Talk:Main sequence

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Dwarf?[edit]

Could someone explain the reason why stars on this sequence are called "dwarf stars"? The article doesn't explain the origin of the term at all. --LostLeviathan 05:01, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

These stars are hot, dim, and tiny compared to the Sun. They are actually remnants of stars. They are called dwarfs simply because they are very small. There is no real "origin" of the term.

I disagree with the above (unsigned) argument. I think LostLeviathan was asking about Main Sequence stars being described as dwarfs, and not about White Dwarfs which are hot, dim, tiny, stellar remnants but are not on the main sequence.
Stars appear to be described as "dwarf" or "giant" with no "normal" size between the two. I think the most likely explanation (and feel free to correct me on this point if you think I'm wrong here), is that at the time the phrase was first coined around 1910, these were the smallest, dimmest stars of their colour that had been observed. Since then we have discovered white dwarfs, metal-poor sub-dwarfs and other types of small, dim stars.
Astronaut 16:54, 28 July 2006 (UTC)


I was going to ask the same thing. Why are main sequence stars also called dwarf stars? This definately needs to be explained in the article. Especially since the table at the end of the article seems to describe stars in their main sequence, yet includes a star or 16 solar radii and over 100 solar masses! I am generally quite knowledgable about astronomical topics, but if this has me confused it's safe to say the vast majority of readers will be as well.
So someone in the know: why are main sequence stars also called dwarf stars, and just how big a range does this classification have? ie, how big can a star be while still being called a dwarf? Harley peters 19:45, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
I added an explanation. Also how big a star can be and still be called a dwarf depends on the temperature. Roadrunner (talk) 05:24, 31 March 2009 (UTC)


Actually now that I reread the paragraph, it is totally wrong. Type-M Red dwarfs are main sequence stars but so are Type-O blue supergiants. Roadrunner (talk) 05:33, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Even if there was some historical/jargon reason to call all main sequence stars "dwarfs", for a general audience it seems ridiculously misleading to call them that. To people who have a little bit of astronomy knowledge, "dwarf" calls to mind the white, black, brown, and red dwarf stars, and to people who have no astronomy knowledge it brings to mind the word "small". Show any layperson the size comparison picture of Rigel B versus the Sun and tell them it's a dwarf, and see what they say. "Main sequence star" is less ambiguous without being any less precise. --142.25.102.130 (talk) 00:47, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Sure, let's ignore facts and just make stuff up to suit people's lack of knowledge (sarcasm alert!). If it isn't obvious that dwarf in this context refers to both small and large stars then explain it. Lithopsian (talk) 22:04, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Discrepancy between Mass and Star Class[edit]

The chart here does not have the same values as the chart here. Both are part of Wikipedia. Can somebody fix this? JW Bjerk (talk) 02:50, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

One of the charts gives ranges across each of the major classes; the other gives discrete values for specific spectral classes. Thus they are not incompatible and do not need to be fixed, at least as far as I can tell. Thanks.—RJH (talk) 15:35, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Simple english[edit]

I'm not sure if anybody watching this has an account on the Simple English Wikipedia, but the description there seems a little messed up. In particular, the CNO cycle occurs with higher mass stars, rather than lower mass stars. There are a few other minor inconsistencies as well. Thank you. Regards, RJH (talk) 20:01, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Some context for the layman[edit]

What other types of stars are there other than main-sequence? What type is our sun? I think these points should be address in the introductory part of the article. 188.169.229.30 (talk) 17:09, 7 June 2012 (UTC)