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

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Caption: The spectrum of the O-type star HD 235673 with wavelength in nanometers on the x-axis and flux on the y-axis. The top part of the plot shows the same spectrum but with bright patches for wavelengths with high flux and dark patches for wavelengths with low flux. 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 and ions of different elements in the star’s atmosphere. These atoms and ions 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. For O-type stars the most important features are a small number of lines caused by ionized helium. These lines are stronger in O-type stars than in cooler stars. Lines from helium atoms and hydrogen atoms also appear in the spectrum. The spectrum has more flux at the blue end of the spectrum than at the red end of the spectrum.

Credit: IAU OAE/SDSS/Niall Deacon.

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

Created with support from: OAE Main Office Main Office

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

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