Know-How of the Universe : Stars

Stars are bodies of hot and glowing gas that are born in nebulae. They vary enormously in size, mass and temperature. Diameters range from about 450 times smaller to over 1,000 times bigger than that of the Sun, masses range from  about a twentieth to over 50 solar masses, and surface temperatures range from about 5,000 Degree Celsius over 50,000 Degree Celsius.


The color of a star is determined by its temperature. The hottest stars are blue and the coolest stars are red. The Sun, with a surface temperature of 5,500 Degree Celsius, is between these extremes and appears yellow. The energy emitted by a shining star is usually produced by nuclear fusion in the star’s core.

The brightness of a star is measured in Magnitude. There are two types of Magnitude. Apparent Magnitude, which is the brightness seen from the Earth, and Absolute Magnitude, which is the brightness that would be seen from a standard distance of 10 Parsecs (32.6 Light Years).

The light emitted by a star may be split to form a spectrum containing a series of dark lines which is also known as Absorption Lines. The patterns of lines indicate the presence of particular chemical elements, enabling astronomers to deduce the composition of the star’s atmosphere.

The magnitude and spectral type or color of the stars may be plotted on a graph called a Hertz Sprung-Russell diagram, which shows that stars tend to fall into several well defined groups. The principal groups are main sequence stars, those which are fusing hydrogen to form helium, giants, supergiant and white dwarfs.

These are all about stars of the universe.