MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: How many colors can stars be and what are they?

Date: Tue Jan 15 09:55:11 2002
Posted By: Donald Terndrup, Faculty, Astronomy, Ohio State University
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 1010704426.As

Hi --

The color of a star is mainly determined by its temperature.  There's
a technical meaning for "color" in astronomy, but I will assume you
mean the color that we would see with our own eyes.  

Our Sun has a temperature of about 6000 degrees, and appears
white or perhaps a bit yellow to the eye.  Cooler stars look
red - these have temperatures like 3000 or 4000 degrees.  Very
hot stars look blue-white, and these have temperatures above
10,000 degrees.

Don Terndrup

[Moderator's note: See also this
answer on why there are no green stars!]

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