star is one of two stars revolving around a common center of mass
under their mutual gravitational attraction.
 Binary stars are used to determine the star property most difficult to calculate—its
Common Center of Mass
Measuring Distances to Stars
Parallax is the
slight shifting of the apparent position of a star due to the orbital motion of Earth.
The nearest
stars have the largest parallax angles, while those of distant stars are too small to
A light-year is
the distance light travels in a year, about 9.5 trillion kilometers.
Stellar Brightness
Apparent Magnitude
magnitude is the brightness of a star when viewed from Earth.
Three factors
control the apparent brightness of a star as seen from Earth: how big it is, how hot
it is, and how far away it is.
Absolute Magnitude
magnitude is the apparent brightness of a star if it were viewed from a distance of
32.6 light-years.
Hertzsprung–Russell Diagram
A Hertzsprung–Russell diagram shows the relationship between the absolute magnitude
and temperature of stars.
A mainsequence star is a star that falls into the main sequence category on the H–R
diagram. T
his category
contains the majority of stars and runs diagonally from the upper left to the lower
right on the H–R diagram.
A red giant is
a large, cool star of high luminosity; it occupies the upper-right portion of the H–
R diagram.
A supergiant
is a very large, very bright red giant star.
Variable Stars
A Cepheid
variable is a star whose brightness varies periodically because it expands and
contracts; it is a type of pulsating star.
A nova is a
star that explosively increases in brightness.
Image of a Nova Taken Two Months Apart
Interstellar Matter
A nebula is a cloud of gas and/or dust in space.
There are two major types of nebulae:
Interstellar Matter
Bright nebula
Dark nebula