Diana L. Mieltowski
September 27, 2010
Science of Stars Paper
In this paper I will explain how astronomers determine the composition, temperature, speed, and rotation rate of distant objects using various methods. I will explain the properties of stars. I will also summarize the complete lifecycle of the Sun and determine where the Sun is currently in its lifecycle. Measurement of Distant Objects
Light is a type of energy. Light behaves like a wave because it acts as a disturbance in the magnetic and electric field of space. Light can behave as a particle, because it sends all its energy to one place. A particle of light is called a photon. Photons can be absorbed into objects, bounce off objects, or fly through space. Scientists use the electromagnetic spectrum to organize and explain all types of electromagnetic energy that exist throughout the universe. Electromagnetic waves are organized in the electromagnetic spectrum according to their wavelength from the shortest, which are known as gamma rays to the longest which are known as radio waves. Electromagnetic energy is created by vibration. The vibration produces waves that carry energy. Each magnetic wave emits a different level of energy. These energies travel silently at the speed of light and produce a signature wave with a unique range of length, energy and frequency that scientists can identify and measure. One way that the energy of an electromagnetic wave is measured is by measuring its frequency. Frequency refers to the number of waves a vibration creates during a period of time. In general, the higher the frequency or number of waves, the greater the energy of the radiation and the lower the frequency or number of waves, the lower the energy of the radiation. Wavelength and frequency are inversely related meaning that the greater the length of the wave, the lower its frequency will be. Likewise, if the frequency is high, the wave must be shorter....