Luminosity of a Star

Being an enormous ball of plasma held together by gravity is no typical introduction, as stars are an interesting and intriguing aspect of our solar system. Stars are giant balls of energy, the more energy these stars have, the brighter they shine, also known as luminosity. The luminosity of a star is dependent upon two properties, temperature and size. These aspects are extremely important when attempting to understand the luminosity of a star. The temperature is an important aspect because the hotter the black body, an extremely absorbent physical body that attracts electromagnetic radiation, the greater its energy output is. Therefore, if a star has an extremely high output of energy in return it will be extremely bright. Therefore, it is often stated that the temperature, energy, and brightness of a star are all directly proportional. As for the size, radius, of the star if a star is large it requires much more energy to cover its extra surface area. The greater the surface area of a star the more energy is required to make it glow. Luminosity is measured in watts and is described as the amount of energy that is emitted each second, as it may not always be easy to have a perspective on how luminous stars are, they follow a very accurate and strict grading scale. In order to understand how potent an actual measure of luminosity is, astronomers measure the luminosity of stars by comparing them to the biggest star within our solar system, the Sun.

When attempting to measure the actual luminosity of a star, there are three main facets that must be taken into consideration. The distance, magnitude, and visible luminosity of the star as these properties affect the calculated luminosity of a star. However, astronomists sometimes may have a difficult collecting enough data or making accurate depictions on one of the facets, but can rely fully on two of the elements, as these will always help yield an accurate mystery component. To present day astronomers there are a few stars that are more luminous than the sun, these are typically blue stars, stars that have exponentially heavy hydrogen lines. Therefore, in comparison most stars are much less luminous of the sun, typically red giants, which is a star that is large in size but relatively low in terms of mass. In which case it is quite an accurate generalization to state that there are many more lower luminous stars than high level luminous stars.




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