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Thread: How can we calculate mass of a star

  1. #1 How can we calculate mass of a star 
    Forum Freshman
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    Jul 2008
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    I'm doing this for a school project which involves finding the age of stars and to find the age of stars one of the things i need are the mass of the star but i'm having a little trouble getting it.

    i know i need the mass and luminosity of the star in order to find its age by comparing to out own star with another equation:

    which i can't manage to figure out how to put here so there's a link to it here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_sequence#Lifetime

    but anyway once i get this i should be another step closer to finishing it.

    This project has really started to annoy me , i'm trying to do something i have almost no understanding about while explaining it to a P.E. teacher who has absoloutly no idea so any help would be useful.


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    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    This forum is not meant to solve students' and pupils' homeworks. So, I'd like give a few hints without actually presenting the final solution.

    First of all, the mass determination is one the most difficult tasks in astronomy. There are a few principles how this can be achieved, but they mostly include tricks and special circumstances. I have no idea, what can actually be assumed to be known to solve your problem, but there is a well known empirical relation between the luminosity and the mass of main-sequence stars. I suggest, you look this up. One first approximation can be found here:

    http://zebu.uoregon.edu/~imamura/208/jan23/ml.html

    But it should also be mentioned by any decent basic astronomy book.


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