Stars: An Investigation

Created by H. Atterbury

Purpose:          

In this activity, you will utilize the Internet to investigate stars and their life cycles.

 

 

Objectives:      

v      To learn about the properties of stars and how they are classified   

v      To distinguish between different types of stars                                                          

v      To explore the stages of development in the life cycle of a star

v      To use the Internet to find information about stars

 

 

Task:

Your team will develop a portfolio summarizing the characteristics and properties of stars. The project will include information about spectra and star classification systems, including the Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram. You will identify different types of stars and explore the relationship between the H-R diagram and the life cycle of stars.

 

 

Process:

1.    Read about Star Types and the Fingerprints of Stars.

      Write the answers to these questions on your Report Sheet.

      1)   Explain what is measured to create a spectrum.

      2)   Describe what can be learned about a star from its spectrum.

 

2.   Complete the tutorial on Classifying Stars.  Do Exercise #1 (in green) and write your answers to questions #1-6 (in red).  Answers should be recorded on the Report Sheet.

     

Note: For extra credit, ask your instructor about continuing in this section of the web site.

 

3.   Read about Star Types to create a chart summarizing each of these stars:   protostars, dwarfs, supergiants, neutron stars, pulsars, variable stars, and quasars.

 

4.   Read about star colors and the Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram.

      Write the answers to the following questions on your Report Sheet.

      1)   How does star color relate to temperature?

      2)   Describe how size can affect absolute magnitude.

      3)   Describe the color and temperature of our sun, and explain where it is found on

            the H-R diagram.

 

 

5.   Sketch a copy of the "Life Cycle of Stars" diagram on your Report Sheet.

 

 

6.   Complete the tutorials Star Birth and Star Life & Death and answer the following questions on your Report Sheet.

      1)   Describe the life cycle path of low mass/sun-like stars and summarize the type of core burning involved in low mass stars.

      2)   Describe the life cycle path of intermediate/huge mass stars and summarize the type of core burning involved.

      3)   Describe the life cycle path of high mass/giant stars and summarize the type of core burning.