video Video: Space News 10/13


Note that after the script proper, which is what I got paid to do, the host transitions into the advertisement saying that our Sun is an “Average Joe”. I didn’t write that part, and if I had known it was going into the script I would have sent a not-actually-strongly-worded email.

People tend to think the Sun is average because it’s roughly in the middle of the possible range of star types, from those barely massive enough to be capable of fusion to the blue supergiants a million times brighter than our Sun.

But the various types of stars aren’t equally abundant. The most massive (and therefore hottest stars), called O-type stars, are super duper rare (~0.00001% of all stars).

Only ~5% of stars fall into the G-type category, where our Sun is found.

And something like 75-80% of all stars are the tiny, cool, M-type red dwarfs.

The true Average Joes are red dwarfs.


[Also, beyond the standard OBAFGKM classification scale there is Class L, which contains the coolest of the cool stars and brown dwarfs (which just missed out on hydrogen fusion), Class T – even cooler brown dwarfs, and Class Y – objects that are barely brown dwarfs (If they were any less massive they’d just be large gas giant planets). There’s also classifications for white dwarfs and other stellar remnant-type things, but I’m not going to go into those.]

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