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What The Color Of A Star Reveals About Its Composition

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Channel: Seeker
Categories: Astronomy   |   Science  
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People have noticed this range of colors in the stars throughout history and its actually a pretty good indicator of a stars temperature, chemical composition and life stage. In this episode, we explore why stars sometimes change color and how to spot an incredible binary system with differently colored stars right from your backyard.
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Huge thank you to Chabot Space & Science Center for all of their help with this video. Check them out here:

Its all about electromagnetic radiation, a form of energy thats all around us. This energy travels in waves and is generally separated into seven categories depending on the frequency and lengths of these waves.

On one end of the spectrum, we have the quick bursts of gamma-rays, X-rays and ultraviolet radiation. In the middle we have a slim spectrum of visible light; these are the colors we can see! And on the other end are the longer, slower wavelengths of infrared radiation, microwaves, radio waves.

So, the visible light we see as colors is really only a small fraction of the electromagnetic wave spectrum generated in the universe. Its useful then that stars emit most of their energy as visible light.

#stars #binarysystem #constellations #astronomy #astrology #science #seeker

The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope
With a diameter of 15m the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) is the largest astronomical telescope in the world designed specifically to operate in the submillimetre wavelength region of the spectrum. The JCMT is used to study our Solar System, interstellar and circumstellar dust and gas, and distant galaxies.

Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse!
For thousands of years, the shoulder star of the constellation Orion has burned as one of the brightest in Earths night sky. Over the past few weeks, however, Betelgeuse started to noticeably and rapidly dim. Astronomers around the world have turned their telescopes towards the red supergiant Betelgeuse to make observations and perhaps understand more about stellar dynamics. By December, the stars luminosity (or brightness) had dropped significantly, by a factor of 2.5. This has knocked Betelgeuse out of the top ten brightest stars and landed it somewhere within the top thirty.

Spectral Classification of Stars
Most of the early work on stellar spectra was done early in the 20th century at Harvard University. The principal figure in this story was Annie Jump Cannon. She joined Harvard as an assistant to Observatory Directory Edward C. Pickering in the 1890's to participate in the classification of spectra. She quickly became very proficient at classification examining several hundred stars per hour. She completed a catalogue of spectral types for hundreds of thousands of stars.

You can probably point to the Big Dipper, Orion's Belt, and your astrological sign in the stars.
But what would the constellations look like from another solar system? And will any of Orions stars ever become black holes? In Seeker Constellations, we'll explain the science of the universes most famous stars and dive into the culturally significant stories behind them. Most importantly, well provide a guide to where you can see these incredible constellations for yourself!
Seeker empowers the curious to understand the science shaping our world. We tell award-winning stories about the natural forces and groundbreaking innovations that impact our lives, our planet, and our universe.

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