Henyey track

The Henyey track is a path taken by pre-main-sequence stars with masses >0.5 Solar mass in the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram after the end of Hayashi track. The astronomer Louis G. Henyey and his colleagues in the 1950s, showed that the pre-main-sequence star can remain in radiative equilibrium throughout some period of its contraction to the main sequence. The Henyey track is characterized by a slow collapse in near hydrostatic equilibrium. They are approaching the main sequence almost horizontally in the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram (i.e. the luminosity remains almost constant).

PMS evolution tracks
Stellar evolution tracks (blue lines) for the pre-main-sequence. The nearly-horizontal curves are called Henyey tracks.
High-mass stars have nearly horizontal evolution tracks from their birth until they arrive on the main sequence. Lighter stars, first follow the nearly-vertical Hayashi track before bending left into the Henyey track.
The end (leftmost point) of every track is labeled with the star's mass in solar masses, and represents its position on the main sequence. The red curves labeled in years are isochrones at the given ages. In other words, stars years old lie along the curve labeled , and similarly for the other 3 isochrones.


  • Henyey, L. G.; Lelevier, R.; Levée, R. D. (1955). "The Early Phases of Stellar Evolution". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 67 (396): 154–160. Bibcode:1955PASP...67..154H. doi:10.1086/126791.

Blitzars are a hypothetical type of astronomical object in which a spinning pulsar rapidly collapses into a black hole. They are proposed as an explanation for fast radio bursts (FRBs). The idea was proposed in 2013 by Heino Falcke and Luciano Rezzolla.

Bright giant

The luminosity class II in the Yerkes spectral classification is given to bright giants. These are stars which straddle the boundary between ordinary giants and supergiants, based on the appearance of their spectra.

CN star

A CN star is a star with strong cyanogen bands in its spectrum. Cyanogen is a simple molecule of one carbon atom and one nitrogen atom, with absorption bands around 388.9 and 421.6 nm. This group of stars was first noticed by Nancy G. Roman who called them 4150 stars.

Frozen star (hypothetical star)

In astronomy, a frozen star, besides a disused term for a black hole, is a type of hypothetical star that, according to the astronomers Fred Adams and Gregory P. Laughlin, may appear in the future of the Universe when the metallicity of the interstellar medium is several times the solar value. Frozen stars would belong to a spectral class "H".

Hayashi track

The Hayashi track is a luminosity–temperature relationship obeyed by infant stars of less than 3 M☉ in the pre-main-sequence phase (PMS phase) of stellar evolution. It is named after Japanese astrophysicist Chushiro Hayashi. On the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram, which plots luminosity against temperature, the track is a nearly vertical curve. After a protostar ends its phase of rapid contraction and becomes a T Tauri star, it is extremely luminous. The star continues to contract, but much more slowly. While slowly contracting, the star follows the Hayashi track downwards, becoming several times less luminous but staying at roughly the same surface temperature, until either a radiative zone develops, at which point the star starts following the Henyey track, or nuclear fusion begins, marking its entry onto the main sequence.

The shape and position of the Hayashi track on the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram depends on the star's mass and chemical composition. For solar-mass stars, the track lies at a temperature of roughly 4000 K. Stars on the track are nearly fully convective and have their opacity dominated by hydrogen ions. Stars less than 0.5 M☉ are fully convective even on the main sequence, but their opacity begins to be dominated by Kramers' opacity law after nuclear fusion begins, thus moving them off the Hayashi track. Stars between 0.5 and 3 M☉ develop a radiative

zone prior to reaching the main sequence. Stars between 3 and 10 M☉ are fully radiative at the beginning of the pre-main-sequence. Even heavier stars are born onto the main sequence, with no PMS evolution.At an end of a low- or intermediate-mass star's life, the star follows an analogue of the Hayashi track, but in reverse—it increases in luminosity, expands, and stays at roughly the same temperature, eventually becoming a red giant.

Helium-weak star

Helium-weak stars are chemically peculiar stars which have a weak helium lines for their spectral type. Their helium lines place them in a later (ie. cooler) spectral type then their hydrogen lines.

Lambda Boötis star

A Lambda Boötis star is a type of peculiar star which has an unusually low abundance of iron peak elements in its surface layers. One possible explanation for this is that it is the result of accretion of metal-poor gas from a circumstellar disc, and a second possibility is the accretion of material from a hot Jupiter suffering from mass loss. The prototype is Lambda Boötis.

Lead star

A lead star is a low-metallicity star with an overabundance of lead and bismuth as compared to other products of the S-process.

List of hottest stars

This is a list of hottest stars so far discovered (excluding degenerate stars), arranged by decreasing temperature. The stars with temperatures higher than 60,000 K are included.

OB star

OB stars are hot, massive stars of spectral types O or early-type B that form in loosely organized groups called OB associations. They are short lived, and thus do not move very far from where they formed within their life. During their lifetime, they will emit much ultraviolet radiation. This radiation rapidly ionizes the surrounding interstellar gas of the giant molecular cloud, forming an H II region or Strömgren sphere.

In lists of spectra the "spectrum of OB" refers to "unknown, but belonging to an OB association so thus of early type".

Photometric-standard star

Photometric-standard stars are a series of stars that have had their light output in various passbands of photometric system measured very carefully. Other objects can be observed using CCD cameras or photoelectric photometers connected to a telescope, and the flux, or amount of light received, can be compared to a photometric-standard star to determine the exact brightness, or stellar magnitude, of the object.A current set of photometric-standard stars for UBVRI photometry was published by Arlo U. Landolt in 1992 in the Astronomical Journal.


The photosphere is a star's outer shell from which light is radiated. The term itself is derived from Ancient Greek roots, φῶς, φωτός/phos, photos meaning "light" and σφαῖρα/sphaira meaning "sphere", in reference to it being a spherical surface that is perceived to emit light. It extends into a star's surface until the plasma becomes opaque, equivalent to an optical depth of approximately 2/3, or equivalently, a depth from which 50% of light will escape without being scattered.

In other words, a photosphere is the deepest region of a luminous object, usually a star, that is transparent to photons of certain wavelengths.

Q star

A Q-Star, also known as a grey hole, is a hypothetical type of a compact, heavy neutron star with an exotic state of matter. The Q stands for a conserved particle number. A Q-Star may be mistaken for a stellar black hole.

Starfield (astronomy)

A starfield refers to a set of stars visible in an arbitrarily-sized field of view, usually in the context of some region of interest within the celestial sphere. For example: the starfield surrounding the stars Betelgeuse and Rigel could be defined as encompassing some or all of the Orion constellation.

Stellar atmosphere

The stellar atmosphere is the outer region of the volume of a star, lying above the stellar core, radiation zone and convection zone.

Stellar isochrone

In stellar evolution, an isochrone is a curve on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, representing a population of stars of the same age.The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram plots a star's luminosity against its temperature, or equivalently, its color. Stars change their positions on the HR diagram throughout their life. Newborn stars of low or intermediate mass are born cold but extremely luminous. They contract and dim along the Hayashi track, decreasing in luminosity but staying at roughly the same temperature, until reaching the main sequence directly or by passing through the Henyey track. Stars evolve relatively slowly along the main sequence as they fuse hydrogen, and after the vast majority of their lifespan, all but the least massive stars become giants. They then evolve quickly towards their stellar endpoints: white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes.

Isochrones can be used to date open clusters because their members all have roughly the same age. If the initial mass function of the open cluster is known, isochrones can be calculated at any age by taking every star in the initial population, using numerical simulations to evolve it forwards to the desired age, and plotting the star's luminosity and magnitude on the HR diagram. The resulting curve is an isochrone, which can be compared against the observational color-magnitude diagram to determine how well they match. If they match well, the assumed age of the isochrone is close to the actual age of the cluster.

Stellar mass

Stellar mass is a phrase that is used by astronomers to describe the mass of a star. It is usually enumerated in terms of the Sun's mass as a proportion of a solar mass (M☉). Hence, the bright star Sirius has around 2.02 M☉. A star's mass will vary over its lifetime as additional mass becomes accreted, such as from a companion star, or mass is ejected with the stellar wind or pulsational behavior.

Supernova impostor

Supernova impostors are stellar explosions that appear at first to be a supernova but do not destroy their progenitor stars. As such, they are a class of extra-powerful novae. They are also known as Type V supernovae, Eta Carinae analogs, and giant eruptions of luminous blue variables (LBV).

Yellow giant

A yellow giant is a luminous giant star of low or intermediate mass (roughly 0.5–11 solar masses (M)) in a late phase of its stellar evolution. The outer atmosphere is inflated and tenuous, making the radius large and the surface temperature as low as 5,200-7500 K. The appearance of the yellow giant is from white to yellow, including the spectral types F and G. About 10.6 percent of all giant stars are yellow giants.

Star systems
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