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Galaxy NGC4414 from HST Astronomy 162:
Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, & the Universe
Prof. Richard Pogge, MTWThF 9:30

Felis the Cat, Jamieson Atlas 1820
Felis the Cat (1820)
(detail from Plate XXVI of Alexander Jamieson's A Celestial Atlas)

Unit 1: "The Stars in Their Courses"
The Observed Properties of the Stars

Before we can begin to understand the inner workings of stars, we must summarize their observed properties. This entails finding quantitative answers to such fundamental questions as "How far?", "How bright?", "How massive?", "How big?", etc., and more subtle properties derived from an examination of their spectra. Finally, we will ask how the observed properties relate to each other as a stepping stone to beginning to understand the physics of stars.

At the end of the unit, we will bring together all of the observed properties into one remarkable synthesis: the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram (or H-R Diagram). This diagram will prove to be one of our most powerful tools for understanding the question of how stars evolve, the topic of the Unit 2.


Distances of the Stars (Jan 9)

The Motions of the Stars (Jan 10)

Stellar Brightness (Jan 11)

Stellar Masses & Radii (Jan 12)

Stellar Spectra (Jan 13)

Synthesis: The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram (Jan 17)
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[ Return to Astronomy 162 Main Page | Go back to the Introduction | Go forward to Unit 2 ]
Updated: 2006 January 10 [rwp]
Copyright Richard W. Pogge, All Rights Reserved.