Science of Stars Paper

1331 Words Nov 21st, 2010 6 Pages
Science of Stars Paper
Diana L. Mieltowski
September 27, 2010
Robert Austin

Science of Stars Paper
In this paper I will explain how astronomers determine the composition, temperature, speed, and rotation rate of distant objects using various methods. I will explain the properties of stars. I will also summarize the complete lifecycle of the Sun and determine where the Sun is currently in its lifecycle.
Measurement of Distant Objects
Light is a type of energy. Light behaves like a wave because it acts as a disturbance in the magnetic and electric field of space. Light can behave as a particle, because it sends all its energy to one place. A particle of light is called a photon. Photons can be absorbed into objects, bounce
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Spectroscopy requires scientists to look at the color of an object, and then utilizing what is known about the energies of various processes and components to build a diagram of what is taking place millions of miles away. These separate wavelengths connect to different colors, which can be observed by using a telescope.
In astronomical spectroscopy there are two main categories of spectra that are looked at discrete and continuous. A discrete spectrum has particular points of bright or dark lines when looking at individual energies. Discrete spectra that have bright points are called emission spectra, while those that have dark points are called absorption spectra. A continuous spectrum has a broad assortment of colors that are more or less uninterrupted.
Stars emit continuous spectra. Because energy is being let go across the wavelength spectrum, it seems relatively uninterrupted, although there may be highs and lows within the spectrum. Discrete spectra occur because something happens to a particular atom. Every single element has only a few energy levels that it can have, and almost all of them are identified easily. At the same time, these elements always want to return to these basic energy levels, so they emit extra energy when they get excited as light. The light that they emit has the same wavelength

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