This page describes an image Spectrum of an M-type star

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Caption: The spectrum of the M-type star 2MASS J15581272+8457104. The colour of the line between 400 nm and 700 nm roughly corresponds to the colour the human eye would see light of that wavelength. Below 400 nm and above 700 nm, where the human eye can see little to no light, the lines are coloured blue and red respectively.

The black lines show spectral absorption lines caused by atoms, ions and molecules of different elements in the star’s atmosphere. These atoms, ions and molecules absorb at specific wavelengths, causing sharp, dark lines in the spectra. How strong these lines are depends on the temperature of the star’s atmosphere. Two stars made from the same mix of elements could have spectra with vastly different sets of lines in their spectra if they have different temperatures in their atmospheres. The atmospheres of M-type stars are cool enough for some chemical compounds to form. These are often referred to as molecules in astronomy, even if they are not strictly molecules in chemistry. These molecules produce so many lines in an M-type star’s spectrum that the lines appear to merge together in huge bands that remove large chunks from the spectrum. In M-type stars, titanium oxide has a large number of these bands in visible light, dominating huge regions of the spectrum.

Credit: IAU OAE/SDSS/Niall Deacon.

Related glossary terms: M-type Star , Spectrum , Wavelength
Categories: Stars

License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) icons

Want to make your own version of this diagram? Then have a look at the code that produced this diagram on Github

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