Harwood relative dating 1

06-Nov-2016 09:08 by 9 Comments

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A star 10 times as massive as the sun contains, clearly, 10 times as much fuel.It consumes that fuel roughly 10,000 times faster than the sun, however.

We also know that its fuel is just about exhausted.

During this period of its life, a star hardly changes either in brightness or in temperature.

"The duration of the stable, or 'main sequence,' phase depends on a star's mass.

Clusters of the second type used to be called 'galactic clusters' because we see them inside the body of our galaxy, but now it is more common to refer to them as 'open clusters' because they are much looser and their stars more spread out on the sky than are those in globular clusters.

Open clusters can contain anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand stars, and they come in a wide range of ages.

"Constructing a plot, called the HR diagram, of the stars in the cluster, scientists can determine the mass of the stars that are just ending this phase and moving on to the next phase of their life, the red giant phase.

Computer models allow us to predict how old a star of that mass must be to be at that juncture of its life, and hence to estimate the age of the cluster.

Clusters of the first type are called 'globular clusters' because they appear as huge, round globs containing anywhere from a few thousand to a few million stars.

Globular clusters are very old, and they are scattered around (not just within) the Milky Way; these clusters seem to have originated near the time our galaxy started to form, when the universe was quite young.

For about 90 percent of its lifetime, a star shines because nuclear reactions are converting hydrogen to helium in the star's center, releasing vast amounts of energy.

This energy works its way from the center of the star to the surface and escapes the star in the form of light.

After a relatively brief time (in 'star time,' that is--we are talking thousands to millions of years here) stars reach the adult phase of their life, which we call the main sequence phase.

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