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Astronomy with an online telescope
Astronomy with an online telescope

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6 Summary of Week 5

This week you have taken your first steps in understanding what stars are and how they work using the nearest example – our own Sun – as a template. In doing so you have found out that stars are huge balls of gas, much larger and more massive than any planet.

You have learned that the colour of light they emit is related to their temperature, and explored the physical processes of nuclear fusion taking place in the core. Stars produce and release colossal amounts of energy every second and, using your knowledge of the nuclear reactions and Einstein’s famous equation, cap e equals m postfix times c squared, you were able to calculate that the Sun has done so for billions of years and will continue to shine for billions more.

Finally, you have taken a first look at how stars are related in terms of their properties, finding that there is a relationship between the temperature and the luminosity of stars in a cluster. You will explore this relationship in greater detail next week.

You can now go to Week 6 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .