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Q&A: Normal Stars, White Dwarf Stars, and Star Clusters

Q:
What kinds of stars are there? How big are stars? Who are some famous people who studied stars?

A:

Stellar evolution of different kinds of stars
There are many different kinds of stars: normal stars like our Sun, huge red stars called red giants, small hot white stars called white dwarfs, small cool brown stars called brown dwarfs, and more. The following pages describe normal stars like the Sun:
http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_sources/normal_stars.html

The next set of web pages contain information on the life cycle of stars, and page 3 has a useful image with the different types of stars listed on it:
http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_sources/stellar_evolution.html

The size of stars varies greatly - they can have diameters from less than 12 miles across to more than 500 times the diameter of the Sun. One of the famous people who studied stars is Annie Jump Cannon, an American astronomer born in 1863 who studied stars and discovered hundreds of variable stars (stars with changing brightness) - many of the others are listed on this page:
http://cnr2.kent.edu/~manley/astronomers.html

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