Difference between hydrogen lines and molecular lines?
Trying to do a question about the Harvard classification scheme.
Question asks for strongest molecular lines and then hydrogen lines, what is the difference?
- ExTexLv 58 years agoFavorite Answer
I cannot tell you what are the strongest molecular lines, but I can tell you what the main difference
between the two types of spectra are.
Hydorgen atoms do not bond very strongly together to form hydrogen molecules Two hydrogen atoms bond to make one molecule. So in the high temperatures of stars and the sun, there is very little molecular hydrogen because the molecules would be torn apart from thermal collisions. Other types of atoms present in stars and the sun have atoms that bond strongly enough together for there to be significant amounts of their molecules present. I believe that carbon and calcium are often present as molecules at significant enough amounts in the composition of stars to affect their spectra.
The emission and abssorption spectra of atoms and of molecules are essentially the same as to their patterns of lines for the same type of atom or molecule, but emission spectra have bright lines, and absorption spectra have dark lines that show up on an overall bright background of light. I believe that most stars have stronger absorption spectra than emission spectra.
Hydrogen atoms have the simplest and least complicated spectral patterns of lines of almost any of the elemental atoms, and the molecules of elements present in stars have much richer and more complicated spectra than do individual atoms, and especially than do hydrogen atoms.
Since stars vary greatly in their composition in terms of what elements are present and how many relative to other elements, plus what percentage are atoms and what percentage are molecules, the stars can be classified into categories of which stars are alike and which are very different by the spectral lines coming from those stars. The differences in temperature, pressure, and other physical factors also produce characteristic differences for different types of stars. Because of the complexity of the spectral patterns of stars, it is very difficult and complicated to sort out the differences in those of different stars and relate their patterns to the atoms and molecules present in any star and to what the patterns tell astronomers about the physical characteristics of a star.
Classification schemes like the Harvard one are designed and used in helping try to interpret the differences in stars that are indicated by the differences in their spectra.
- khillingLv 43 years ago
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