The Stars

To the naked eye, the night sky is dominated by the stars. From a dark site, several hundred to a thousand stars are visible to the naked eye depending on the location and time of year. The stars differ in apparent brightness (measured in magnitudes) and also in color. Look closely at the brighter stars, and you will see that many are colored. The color of stars is an indication of their surface temperature (red=coolest, blue=hottest), and while a complete discussion is beyond the reach of this publication for visual astronomers, extensive descriptions can be found in most introductory astronomy texts. With a telescope, thousands of fainter stars are revealed, but even the brightest ones remain points of light. Stars become interesting telescopically only when they occur in groups or are associated with nebulosity. The simplest star groupings are double and multiple stars.
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