Module 04 Project - Measuring and Classifying Stars

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Module 04 – Measuring and Classifying Stars

The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is an important tool in the classification of stars and the understanding stellar evolution. The H-R diagram was discovered independently by two astronomers in early 20th century using observations of star luminosity and surface temperature. With this lab exercise, you will use Stellarium to collect stellar information and then form your own H-R diagram and see if you can find how stars are group into different luminosity classes.

Background Question – Describe the four major groups of stars and where they are located on the H-R diagram.

Object: Explain the purpose of this laboratory assignment in your own words. What do you think you will accomplish or learn from this exercise?

Hypothesis: Write a simple hypothesis connected to different stars and the H-R diagram that you will be able to test up the Stellarium software (for example, most bright stars visible in the night are supergiants)

Procedure:

  • Open the Stellarium software. Open the Sky and Viewing options window (F4). Under the “Sky” tab, uncheck the Atmosphere and Dynamic eye adaption.
  • Select the Landscape tab and uncheck “Show ground”.
  • For this lab, you will need to record the spectral class and absolute magnitude of a group of near stars and a group of the brightest stars in the night sky. For each star, open the Search window (F3) and enter the star’s name.Click on the star and look at the displayed information at the upper right. Record the star’s spectral class and absolute magnitude in the chart.Some information has already been include in the chart.
  • Repeat step 3 for each of the stars on the list.
  • Plot each of your stars on the H-R diagram below. Denote each star by their listed star number and mark the nearest in red and the brightest stars in blue.
  • Using the H-R diagrams in Chapter 12 as a reference, mark out where the main sequence line, giant branch, supergiants branch, and white dwarfs region would be on your H-R diagram.
  • Continue using Stellarium if you need further information to test your individual hypothesis. If you need further direction, please ask your instructor.

Q1: Based on the location of the Sun on your H-R diagram, what luminosity group (main sequence, giant, supergiant, or white dwarf) does the Sun belong to?

Q2: What stars did you find to be supergiants?

Q3: What luminosity group and spectral classes are most nearby stars?

Q4: What luminosity groups and spectral classes do most of the bright stars belong to?

Q5: Is there any part of the H-R diagram that you do not find any stars?

Conclusion: In 1-2 paragraphs, explain if your observations and data support or conflict with your hypothesis and if you have met your assignment objective. Was there any portion of the assignment that was particularly interesting or difficult?

Brightest Stars in the Night Sky

#

Star

Spectral Class

Absolute Magnitude

1

Sirius A

2

Canopus

3

Alpha Centauri A

4

Arcturus

5

Vega

6

Capella A

7

Rigel

8

Procyon A

9

Betelgeuse

10

Hadar

11

Altair

12

Aldebaran

13

Spica

14

Antares A

Nearest Stars

#

Star

Spectral Class

Absolute Magnitude

1

Sun

G2

4.8

2

Proxima Centauri

M6

15.6

3

Alpha Centauri A

4

Alpha Centauri B

K1

5.7

5

Barnard's Star

M4

13.2

6

Wolf 359

M6

16.7

7

Lalande 21185

M2

10.5

8

Sirius A

9

Sirius B

wd use B1

11.2

10

Epsilon Eri

11

61 Cyg A

12

61 Cyg B

13

Procyon A

14

Procyon B

wd use A6

13

Tutor Answer

proggerardo
School: UIUC

Attached you will find the outline and answers of this assignment. Please let me know if you need clarification or edits.

ANSWERS
Background Question
• Main sequence stars. Located in the upper left to the lower right on the H-R diagram. Most of
the stars, including the sun, are in this group, which shine by fusing hydrogen into helium in
their cores.


Supergiant stars. Located in the upper right on the H-R diagram. This type of stars is more
luminous than main-sequence stars of the same surface temperature. They have a larger radius
comparing to the main sequence stars.



Giant stars. Located in below the supergiant stars. This type of stars is more luminous than the
main sequence star but less than the supergiant stars. Their size is also located in the middle of
both groups.



White dwarfs. Located in the near lower left. The surface temperature is high with dim
luminosities and small radii.

Object.
To observe and classify stars using the H-R diagram by its properties of luminosity and surface
temperature using the Stellarium software.
Hypothesis.
The visibility of the stars is reduced by the luminosity of the sun, the stars that have a higher
luminosity than the sun are visible in the night.
Data.

Brightest Stars in the Night Sky
No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14

Star
Spectral Class B-V Color Index Absolute Magnitude
Sirius A
A0
0.00
1.44
Canopus
A9
0.16
-5.53
Alpha Centauri A
G2
0.60
4.45
Arcturus
K0
1.24
-0.11
Vega
A1
0.00
0.57
Capella A
G1+K0
0.79
-0.54
Rige...

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Anonymous
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