Friday, March 6, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Explorit: Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are

By
From page A5 | September 13, 2013 |

By Vinita Domier

Ever wonder how astronomers determine physical properties of distant stars such as their chemical composition, surface temperature, luminosity, etc.? How they infer the speeds of stars and galaxies relative to the Earth? Or how they calculate the vast distances of stars and galaxies from the Earth?

If so, then please come to the Davis Astronomy Club’s next free meeting on Saturday at Explorit Science Center, 3141 Fifth St. in Davis, starting at 7 p.m., for a presentation on some of the observational techniques that astronomers use to answer these and other fundamental questions about the universe. All ages are welcome to attend the featured presentation indoors, followed by the star party outdoors.

Starlight emanating from a star’s extremely hot and dense photosphere produces a continuous spectrum of visible light when dispersed through a spectroscope. When this light passes through the relatively cooler and less dense gasses enveloping the star’s surface, dark lines appear in the continuous spectrum. There are more than 600 distinct dark lines in the sun’s visible spectrum.

The chemical composition of the star’s cooler gasses can be determined by comparing the dark line patterns in its spectrum to the signature patterns produced in the laboratory by the 92 naturally occurring elements in their neutral and ionized states. The chemical make-up of the star’s interior can then be surmised to be similar to its surface, with the thickness of the lines indicating relative proportions of the elements.

Dark spectral lines also indicate stellar surface temperatures as elements ionize at different temperatures. The absence of dark lines of elements in stars can mask the fact that the elements do exist, but are in a completely ionized. If the temperature of a star exceeds an element’s ionization temperature, that element can still exist in the star even though it does not produce dark lines. Visual colors of the stars also indicate their temperatures, with blue stars being hottest and red stars being coolest.

Join us Saturday to find out more about spectral analysis and the wonders of the galaxy.

————

Explorit events:

Saturday, Oct. 19: You’re invited to our October fundraiser “Touched by Science, Touched by Explorit Celebrating 30 Years of Putting Hands On Science,” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Enjoy food, wine, special guests and get your own commemorative long-STEM wine glass! Explorit members and UC Davis Alumni Association members can purchase discounted tickets to this fundraiser. For more information and to buy tickets, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/437033.

— Explorit Science Center is at 3141 Fifth St. For more information, call 530-756-0191, visit http://www.explorit.org or “like” Explorit on Facebook at www.facebook.com/explorit.fb.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

Bay Area developers join Mace proposal

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Trial ordered in Davis child death case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
‘Topping out': Sign a building beam at the Shrem Museum

By Jeffrey Day | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Life after lawn: Fifty greens for shade

By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Bob Dunning: There’s an exception to every rule

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Ukraine declares heavy weapons pullback from front line

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
NASA craft circling Ceres in first visit to dwarf planet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

CHP car hit with bullet on highway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
UCD police warn of sexual battery incident

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Got sun? Indoor herbs can thrive on windowsills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Quick home improvements that raise your resale value

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

How can we know that the products we buy for our homes are safe?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Spring-clean your kitchen in five easy steps

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Museum brick sales to end this month

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

Cabrillo Club plans membership dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

 
Dryers: Homes’ energy guzzlers just got greener

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
UCD improving farming, food production with fewer pesticides

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: B6 | Gallery

PSAs highlight area nonprofits

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

 
Peripheral neuropathy support offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

Workshop eyes creating peace through creative play

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

 
Register online for Woodland rec classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Older adults will discuss conscious aging movement

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7Comments are off for this post

 
Waldorf’s spring tea party doubles as open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Seniors serious about fitness

By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Pig out at Pig Day Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Porkers on display at Hattie Weber Museum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
St. John’s shows off cuisine at brunch

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

 
Some convicts don’t deserve parole hearings

By Tom Elias | From Page: B4

Here’s how to make college cheaper

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Obama’s world is a dangerous place

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Dirty laundry on the company line

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

UCD women fall at UCR

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggie men clinch Big West crown

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Marsh provides radio images of a ‘magical’ Aggie hoops season

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Devil volleyballers cruise in home opener

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS girls track and field team reloads for 2015

By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Bella Vista slips past DHS softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

.

Features

 
Rec Report: Looking ahead to spring break

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

What’s happening

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

 
Wineaux: A local diamond in the rough, revisited

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

.

Arts

Steve Kiser’s work on display at Gallery 1855

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Tables available at Vinyl and Music Fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Second-rate

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Learn from experts at ‘Art of Painting’ conference

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

Tom Brousseau to visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

 
‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ auditions set

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela celebrate Mandela’s legacy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Honey, we shrank the SUV — and Europe loves it

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, March 6, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B10