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Ch 10: Measuring the Characteristics of Stars

About This Chapter

Explore the various characteristics of stars and how they can be measured in this chapter. Watch the engaging video lessons to find out how star size, brightness and temperature are determined and take the chapter exam to make sure you understand the material.

Measuring the Characteristics of Stars - Chapter Summary

In this chapter, you'll strengthen your familiarity with Kirchhoff's three laws and understand spectroscopy. You can also get a review of how the distance to a star can be found and check out a lesson that delves into the Doppler Effect in relation to star spectra. Upon completion of this chapter, you'll have had the opportunity to review:

  • Different kinds of telescopes
  • The spectral sequence
  • How to find the temperature of a star
  • Chemical characteristics of stars
  • Stars' energy generation methods
  • Major factors that influence the equilibrium of stars
  • The relationship between brightness and luminosity
  • Comparisons of star brightness using the magnitude scale

Each video lesson covers its targeted topics in about 5 minutes. Video tags enable you to quickly find major segments you might want to review at another time. All of the chapter's lessons feature practice quizzes so that you can double-check your understanding of the main topics.

14 Lessons in Chapter 10: Measuring the Characteristics of Stars
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Types of Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes

1. Types of Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes

Learn about the different types of telescopes that astronomers use: X-ray, radio, gamma ray, reflecting and refracting. Learn what the differences are between them and what different things they show us about the universe.

How to Find the Size of a Star

2. How to Find the Size of a Star

This lesson will tell you how astronomers figure out the size of stars. You'll learn it has to do with a star's temperature, luminosity, and a cool thing known as the H-R diagram.

Electron Transitions & Spectral Lines

3. Electron Transitions & Spectral Lines

This lesson discusses how electrons transition between energy levels, why they do this, how photons are involved, how absorption and emission spectra come into play, and what the Lyman, Balmer, and Paschen series are.

Measuring The Distance to a Star

4. Measuring The Distance to a Star

This lesson will tell you how astronomers can measure the distance to a star and how it relates to the way surveyors measure distances to landmarks right here on Earth.

The Brightness Of Stars

5. The Brightness Of Stars

This lesson will define and describe important terms related to a star's brightness, including luminosity, intrinsic brightness, apparent brightness, and more.

Relating a Star's Brightness to Luminosity

6. Relating a Star's Brightness to Luminosity

This lesson will explore how luminosity, apparent brightness, and distance are related to one another using the inverse square law. You'll also learn how luminosity can be gauged based on distance and apparent brightness.

Determining the Temperature of a Star

7. Determining the Temperature of a Star

This lesson will explain to you the concepts of a spectrum, electromagnetic radiation, the temperature of a faraway star and how that relates to something known as a blackbody curve and Wien's law.

Spectroscopy and the Chemical Characteristics of Stars

8. Spectroscopy and the Chemical Characteristics of Stars

This lesson will explain how astronomers find out the chemical composition of a distant star using spectral lines and spectroscopy, and how this relates to atoms, electrons, and photons.

Kirchhoff's Laws and Star Spectra

9. Kirchhoff's Laws and Star Spectra

This lesson will define for you three laws associated with spectra and how they relate to the composition of stars, as well as how they relate to atoms and wavelengths.

The Doppler Effect and Star Spectra

10. The Doppler Effect and Star Spectra

This lesson will outline what the Doppler effect is using a very familiar example, then parlay that knowledge into understanding how the Doppler effect is used in astronomy.

How Stars Generate Energy

11. How Stars Generate Energy

This lesson will tell you how the sun generates energy, energy that depends on much more than the superficial notion of nuclear fusion. We'll delve deeply into this process by exploring protons, positrons, gamma rays, and a whole lot more!

The Spectral Sequence and Temperature

12. The Spectral Sequence and Temperature

This lesson will talk about spectral classes, spectral types, and the spectral sequence. We will break down each spectral class and point out some important characteristics of each.

Forces Keeping Stars in a Stable Equilibrium

13. Forces Keeping Stars in a Stable Equilibrium

This lesson will outline for you the forces and properties that keep stars stable. They include temperature, pressure, gravity, density, and nuclear reactions.

Using the Magnitude Scale to Compare Star Brightness

14. Using the Magnitude Scale to Compare Star Brightness

This lesson will describe the magnitude scale, apparent brightness, and apparent visual magnitude. It will also teach you how to compare the brightness of stars.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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