The emission spectra of gases can be used to study stars because the absorption spectra of stars are the exact opposite of the emission spectra of the gases that compose the stars. When the light from a star is split into its component colors, it creates a continuous spectrum except for specific missing colors. These missing colors are the same ones emitted by heated gases in laboratory settings.Know More
Light from stars appears white and, when split, contains a large spectrum of colors. Individual gases, however, only emit certain wavelengths of light when heated, according to the way their electrons are configured. When atoms absorb heat, some of their electrons move to larger, more energetic orbitals. When the electrons move back into their resting orbital, they release light energy at particular frequencies.
Stars emit light and a much wider range of frequencies than just the heat emission spectra of their component gases. Any color that a light emits, however, it also absorbs. Thus, the light generated by other processes that matches the gases' emission spectra is actually absorbed by the gases around the star. This creates darker regions in the spectra of the star itself and indicates the gases that compose it.Learn More
After stars like the Sun expand to become red giants, they will end their lives as a white dwarf star, until finally dimming to become a black dwarf. White dwarf stars are made from the collapsed cores of red giants, once the outer layers of the star have been expelled.Full Answer >
Stars can go through two red giant phases. After stars burn up hydrogen and become red giants, the core may shrink and allow helium to be used for fuel, returning them to main sequence stage. When the new fuel is burned up, the star may return to a red giant.Full Answer >
The North Star, Polaris, is found by mentally drawing and extending a line between the two stars at the end of the Big Dipper's bowl. Polaris can be seen from anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, provided there isn't too much light.Full Answer >
An average star is a star predicted or observed to go through the main sequence life cycle: nebula to main sequence star to red giant to white dwarf to black dwarf. Stars with more mass explode into a supernova and collapse into a neutron star or black hole.Full Answer >