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I Spectrum of a White Dwarf

  1. Apr 2, 2016 #1


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    I read at a couple of places about white dwarfs having a spectrum similar to that of the sun.
    What does that mean or associate to?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2016 #2
    Sun is called yellow dwarf star and its on the way to become a white dwarf- perhaps have journey time left of the order of few billion years.
    the spectrum of white dwarf has similarities because of temperature of the star.

    it is burning about 600 million tonnes of hydrogen per second in its core -if they burn up then it turns into a red giant star a small sparkling jewel of a white dwarf star will remain. This tiny remnant will have a mass of around half that of our present Sun,
  4. Apr 2, 2016 #3


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    Thanks for the reply.

    So when it is said that a white dwarf has a similar spectrum as the sun, what is meant by that is that they have the same temperature?
  5. Apr 2, 2016 #4
    It should be of the same order of magnitude...nearly 10,000 degree
  6. Apr 2, 2016 #5

    Ken G

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    And bear in mind that the spectrum is light that comes from the shell of gas that clings to the surface of the star. That's what is similar in the two cases. You cannot see the interior of the star, and it is completely different in those two cases.
  7. Apr 2, 2016 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    I find this surprising. Most, but not all, white dwarfs are significantly hotter than the sun. A white dwarf shows broad hydrogen lines and little else. The sun shows only weak and narrow hydrogen lines, but prominent sodium, calcium and iron lines.
  8. Apr 2, 2016 #7


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