STARS & GALAXIES

Jun 28th, 2015
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A galaxy is a massive gravitational bound system containing stars. These may be spiral or elliptical in shape and contain 200 billion stars. The Milky Way galaxy is 2.25 million light years from the “nearby” Andromeda galaxy. About 24 galaxies form the Local Cluster, all moving around space together.

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Science revisionThe universe and the earthStars, galaxiesGalaxiesA galaxy is a massive gravitational bound system containing stars. These may be spiral or elliptical in shape and contain 200 billion stars. The Milky Way galaxy is 2.25 million light years from the nearby Andromeda galaxy. About 24 galaxies form the Local Cluster, all moving around space together. QuasarsQuasars are distant powerful sources of light and radio waves putting out the energy of 100 galaxies. They have been identified as distant galaxies with an enormous central mass.StarsStars are huge spheres of hydrogen (H) and helium (He). Nuclear fusion occurs at 15 million degrees as hydrogen (H) nuclei slam together to form the helium (He) nuclei. (It is too hot for electrons to orbit the nucleus and form atoms). Constellations are groups of stars which form a pattern.The sun has a mass of kg and is 1.4 million km in diameter, and called a yellow dwarf. Blue giants can be 10 solar masses, while red dwarfs are only 0.1 solar masses. In size a red dwarf is less than half the suns size, while the biggest stars are supergiants of 300 solar masses and would extend out to Jupiters orbit, if placed at the centre of the solar system. Surface temperature determines a stars colour. ClassSurface Temperature (K)ColourO30,000BlueB10,000 to 30,000Blue/WhiteA10,000WhiteF6,000 to 10,000White/YellowG6,000YellowK4,500OrangeM3,000RedBlue giantsThese stars are fusing very fast

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