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Lab #6. The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram and Stellar Evolution

Students explore the basic phases of stellar evolution on and beyond the Main Sequence, and learn to utilize a Hertzsprung-Russell (color-magnitude) diagram to understand the relationship between fundamental parameters for stars such as mass, luminosity, temperature, and age. A detailed study of the M67 cluster enables students to fit radial profiles to individual stars, place them on the cluster color-magnitude diagram, and then derive an age estimate for the cluster based on the Main Sequence turn-off point.