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A sequence of four images showing a metal ball being heated, with temperature increasing from left to right. This illustrates how both the colour and the brightness of a star depends on the temperature. The left hand ball glows a dull red – the second, slightly hotter ball is a brighter orange. The third ball is glowing bright yellow and the fourth, and hottest, ball is an even brighter yellow-white colour.

 2.1 The Sun – some facts and figures