About This Chapter
Stars, Energy & Spectra - Chapter Summary
The lessons in this chapter will help you refresh your knowledge about the characteristics of stars and how they produce energy. Our expert instructors explain topics such as electron transitions, the spectral sequence and spectroscopy. You'll also study star brightness and how it relates to luminosity. Other lessons explore star spectra and temperature. After watching these videos, you'll have an understanding of topics including:
- Determining a star's size, distance and temperature
- Spectral lines
- Chemical characteristics and brightness of stars
- Kirchhoff's Laws
- The Doppler Effect
- How stars produce energy
- Forces that keep stars in a stable equilibrium
- The magnitude scale
These lessons average about five minutes in length, and you can watch them anytime via a computer, tablet or smartphone. Each contains a clickable timeline that makes it easy to access key terms and topics in the lessons.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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!
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
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Other chapters within the NES Earth & Space Science - WEST (307): Practice & Study Guide course
- The Scientific Revolution & Society
- Scientific Research & Experiments
- Laboratory Equipment, Solutions & Measurements
- Using Mathematics in Science
- Reading & Constructing Maps
- Cycles and Spheres of Earth
- Rocks & Minerals
- Earth's Internal Structure
- The Lithosphere
- Understanding Earthquakes
- Weathering, Erosion & Soil
- Geologic Time & Relative Dating
- Natural Resources & Energy
- Earth's Water Balance
- Oceans & Tides
- Ground Water Systems
- Flowing Water
- Water Resource Issues
- Atmospheric Cycle & Solar Energy
- Earth's Climate Systems
- Air Masses & Wind
- Severe Weather & Disturbances
- Weather Forecasting & Analysis
- Atmospheric Changes
- Formation & Phases of the Moon
- The Sun's Structure, Energy & Life Cycle
- Solar Radiation, Energy & Light
- Orbits & Gravity
- Formation of the Solar System
- Solar System Components & Characteristics
- The Laws of Kepler & Newton
- Star Types & Life Cycle
- Cosmological Theories of the Universe
- Space Science Technology
- NES/WEST Earth & Space Science Flashcards