Http : / / w w w . s o f t p o r t a l . c o m / s o f t w a r e - 1 0 - d a e m o n - t o o l s - l

In astronomy, stellar classification is the classification of stars based on their spectral characteristics. Electromagnetic radiation from the star is analyzed by splitting it with a prism or diffraction grating into a spectrum exhibiting the rainbow of colors interspersed with spectral lines. Each line indicates a particular chemical element or molecule, with the line strength indicating the abundance of that element.

The strengths of the different spectral lines vary mainly due to the temperature of the photosphere, although in some cases there are true abundance differences. The spectral class of a star is a short code primarily summarizing the ionization state, giving an objective measure of the photosphere's temperature.

Most stars are currently classified under the Morgan-Keenan (MK) system using the letters O, B, A, F, G, K, and M, a sequence from the hottest (O type) to the coolest (M type).

Each letter class is then subdivided using a numeric digit with 0 being hottest and 9 being coolest (e.g. A8, A9, F0, and F1 form a sequence from hotter to cooler). The sequence has been expanded with classes for other stars and star-like objects that do not fit in the classical system, such as class D for white dwarfs and classes S and C for carbon stars.

In the MK system, a luminosity class is added to the spectral class using Roman numerals.

This is based on the width of certain absorption lines in the star's spectrum, which vary with the density of the atmosphere and so distinguish giant stars from dwarfs. Luminosity class 0 or Ia+ is used for hypergiants, class I for supergiants, class II for bright giants, class III for regular giants, class IV for sub-giants, class V for main-sequence stars, class sd (or VI) for sub-dwarfs, and class D (or VII) for white dwarfs.

The full spectral class for the Sun is then G2V, indicating a main-sequence star with a temperature around 5,800 K.

Conventional color description[edit]

Main article: Green star (astronomy)

The conventional color description takes into account only the peak of the stellar spectrum.

However, in actuality stars radiate in all parts of the spectrum, and because all spectral colors combined appear white, the actual apparent colors the human eye would observe are far lighter than the conventional color descriptions would suggest.

This means that the simplified assignment of colors of the spectrum can be misleading. Excluding color-contrast illusions in dim light, there are no green, indigo, or violet stars. Red dwarfs are a deep shade of orange, and brown dwarfs do not literally appear brown, but hypothetically would appear to be a dim grey to a nearby observer.

Modern classification[edit]

The modern classification system is known as the Morgan–Keenan (MK) classification.

Each star is assigned a spectral class from the older Harvard spectral classification http : / / w w w. s o f t p o r t a l. c o m / s o f t w a r e - 1 0 - d a e m o n - t o o l s - l a luminosity class using Roman numerals as explained below, forming the star's spectral type.

Other modern stellar classification systems, such as the UBV system, are based on color indexes—the measured differences in three or more color magnitudes.

Those numbers are given labels such as "U-V" or "B-V", which represent the colors passed by two standard filters (e.g. Ultraviolet, Blue and Visual).

Harvard spectral classification[edit]

The Harvard system is a one-dimensional classification scheme by astronomer Annie Jump Cannon, who re-ordered and simplified a prior alphabetical system.

Stars are grouped according to their spectral characteristics by single letters of the alphabet, optionally with numeric subdivisions. Main-sequence stars vary in surface temperature from approximately 2,000 to 50,000 K, whereas more-evolved stars can have temperatures above 100,000 K.

Physically, the classes indicate the temperature of the star's atmosphere and are normally listed from hottest to coldest.

ClassEffective temperature[1][2][3]Vega-relative chromaticity[4][nb 1]Chromaticity (D65)[5][6][7][nb 2]Main-sequence mass[1][8]
(solar masses)
Main-sequence radius[1][8]
(solar radii)
Main-sequence luminosity[1][8]
Fraction of all
main-sequence stars[9]
O≥ 30,000 Kblueblue≥ 16 ≥ 6.6 ≥ 30,000 Weak~0.00003%
B10,000–30,000 Kblue whitedeep blue white2.1–16 1.8–6.6 25–30,000 Medium0.13%
A7,500–10,000 Kwhiteblue white1.4–2.1 1.4–1.8 5–25 Strong0.6%
F6,000–7,500 Kyellow whitewhite1.04–1.4 1.15–1.4 1.5–5 Medium3%
G5,200–6,000 Kyellowyellowish white0.8–1.04 0.96–1.15 0.6–1.5 Weak7.6%
K3,700–5,200 Klight orangepale yellow orange0.45–0.8 0.7–0.96 0.08–0.6 Very weak12.1%
M2,400–3,700 Korange redlight orange red0.08–0.45 ≤ 0.7 ≤ 0.08 Very weak76.45%

The spectral classes O through M, as well as other more specialized classes discussed later, are subdivided by Arabic numerals (0–9), where 0 denotes the hottest stars of a given class.

http : / / w w w . s o f t p o r t a l . c o m / s o f t w a r e - 1 0 - d a e m o n - t o o l s - l

For example, A0 denotes the hottest stars in class A and A9 denotes the coolest ones. Fractional numbers are allowed; for example, the star Mu Normae is classified as O9.7.[10] The Sun is classified as G2.[11]

Conventional color descriptions are traditional in astronomy, and represent colors relative to the mean color of an A class star, which is considered to be white.

The apparent color[5] descriptions are what the observer would see if trying to describe the stars under a dark sky without aid to the eye, or with binoculars.

However, most stars in the sky, except the brightest ones, appear white or bluish white to the unaided eye because they are too dim for color vision to work. Red supergiants are cooler and redder than dwarfs of the same spectral type, and stars with particular spectral features such as carbon stars may be far redder than any black body.

The fact that the Harvard classification of a star indicated its surface or photospherictemperature (or more precisely, its effective temperature) was not fully understood until after its development, though by the time the first Hertzsprung–Russell diagram was formulated (by 1914), this was generally suspected to be true.[12] In the 1920s, the Bengali physicist Meghnad Saha derived a theory of ionization by extending well-known ideas in physical chemistry pertaining to the dissociation of molecules to the ionization of atoms.

First he applied it to the solar chromosphere, then to stellar spectra.[13]

The Harvard astronomer Cecilia Helena Payne (later to become Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin) then demonstrated that the O-B-A-F-G-K-M spectral sequence is actually a sequence in temperature.[14] Because the classification sequence predates our understanding that it is a temperature sequence, the placement of a spectrum into a given subtype, such as B3 or A7, depends upon (largely subjective) estimates of the strengths of absorption features in stellar spectra.

As a result, these subtypes are not evenly divided into any sort of mathematically representable intervals.

Yerkes spectral classification[edit]

The Yerkes spectral classification, also called the MKK system from the authors' initials, is a system of stellar spectral classification introduced in 1943 by William Wilson Morgan, Philip C. Keenan, and Edith Kellman from Yerkes Observatory.[16] This two-dimensional (temperature and luminosity) classification scheme is based on spectral lines sensitive to stellar temperature and surface gravity, which is related to luminosity (whilst the Harvard classification is based on just surface temperature).

Later, in 1953, after some revisions of list of standard stars and classification criteria, the scheme was named the Morgan–Keenan classification, or MK (by William Wilson Morgan and Philip C. Keenan's initials),[17] and this system remains the system in modern use today.

Denser stars with higher surface gravity exhibit greater pressure broadening of spectral lines.

The gravity, and hence the pressure, on the surface of a giant star is much lower than for a dwarf star because the radius of the giant is much greater than a dwarf of similar mass. Therefore, differences in the spectrum can be interpreted as luminosity effects and a luminosity class can be assigned purely from examination of the spectrum.

A number of different luminosity classes are distinguished, as listed in the table below.[18]

Marginal cases are allowed; for example, a star may be either a supergiant or a bright giant, or may be in between the subgiant and main-sequence classifications.

In these cases, two special symbols are used:

  • A slash (/) means that a star is either one class or the other.
  • A dash (-) means that the star is in between the two classes.

For example, a star classified as A3-4III/IV would be in between spectral types A3 and A4, while being either a giant star or a subgiant.

Sub-dwarf classes have also been used: VI for sub-dwarfs (stars slightly less luminous than the main sequence).

Nominal luminosity class VII (and sometimes higher numerals) is now rarely used for white dwarf or "hot sub-dwarf" classes, since the temperature-letters of the main sequence and giant stars no longer apply to white dwarfs.

Spectral peculiarities[edit]

Additional nomenclature, in the form of lower-case letters, can follow the spectral type to indicate peculiar features of the spectrum.[28]

CodeSpectral peculiarities for stars
:uncertain spectral value[18]
.Undescribed spectral peculiarities exist
!Special peculiarity
compComposite spectrum[29]
eEmission lines present[29]
[e]"Forbidden" emission lines present
er"Reversed" center of emission lines weaker than edges
eqEmission lines with P Cygni profile
fN III and He II emission[18]
f*N IV λ4058Å is stronger than the N III λ4634Å, λ4640Å, & λ4642Å lines[30]
f+Si IV λ4089Å & λ4116Å are emission in addition to the N III line[30]
(f)N III emission, absence or weak absorption of He II
((f))Displays strong HeII absorption accompanied by weak NIII emissions[32]
hWR stars with http : / / w w w.

s o f t p o r t a l. c o m / s o f t w a r e - 1 0 - d a e m o n - t o o l s - l lines due to hydrogen.[33]

haWR stars with hydrogen emissions seen on both absorption and emission.[33]
He wkWeak Helium lines
kSpectra with interstellar absorption features
mEnhanced metal features[29]
nBroad ("nebulous") absorption due to spinning[29]
nnVery broad absorption features[18]
nebA nebula's spectrum mixed in[29]
pUnspecified peculiarity, peculiar star.[nb 4][29]
pqPeculiar spectrum, similar to the spectra of novae
qP Cygni profiles
sNarrow ("sharp") absorption lines[29]
ssVery narrow lines
shShell star features[29]
varVariable spectral feature[29] (sometimes abbreviated to "v")
wlWeak lines[29] (also "w" & "wk")
Abnormally strong spectral lines of the specified element(s)[29]

For example, 59 Cygni is listed as spectral type B1.5Vnne,[34] indicating a spectrum with the general classification B1.5V, as well as very broad absorption lines and certain emission lines.


The reason for the odd arrangement of letters in the Harvard classification is historical, having evolved from the earlier Secchi classes and been progressively modified as understanding improved.

Secchi classes[edit]

During the 1860s and 1870s, pioneering stellar spectroscopist Angelo Secchi created the Secchi classes in order to classify observed spectra.

By 1866, he had developed three classes of stellar spectra, shown in the table below.[35][36][37]

In the late 1890s, this classification began to be superseded by the Harvard classification, which is discussed in the remainder of this article.[38][39][40]

Class numberSecchi class description
Secchi class IWhite and blue stars with broad heavy hydrogen lines, such as Vega and Altair.

This includes the modern class A and early class F.

Secchi class I
(Orion subtype)
A subtype of Secchi class I with narrow lines in place of wide bands, such as Rigel and Bellatrix. In modern terms, this corresponds to early B-type stars
Secchi class IIYellow stars – hydrogen less strong, but evident metallic lines, such as the Sun, Arcturus, and Capella.

This includes the modern classes G and K as well as late class F.

Secchi class IIIOrange to red stars with complex band spectra, such as Betelgeuse and Antares.
This corresponds to the modern class M.
Secchi class IVIn 1868, he discovered carbon stars, which he put into a distinct group:[41]
Red stars with significant carbon bands and lines, corresponding to modern classes C and S.
Secchi class VIn 1877, he added a fifth class:[42]
Emission-line stars, such as Gamma Cassiopeiae and Sheliak, which are in modern class Be.

The Roman numerals used for Secchi classes should not be confused with the completely unrelated Roman numerals used for Yerkes luminosity classes.

Draper system[edit]

IA, B, C, DHydrogen lines dominant.
IIE, F, G, H, I, K, L
IVNDid not appear in the catalogue.
 OWolf–Rayet spectra with bright lines.
 PPlanetary nebulae.
 QOther spectra.
Classes carried through into the MK system are in bold.

In the 1880s, the astronomer Edward C.

Pickering began to make a survey of stellar spectra at the Harvard College Observatory, using the objective-prism method. A first result of this work was the Draper Catalogue of Stellar Spectra, published in 1890. Williamina Fleming classified most of the spectra in this catalogue.

The catalogue used a scheme in which the previously used Secchi classes (I to IV) were subdivided into more specific classes, given letters from A to N. Also, the letters O, P, and Q were used – O for stars whose spectra consisted mainly of bright lines, P for planetary nebulae, and Q for stars not fitting into any other class.[43][44]

Harvard system[edit]

In 1897, another worker at Harvard, Antonia Maury, placed the Orion subtype of Secchi class I ahead of the remainder of Secchi class I, thus placing the modern type B ahead of the modern type A.

She was the first to do so, although she did not use lettered spectral types, but rather a series of twenty-two types numbered from I to XXII.[45][46]

In 1901, Annie Jump Cannon returned to the lettered types, but dropped all letters except O, B, A, F, G, K, and M, used in that order, as well as P for planetary nebulae and Q for some peculiar spectra.

She also used types such as B5A for stars halfway between types B and A, F2G for stars one-fifth of the way from F to G, and so on.[47][48] Finally, by 1912, Cannon had changed the types B, A, B5A, F2G, etc. to B0, A0, B5, F2, etc.[49][50] This is essentially the modern form of the Harvard classification system.

A common mnemonic for remembering the order of the spectral type letters, from hottest to coolest, is "Oh, Be A Fine Guy/Girl, Kiss Me".

Mount Wilson classes[edit]

A luminosity classification known as the Mount Wilson system was used to distinguish between stars of different luminosities.[51][52][53] This notation system is still sometimes seen on modern spectra.[54]


Spectral types[edit]

The stellar classification system is taxonomic, based on type specimens, similar to classification of species in biology: The categories are defined by one or more standard stars for each category and sub-category, with an associated description of the distinguishing features.[55]

"Early" and "late" nomenclature[edit]

Stars are often referred to as early or late types.

"Early" is a synonym for hotter, while "late" is a synonym for cooler.

Depending on the context, "early" and "late" may be absolute or relative terms. "Early" as an absolute term would therefore refer to O or B, and possibly A stars. As a relative reference it relates to stars hotter than others, such as "early K" being perhaps K0, K1, and K3.

"Late" is used in the same way, with an unqualified use of the term indicating stars with spectral types such as K and M, but it can also be used for stars that are cool relative to other stars, as in using "late G" to refer to G7, G8, and G9.

In the relative sense, "early" means a lower Arabic numeral following the class letter, and "late" means a higher number.

This obscure terminology is a hold-over from an early 20th century model of stellar evolution, which supposed that stars were powered by gravitational contraction via the Kelvin–Helmholtz mechanism, which is now known to not apply to main sequence stars.

If that were true, then stars would start their lives as very hot "early-type" stars and then gradually cool down into "late-type" stars. This mechanism provided ages of the Sun that were much smaller than what is observed in the geologic record, and was rendered obsolete by the discovery that stars are powered by nuclear fusion.[56] The terms "early" and "late" were carried over, beyond the demise of the model they were based on.

Class O[edit]

Main article: O-type star

See also: O-type main-sequence star, Blue giant, and Blue supergiant

O-type stars are very hot and extremely luminous, with most of their radiated output in the ultraviolet range.

These are the rarest of all main-sequence stars. About 1 in 3,000,000 (0.00003%) of the main-sequence stars in the solar http : / / w w w. s o f t p o r t a l. c o m / s o f t w a r e - 1 0 - d a e m o n - t o o l s - l are O-type stars.[nb 5][9] Some of the most massive stars lie within this spectral class.

O-type stars frequently have complicated surroundings that make measurement of their spectra difficult.

O-type spectra formerly were defined by the ratio of the strength of the He II λ4541 relative to that of He I λ4471, where λ is the wavelength, measured in ångströms. Spectral type O7 was defined to be the point at which the two intensities are equal, with the He I line weakening towards earlier types. Type O3 was, by definition, the point at which said line disappears altogether, although it can be seen very faintly with modern technology.

Due to this, the modern definition uses the ratio of the nitrogen line N IV λ4058 to N III λλ4634-40-42.[57]

O-type stars have dominant lines of absorption and sometimes emission for He II lines, prominent ionized (Si IV, O III, N III, and C III) and neutral helium lines, strengthening from O5 to O9, and prominent hydrogen Balmer lines, although not as strong as in later types. Because they are so massive, O-type stars have very hot cores and burn through their hydrogen fuel very quickly, so they are the first stars to leave the main sequence.

When the MKK classification scheme was first described in 1943, the only subtypes of class O used were O5 to O9.5.[58] The MKK scheme was extended to O9.7 in 1971[59] and O4 in 1978,[60] and new classification schemes that add types O2, O3 and O3.5 have subsequently been introduced.[61]

Spectral standards:[55]

Class B[edit]

See also: B-type main-sequence star, Blue giant, and Blue supergiant

B-type stars are very luminous and blue.

Their spectra have neutral helium, which are most prominent at the B2 subclass, and moderate hydrogen lines. As O- and B-type stars are so energetic, they only live for a relatively short time. Thus, due to the low probability of kinematic interaction during their lifetime, they are unable to stray far from the area in which they formed, apart from runaway stars.

The transition from class O to class B was originally defined to be the point at which the He II λ4541 disappears.

However, with modern equipment, the line is still apparent in the early B-type stars. Today for main-sequence stars, the B-class is instead defined by the intensity of the He I violet spectrum, with the maximum intensity corresponding to class B2. For supergiants, lines of silicon are used instead; the Si IV λ4089 and Si III λ4552 lines are indicative of early B. At mid B, the intensity of the latter relative to that of Si II λλ4128-30 is the defining characteristic, while for late B, it is the intensity of Mg II λ4481 relative to that of He I λ4471.[57]

These stars tend to be found in their originating OB associations, which are associated with giant molecular clouds.

The Orion OB1 association occupies a large portion of a spiral arm of the Milky Way and contains many of the brighter stars of the constellation Orion. About 1 in 800 (0.125%) of the main-sequence stars in the solar neighborhood are B-type main-sequence stars.[nb 5][9]

Massive yet non-supergiant entities known as "Be stars" are main-sequence stars that notably have, or had at some time, one or more Balmer lines in emission, with the hydrogen-related electromagnetic radiationseries projected out by the stars being of particular interest.

Be stars are generally thought to feature unusually strong stellar winds, high surface temperatures, and significant attrition http : / / w w w. s o f t p o r t a l. c o m / s o f t w a r e - 1 0 - d a e m o n - t o o l s - l stellar mass as the objects rotate at a curiously rapid rate.[62] Objects known as "B(e)" or "B[e]" stars possess distinctive neutral or low ionisation emission lines that are considered to have 'forbidden mechanisms', undergoing processes not normally allowed under current understandings of quantum mechanics.

Spectral standards:[55]

Class A[edit]

See also: A-type main-sequence star

A-type stars are among the more common naked eye stars, and are white or bluish-white.

They have strong hydrogen lines, at a maximum by A0, and also lines of ionized metals (Fe II, Mg II, Si II) at a maximum at A5. The presence of Ca II lines is notably strengthening by this point.

About 1 in 160 (0.625%) of the main-sequence stars in the solar neighborhood are A-type stars.[nb 5][9][63]

Spectral standards:[55]

Class F[edit]

See also: F-type main-sequence star

F-type stars have strengthening spectral lines H and K of Ca II. Neutral metals (Fe I, Cr I) beginning to gain on ionized metal lines by late F.

Their spectra are characterized by the weaker hydrogen lines and ionized metals. Their color is white. About 1 in 33 (3.03%) of the main-sequence stars in the solar neighborhood are F-type stars.[nb 5][9]

Spectral standards:[55]

Class G[edit]

"G star" redirects here. For other uses, see G star (disambiguation).

See also: G-type main-sequence star and Yellow supergiant

G-type stars, including the Sun[11] have prominent spectral lines H and K of Ca II, which are most pronounced at G2.

They have even weaker hydrogen lines than F, but along with the ionized metals, they have neutral metals. There is a prominent spike in the G band of CH molecules. Class G main-sequence stars make up about 7.5%, nearly one in thirteen, of the main-sequence stars in the solar neighborhood.[nb 5][9]

G is host to the "Yellow Evolutionary Void".[64] Supergiant stars often swing between O or B (blue) and K or M (red).

While they do this, they do not stay for long in the yellow supergiant G class, as this is an extremely unstable place for a supergiant to be.

Spectral standards:[55]

Class K[edit]

See also: K-type main-sequence star

"K-type star" redirects here. For the Korean nuclear fusion project, see KSTAR.

K-type stars are orangish stars that are slightly cooler than the Sun. They make up about 12% of the main-sequence stars in the solar neighborhood.[nb 5][9] There are also giant K-type stars, which range from hypergiants like RW Cephei, to giants and supergiants, such as Arcturus, whereas orange dwarfs, like Alpha Centauri B, are main-sequence stars.

They have extremely weak hydrogen lines, if they are present at all, and mostly neutral metals (Mn I, Fe I, Si I).

By late K, molecular bands of titanium oxide become present. There is a suggestion that K-spectrum stars may potentially increase the chances of life developing on orbiting planets that are within the habitable zone.[65]

Spectral standards:[55]

Class M[edit]

See also: Red dwarf, Red giant, and Red supergiant

Class M stars are by far the most common.

About 76% of the main-sequence stars in the solar neighborhood are class M stars.[nb 5][nb 6][9] However, class M main-sequence stars (red dwarfs) have such low luminosities that none are bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye, unless under exceptional conditions. The brightest known M-class main-sequence star is M0V Lacaille 8760, with magnitude 6.6 (the limiting magnitude for typical naked-eye visibility under good conditions is typically quoted as 6.5), and it is extremely unlikely that any brighter examples will be found.

Although most class M stars are red dwarfs, most giants and some supergiants such as VY Canis Majoris, Antares and Betelgeuse are also class M.

Furthermore, the larger, hotter brown dwarfs are late class M, usually in the range of M6.5 to M9.5.

The spectrum of a class M star contains lines from oxidemolecules (in the visible spectrum, especially TiO) and all neutral metals, but absorption lines of hydrogen are usually absent.

TiO bands can be strong in class M stars, usually dominating their visible spectrum by about M5. Vanadium(II) oxide bands become present by late M.

Spectral standards:[55]

Extended spectral types[edit]

A number of new spectral types have been taken into use from newly discovered types of stars.[66]

Hot blue emission star classes[edit]

Spectra of some very hot and bluish stars exhibit marked emission lines from carbon or nitrogen, or sometimes oxygen.

Class W: Wolf–Rayet[edit]

Main article: Wolf–Rayet star

Class W or WR represents the Wolf–Rayet stars, notable for spectra lacking hydrogen lines.

Instead their spectra are dominated by broad emission lines of highly ionized helium, nitrogen, carbon and sometimes oxygen. They are thought to mostly be dying supergiants with their hydrogen layers blown away by stellar winds, thereby directly exposing their hot helium shells. Class W is further divided into subclasses according to the relative strength of nitrogen and carbon emission lines in their spectra (and outer layers).[33]

WR spectra range is listed below:[68][69]

  • WN[33] – spectrum dominated by N III-V and He I-II lines
    • WNE (WN2 to WN5 with some WN6) – hotter or "early"
    • WNL (WN7 to WN9 with some WN6) – cooler or "late"
    • Extended WN classes WN10 and WN11 sometimes used for the Ofpe/WN9 stars[33]
    • h tag used (e.g.

      WN9h) for WR with hydrogen emission and ha (e.g. WN6ha) for both hydrogen emission and absorption

  • WN/C – WN stars plus strong C IV lines, intermediate between WN and WC stars[33]
  • WC[33] – spectrum with strong C II-IV lines
    • WCE (WC4 to WC6) – hotter or "early"
    • WCL (WC7 to WC9) – cooler or "late"
  • WO (WO1 to WO4) – strong O VI lines, extremely rare

Although the central stars of most planetary nebulae (CSPNe) show O type spectra,[70] around 10% are hydrogen-deficient and show WR spectra.[71] These are low-mass stars and to distinguish them from the massive Wolf-Rayet stars, their spectra are enclosed in square brackets: e.g.

[WC]. Most of these show [WC] spectra, some [WO], and very rarely [WN].

The "Slash" stars[edit]

Main article: Slash star

The slash stars are O-type stars with WN-like lines in their spectra. The name "slash" comes from their printed spectral type having a slash in it (e.g. "Of/WNL"[57]).

There is a secondary group found with this spectra, a cooler, "intermediate" group designated "Ofpe/WN9".[57] Http : / / w w w.

s o f t p o r t a l. c o m / s o f t w a r e - 1 0 - d a e m o n - t o o l s - l stars have also been referred to as WN10 or WN11, but that has become less popular with the realisation of the evolutionary difference from other Wolf–Rayet stars. Recent discoveries of even rarer stars have extended the range of slash stars as far as O2-3.5If*/WN5-7, which are even hotter than the original "slash" stars.[72]

Cool red and brown dwarf classes[edit]

Main articles: Brown dwarf and Red dwarf

The new spectral types L, T, and Y were created to classify infrared spectra of cool stars.

This includes both red dwarfs and brown dwarfs that are very faint in the visible spectrum.[73]

Brown dwarfs, whose energy comes from gravitational attraction alone, cool as they age and so progress to later spectral types. Brown dwarfs start their lives with M-type spectra and will cool through the L, T, and Y spectral classes, faster the less massive they are; the highest-mass brown dwarfs cannot have cooled to Y or even T dwarfs within the age of the universe.

Because this leads to an unresolvable overlap between spectral types'effective temperature and luminosity for some masses and ages of different L-T-Y types, no distinct temperature or luminosity values can be given.[8]

Class L[edit]

Class L dwarfs get their designation because they are cooler than M stars and L is the remaining letter alphabetically closest to Http : / / w w w.

s o f t p o r t a l. c o m / s o f t w a r e - 1 0 - d a e m o n - t o o l s - l. Some of these objects have masses large enough to support hydrogen fusion and are therefore stars, but most are of substellar mass and are therefore brown dwarfs. They are a very dark red in color and brightest in infrared.

Their atmosphere is cool enough to allow metal hydrides and alkali metals to be prominent in their spectra.[74][75][76]

Due to low surface gravity in giant stars, TiO- and VO-bearing condensates never form. Thus, L-type stars larger than dwarfs can never form in an isolated environment.

However, it may be possible for these L-type supergiants to form through stellar collisions, an example of which is V838 Monocerotis while in the height of its luminous red nova eruption.

Class T: methane dwarfs[edit]

Class T dwarfs are cool brown dwarfs with surface temperatures between approximately 550 and 1,300 K (277 and 1,027 °C; 530 and 1,880 °F).

Their emission peaks in the infrared. Methane is prominent in their spectra.[74][75]

Just-saturated RGB-camera discs
The Morgan–Keenan spectral classification
Spectra for dwarfs (luminosity class V) for standard spectral types taken from Pickles (1998).[15] Several notable spectral lines are indicated.

Hydrogen lines are strongest for types A and B, and the overall spectrum peaks at shorter wavelengths for hotter stars.

The Sun, a G2 main-sequence star, with dark sunspots
UGC 5797, an emission-line galaxy where massive bright blue stars are formed[67]
Artist's impression of an L-dwarf
Artist's impression of a T-dwarf

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