What Stuff Stars Are Made Of

  • William Sheehan
  • Christopher J. Conselice


Far from city lights, the view of the night sky is dominated by stars. Th ey seem to be present in countless numbers. It comes as a surprise to learn that with the naked eye only about three thousand are visible at any given time. Most of these lie within a hundred, and all but a few within a thousand, light years of the Earth.


Neutron Star White Dwarf Main Sequence Molecular Cloud Hubble Space Telescope 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    John B. Hearnshaw, The Analysis of Starlight: one hundred and fifty years of astronomical spectroscopy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), is the standard work on the subject.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    James B. Kaler, Stars and their Spectra: an introduction to the spectral sequence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989, 62.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Abraham Wolf; quoted in Otto Struve, “The Classification of Stellar Spectra,” Sky & Telescope, May 1953, 184-187:184.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Quoted in S. Maffeo, S.J., “G.V. Schiaparelli and Fr. A. Secchi, S.J.,” in Memorie della Società Astronomica Italiana, 82 (2011):261.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Henry James, “Boston,” in The American Scene (1907), in Collected Travel Writings: Great Britain and America (New York: Library of America, 1993), 550.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Quoted in Jones and Gifford, Harvard College Observatory, 176.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Simon Newcomb, Reminiscences of an Astronomer (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1903), 67.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jones and Boyd, Harvard College Observatory, 177.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    E.C. Pickering, address to the Harvard Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, June 28, 1906. Harvard University Archives.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    W. W. Morgan, Oral interview with David DeVorkin, Niels Bohr Library of Physics.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    J.F.W. Herschel, Treatise on Astronomy (London: Longman, 1833), 212.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Karl Hufbauer, Exploring the Sun: Solar Science since Galileo (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991, 55.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Joe D. Burchfield, Lord Kelvin and the Age of the Earth (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 43.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    An accessible account is: Sun Kwok, Cosmic Butterflies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Sheehan
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Conselice
    • 2
  1. 1.WillmarUSA
  2. 2.School of Physics and Astronomy University of NottinghamNottinghamUK

Personalised recommendations