Lesson Plan: Hertzsprung–Russell Diagrams | Nagwa Lesson Plan: Hertzsprung–Russell Diagrams | Nagwa

Lesson Plan: Hertzsprung–Russell Diagrams Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to interpret Hertzsprung–Russell diagrams and identify types of stars based on their position on the diagram.


Students will be able to

  • interpret Hertzsprung–Russell diagrams shown either in terms of absolute magnitude and spectral class or in terms of luminosity (in units of solar luminosity) and surface temperature,
  • identify the main sequence on a Hertzsprung–Russell diagram,
  • identify where red giant stars appear on a Hertzsprung–Russell diagram,
  • locate the likely position of a star on a Hertzsprung–Russell diagram given its absolute magnitude, luminosity, or type and its spectral class or surface temperature.


Students should already be familiar with

  • absolute and apparent magnitudes of brightness,
  • spectral class and subclass,
  • luminosity,
  • using solar luminosity as a unit,
  • the basic types of stars.


Students will not cover

  • white dwarf stars,
  • subgiants,
  • supergiants,
  • hypergiants,
  • subdwarfs,
  • red dwarfs,
  • brown dwarfs,
  • exotic stars and stellar remnants.

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