Stars and Nebulae

Introduction - Orion - Milky Way Centre - M80 Globular Cluster

Star Colours


Stars vary in colour, according to their temperature.

  • Red Dwarfs burn dimly and Red Giants brilliantly.
  • Sun-like stars emit yellow light.
  • Larger stars radiate with white, blue and even ultraviolet light.

Different detectors vary in their sensitivity to colour.

  • Un-aided, the eye is just sensitive enough to detect colour in the brightest stars.
  • Colour film can record star colours with long exposures.
  • Electronic imaging systems are more sensitive still.
A long-exposure image
recorded on film.
Milky Way Center
An image recorded on an Infrared
digital camera.
M80 Globular Cluster
An image recorded on a CCD
digital camera chip.

Michael Gallagher
Last Updated July 2007