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Thread: The stars

  1. #1
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    Default The stars



    Hi all

    My question is, and it might be stupid. has anyone ever seen a star upclose with detail? If so what does a star look like? I hope my question isn't dumb, but I really am curious to know. I've asked people before and they say they don't know, so I'm hoping one of you guys does.

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    Default

    All you need to do is take a look at our own sun to see a star upclose



    Or see Betelgeuse

    Name: Jason
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    Default

    Well Rachel..we can observe our very own sun which is about 145 millions kilometers away fairly well. Check here The Very Latest SOHO Images

    For us mere mortals with smaller budgets, we too can see some details as well. Here is a recent image I took of the sun with sun spots and if you look closely granulation as well
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    Default

    Hi Rachel, no need to worry that a question you have may be stupid.. just ask away.
    Here is a link to a gallery of detailed photos of our own star: SOHO-Gallery
    Beyond that, the information about stars outside of our solar system is derived from significantly less detailed but useful visual observation and spectroscopy: What is Spectroscopy?

    edit: Yeesh, I was slow posting this one.
    Last edited by GriffinBF; 06-08-2010 at 08:25 PM.

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    Rachel,

    Apart from the Sun, the only image of a star I've seen resolved as a disk is the one that Jason posted of Betelgeuse. Possibly others have been too, I'm not certain. It's not a stupid question at all. It's a very good one.
    Kevin

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    It's funny how often we forget that our own sun is a star.

    Apart from our sun and Betelgeuss, already mentioned, the only other stars that I'm aware of that have been resolved to any significant degree, Rachel are Wolf-Rayet stars such as Wolf-Rayet star WR124 pictured below.

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    Fascinating, Eric, thank you. Do you happen to know if the disk at the center of that image is actually WR124, or if it is a mask to allow imaging of the surrounding nebula? I'm putting WR stars on my list of things to learn about.

    Rachel, thanks so much for asking this question!
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    Thank you all so much for your helpful posts. special thanks to Jason for his photo of Betelgeuse.
    Oh and I have another question. Has the hubble telescope seen any stars? have we only seen our sun and Betelgeuse? Oh and how can you tell a star from a planet? I read that stars twinkle and planets are just really bright pin points of light, but I'm not sure of that.

    guess that was more then one question =).

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    Generally stars resolve to a point of light as you said yourself. Mainly because of the great distances away from us that they are. Planets can resolve to a disk shape in most cases.
    Check here HubbleSite - Picture Album: Stars Twinkling is caused mainly by atmospheric interference like pollution etc..
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    nice questions rachel.without them how would we learn?
    clear skies,
    andy

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