Create an account
What is the approximate chemical composition (by mass) with which all stars are born?
three quarters hydrogen, one quarter helium, no more than 2% heavier elements
The total amount of power (in watts) that a star radiates into space is called its ____________.
According to the inverse square law of light, how will the apparent brightness of an object change if its distance to us triples?
Its apparent brightness will decrease by a factor of 9.
Assuming that we can measure the apparent brightness of a star, what does the inverse square law of light allow us to do?
Calculate the star's luminosity if we know its distance, or calculate its distance if we know its luminosity
If Star A is closer to us than Star B, then Star A's parallax angle is _______.
larger than that of Star B
Star A has an apparent magnitude of 3 and Star B has an apparent magnitude of 5. Which star is brighter in our sky?
Astronomers can measure a star's mass in only certain cases. Which one of the following cases might allow astronomer's to measure a star's mass?
The star is a member of the binary star system
Which of the following terms is given to a pair of stars that we can determine are orbiting each other only by measuring their periodic Doppler shifts?
The axes on Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram represent _________.
luminosity and surface temperature
On an H-R diagram, stellar radii __________.
increase diagonally from the lower left to the upper right
On an H-R diagram, stellar masses __________.
can be determined for main sequence stars but not for the other types of stars
How is the lifetime of a star related to its mass?
More massive stars live much shorter lives than less massive stars.
Each choice below lists a spectral type and luminosity class for a star. Which one is a red supergiant?
Spectral type M2, luminosity class 1
What is the common trait for all main sequence stars?
They generate energy through hydrogen fusion into their core.
Suppose our Sun were suddenly replaced by a supergiant star.Which of the following would be true?
Earth would be inside of the supergiant.
Which of the following statements comparing open and globular star clusters is NOT true?
Open and globular star clusters each typically contain a few hundred stars.
What do we mean by the main sequence turnoff point of a star cluster, and what does it tell us?
It is the spectral type of the hottest main sequence star in a star cluster, and it tells us the cluster's age.
All stars are born with the same basic composition, yet stars can look quite different from one another. Which two factors primarily determine the characteristics of a star?
its mass and its stage of life
Based on the definition of apparent brightness, which units are appropriate for its measurement?
watts per square meter
Star A is identical to Star B,except that Star A is twice as far from us as Star B. Therefore:
Both stars have the same luminosity, but the apparent brightness of Star B is four times that of Star A.
The star Vega has an absolute magnitude of about 4 and an apparent magnitude of about 0. Based on the definitions of absolute and apparent magnitude, we can conclude that ______.
Vega is nearer than 10 parsecs from Earth.
Which of the following statements about spectral types of stars is not generally true?
The spectral type of a star can be used to determine its distance
Sirius is a star with spectral type A star and Rigel is a star with spectral type B star. What can we conclude?
Rigel has a higher surface temperature than Sirius.
To calculate the masses of stars in a binary system, we must measure their _________.
orbital period and average orbital distance.
areful measurements reveal that a star maintains a steady apparent brightness at most times, except that at precise intervals of 73 hours the star becomes dimmer for about 2 hours. The most likely explanation is that _________.
the star is a member of an eclipsing binary star system
You observe a star and you want to plot it on an H-R diagram. You will need to measure all of the following, except the star's _________.
How did astronomers discover the relationship between spectral type and mass for main sequence stars?
by measuring the masses and spectral types of main sequence stars in binary systems
The choices below each describe the appearance of an H-R diagram for a different star cluster. Which cluster is the youngest?
The diagram shows main sequence stars of every spectral type except O, along with a few giants and supergiants.
Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.
Having trouble? Click here for help.
We can’t access your microphone!
Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again
Reload the page to try again!Reload
Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom
Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom
It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.
Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.
For more help, see our troubleshooting page.
Your microphone is muted
For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.
Star this term
You can study starred terms together