What does a star’s color tell us? It tells
us what temperature it is. Why would we be interested in a star’s temperature?|
A star’s temperature tells scientists how quickly it is burning its fuel.
Stars can be grouped into ten different classes and are designated by the
letters O, B, A, F, G, K, M, R, N, S. The surface temperature and color of the
star is directly related to the spectral class letter.
If you look at the chart
below you will see the colors go from very, very red at the cool end to very
blue at the hot end. What happens when you heat a piece of metal in a fire?
First it starts glowing red, then it turns more orange and gradually turns to
If you have a dimmer on any of your lights try this. Turn the
dimmer all the way up. When you do this the light shines white. As you turn it
down the light turns yellow then orange then red then goes out as the filament
goes from very hot to cold. Stars are the same. As you go from the cooler ones
to the hotter ones they go from very, very red to orange to white to blue.