aberration of starlight
birâheš-e nur-e setâré
Fr.: aberration de la lumière d'étoile
An apparent displacement in the observed position of a star. It is a result of the finite speed of light combined with the relative motion of the Earth through space. Suppose that you walk through a vertically falling rain with an umbrella over your head. The faster you walk, the further you must lower the umbrella in front of yourself to prevent the rain from striking your face. For starlight to enter a telescope, a similar phenomenon must occur, because the Earth is in motion. The telescope must be tilted in the direction of motion by an angle: tan θ =(v/c), where v the Earth velocity and c the speed of light. The aberration of starlight was discovered by the English astronomer James Bradley (1693-1762) in 1729 by observing → Gamma Draconis. The tilt angle is θ = 20''.50, from which the Earth's orbital speed, 29.80 km s-1, can be deduced, using the above equation. See also → annual aberration; → diurnal aberration; → secular aberration. → Special relativity modifies the classical formula for aberration, predicting results which differ substantially from those of classical physics for objects moving at a substantial fraction of the speed of light; → relativistic aberration.
burst of star formation
belk-e diseš-e setâregân
Fr.: flambée de formation d'étoiles
An intense → star formation activity in a region of → interstellar medium or, more globally, in a → galaxy. It is characterized by a → star formation rate which is much higher than the corresponding average. Same as → starburst.
internal structure of stars
sâxtâr-e daruni-ye setâregân (#)
Fr.: structure interne des étoiles
The physical characteristics of that part of a star lying below the → photosphere. More specifically, the study of its various zones (→ core, → convective zone, → radiative zone) and the transfer of energy through them.
Fr.: étoile Of
An → O star whose spectrum displays strong N III 4634-4640-4642 emission and strong He II 4686 emission. The N III lines are always much stronger than C III 4647-4650-4651 when the latter are present. Historically, Of stars were considered to belong to the peculiar category, hence the f notation (see below). In his thesis work, Walborn (1971, ApJS 23, 257) removed them from that category and established them as the normal O-type → supergiants. He also used the notation ((f)), (f), and f to describe the progression from strong He II 4686 absorption, through weakened/absent, to emission, respectively, correlated with increasing N III emission strength, subsequently showing that it is a luminosity sequence -- the first such for stars earlier than O9.
The reason for the Of designation is that the letters Oa-Oe were used in the original Harvard classification to denote various types of → Wolf-Rayet and OB spectra. Therefore Of was the next available when Plaskett and Pearce (1931, Pub. Dominion Ap. Obs 5, 99) wished to distinguish O-type spectra with selective emission in N III 4634-4640-4642 and He II 4686 ("selective" because other lines from the same ions appear in absorption); → star.
PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO)
A space observatory under development by the → European Space Agency for launch around 2024. Its objective is to detect and characterize → exoplanets by means of their → transit signature in front of a very large sample of → bright stars, and measure the seismic oscillations (→ asteroseismology) of the parent stars orbited by these planets in order to understand the properties of the exoplanetary systems.
scattering of stars
Fr.: diffusion des étoiles
The progressive increase of random motions of → disk stars with increasing stellar → ages. While some initial random motion seems likely in the disturbed conditions of disks when the oldest stars formed, the observation is generally attributed to scattering processes. Both massive gas → clumps and → spiral waves are considered as scattering agents (J. A. Sellwood & J. J. Binney, 2002, astro-ph/0203510 and references therein).