Stellar Guide

By Peter Rosenthal

How Elements are Identified in Stars

Every element reflects and absorbs light. The light that is reflected shows which element it is, so if a scientist wanted to know what elements made up a star, they could. For example, hydrogen reflects very little light, and this type of spectrum is emission.

How Identifying the Elements of Stars Helps Astronomers

Using light to identify the elements that make up stars help astronomers better understand how stars are made, their different stages, and general facts about stars.
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