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Stars

At a Glance: Star Color and Temperature

The hottest stars we can see appear blue. The coolest stars in the sky are red. Yellow or white stars (like our Sun) are in between.  

Credits

Stars
 
 
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach.
 
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA, ESA, and STScI except:
 
·       Taurus constellation drawing from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
·       Winter Circle star field image created with Stellarium
·       Omega Centauri ground-based image courtesy of F. Lehman (South Florida Dark Sky Observers)
·       Photo of night sky at twilight courtesy of ESO/H. H. Heyer
·       Milky Way star field photo courtesy of ESO/C. Malin
·       Orion Nebula 3D animation courtesy of ESO/M. Kornmesser
·       Star formation animation courtesy of NCSA/NASA/A. Kritsuk and M. Norman (UC San Diego) and A. Boley (Univ. of Florida)
·       Photo of the Milky Way over the Austrian Alps copyright Babak A. Tafreshi (TWAN)
 
 
Written by Vanessa Thomas
Designed by John Godfrey

Transcript

(SPEECH) 
 [SOFT ROCK MUSIC] 


(DESCRIPTION) 
 Stars and galaxies above a planet's horizon. 


Text, at-a-GLANCE. THE COLORFUL WAYS OF STARS 


Colorful stars dot into existence in space. 


Text, As you scan the night sky, you can find colors in the stars. 


Many stars appear white, but others are blue, yellow, red, or orange. 


Circles indicate colored stars. 


Text, A star's color depends on its temperature. 


A color bar spectrum. The visible light in the center expands. Wavy lines of purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red hang down. The waves are tight in purple and progressively loosen to red. Matching colored stars appear between the lines. 


Text, at-a-GLANCE. THE COLORFUL WAY OF STARS. ULTRAVIOLET. INFRARED. VISIBLE LIGHT. The hottest stars we can see appear blue. The coolest stars in the sky are red. Yellow or white stars (like our Sun) are in between.