H-R Diagram

I have recently read an article from Arstechnica.com titled “Making Sense of Diverse Quasars” written by Xaq Rzetelny. This article discusses relationships between variety of stars that are being observed across the night sky. One observation this article refers to is the observations of quasars, these quasars are similar to stars however the light of these celestial objects rapidly accrete light just like massive black holes. These quasars come in different forms, hence why this article is based around the investigation of over 20,000 quasars. Through intense research a pattern had appeared, an H-R diagram was used to indicate a relationship amongst these quasars. Essentially there is a main sequence of quasars, in which, all 20,000 fit into some form of pattern. This article then provides information that the H-R diagram was accurate indicating that the sequence of quasars are identical to the main sequence of stars in the H-R diagram.

To give background knowledge of this objective, the H-R diagram is a graphical instrument used by astronomers that allows them to classify stars according to their specific luminosity, spectral type, color, temperature, and evolution stage. Ejnar Hertzsprung and Henry Norris Russell came up with this H-R diagram to be able to analyze the relationship between spectral type and luminosity of a star. Originally the began this process by making graphs of stellar properties, one axis of the graph consisted of stellar luminosity while the other axis was the spectral type. Eventually after numerous trial and error these graphs paved the way to figure out the pattern of stars. After the perfection of the H-R diagram it is now used as a fundamental tool to research the properties of stars. During some of our lectures we reviewed and exercised this concept in our workbooks. In the chapter that discusses the H-R diagram we were given an example of a star and were asked to determine the star’s spectral type, temperature, magnitude, and luminosity. Using the diagram that was provided to us we then had to compare properties of one star to another.

Bringing this concept back to the article, the quasars that were discussed can also compare to the stars that we practiced on in our workbooks. Both show a unique pattern that exists among the sequences of the stars and quasars in the H-R diagram. I feel that this article relates to the twelfth objective by comparing and contrasting the sequence of stars, the pattern that shows can be compared to the quasars. I felt this article was very informative on how the use of H-R diagrams are important in the scientific world.  The article showed me that not only stars can have direct patterns amongst one another, quasars and other celestial bodies can as well. This objective really taught me how their is many patterns that go along in the astronomical world and these patterns or sequences are not an anomaly. Overall, I enjoyed this concept because I actually learned something new and not just the same old repetitive stuff that I already had previous prior background knowledge of.


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