The New Cosmos pp 124-131 | Cite as

Classification of Stellar Spectra: Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram and Colour-Magnitude Diagram

  • Albrecht Unsöld
Part of the Heidelberg Science Library book series (HSL)


When, following the discoveries of J. Fraunhofer, G. Kirchhoff and R. Bunsen, the observation of stellar spectra was begun, it soon appeared that in the main these could be arranged in a one-parameter sequence. The associated change of colour of the stars, or of their colour indices, showed the arrangement to be in order of decreasing temperature.


Colour Index Absolute Magnitude Spectral Type Main Sequence Bright Star 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Theory of Fraunhofer Lines; Chemical Composition of Stellar Atmospheres

  1. Morgan, W. W., P. C. Keenan, and E. Kellman: An atlas of stellar spectra. With an outline of spectral classification. Chicago Univ. Press 1942.Google Scholar
  2. Russell, H. N., R. S. Dugan, and J. Q. Stewart: Astronomy. 2 volumes. New York: Ginn 1926 (revised 1945, 1938 ).Google Scholar
  3. Catalogue of bright stars Ed. D. Hoffleit. Yale Univ. Press 1965.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albrecht Unsöld
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Theoretical Physics and University ObservatoryKielGermany

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