A graph of the absolute magnitudes or luminosities of stars plotted against their surface temperatures or colors, used to classify stars by their evolutionary stages.
A graph in which the absolute magnitude (intrinsic luminosity) of stars is plotted vertically against their surface temperatures (or corresponding spectral types). The diagram shows a strong correlation between luminosity and surface temperature among the average-size stars known as dwarfs, with hot, blue stars having the highest luminosities and relatively cool, red stars having the lowest. The roughly diagonal line (running from the upper left of the diagram to the lower right) that shows this correlation is called the main sequence . Giant and supergiant stars have relatively high luminosities for their surface temperatures and are positioned on the diagram above the main sequence. The faint white dwarfs have relatively low luminosities for their surface temperatures and cluster below the main sequence.
Origin of hertzsprung-russell-diagram
- After Ejnar Hertzsprung (1873–1967), Danish astronomer, and Henry Norris Russell
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Ejnar Hertzsprung and Henry Norris Russell, astronomers