How to Tell Star Types Apart (Infographic)

Chart of star types.
Astronomers group stars into classes according to spectral color and brightness.
(Image: © by Karl Tate, Infographics Artist)

Stars come in different types, and most stars will change types throughout their lifetimes. Stars are often organized using what's known as the Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram.  

Stars like Earth’s sun that burn hydrogen into helium are in a group called the "main-sequence."

 

The sun is currently a type G, yellow, main-sequence star. In the future, the sun will run out of hydrogen, leave the main-sequence, and become a red giant. After it explodes into a nova, the sun will become a tiny white-dwarf star, surrounded by a planetary nebula.

Have a news tip, correction or comment? Let us know at community@space.com.