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Download Astrophysical Concepts by Martin Harwit (auth.) PDF

By Martin Harwit (auth.)

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Correspondingly, the only way that this particular course of evolution can proceed is for the star to grow as it moves offthe main sequence. The stars become giants. Their radi i increase by factors of 10 to 100. Let us see how such stages evolve. For this purpose the study of globular clusters is most instructive. They contain some ofthe oldest stars in the Galaxy. Their faint, red, turn-off points indicate this. The stars in any given cluster presumably were formed almost simultaneously; and the turn-off age therefore gives the age ofthe cluster.

The rest may be ejected back into interstellar space. The most massive stars are also the hottest in their central regions, radiate at a greater rate, and convert mass into radiant energy at a correspondingly greater rate also. The BO stars represent objects some 15 times as massive as the Sun. 4, which shows relative luminosities, indicates that BO stars are using their fuel at a rate roughly 104 times faster than the Sun, a GI main sequence star. While the Sun will attain a main sequence age amounting to 10 Gyr, BO stars are expected to live only '" 10 million years before changing structure.

11 . Adeep sky exposure obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. It reveals many small galaxies, whieh apparently merged at a later epoeh to fonn the large galaxies we see today. These distant galaxies are blue, suggesting a population ofluminous young stars. Cireular ares diseemible in the pieture are due to gravitational lensing of distant sourees by massive foreground galaxies or clusters. ) and gravitational attraction. Gravitation evidently wins but we have not yet found ways to observe the process.

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