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Stellar Spectral Classes

Energy levels in atoms
Electrons in an atom exist in energy levels.
N=1 is ground state ­ lowest energy level
Atom is excited when or more electron is in an energy level higher than the ground state
Electrons excited to higher energy levels by absorbing photons of…

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Intensity of Balmer lines depends on temperature of star

Spectral Classes
Stars classified into groups ­ spectral classes
Spectral class of star depends on relative
strength of certain absorption lines

In order of decreasing temperature, peak
wavelength increasing:


O ­ hottest stars ­ blue + M ­ coolest stars…


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