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spectral type

noun, Astronomy.
a category for classifying a star, as A star or G star, according to features of its spectrum, as its shape as a function of temperature and wavelength and its absorption spectrum, that indicate the surface temperature of the star and the presence of particular atoms or molecules in its outer layers: principal types are spectral types O, B, A, F, G, K, and M.
Also called spectral class.
Origin of spectral type
First recorded in 1920-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for spectral type
Historical Examples
  • As Russell originally pointed out, giant stars of every spectral type have nearly the same luminosity.

    Astronomy David Todd
  • Morey set to work at once with the telescope; trying to find the nearest star of spectral type G-0, as had been agreed upon.

    Islands of Space John W Campbell
  • They are of a spectral type approximately solar; no Orion, Sirian or Arcturian stars having been found among them.

    Astronomical Curiosities J. Ellard Gore
  • As to the spectral type, the stars with great proper motions are all yellow or red stars.

    Lectures on Stellar Statistics Carl Vilhelm Ludvig Charlier
  • On the distances and luminosities of stars of spectral type G as derived from their proper motions.

    Lectures on Stellar Statistics Carl Vilhelm Ludvig Charlier
British Dictionary definitions for spectral type

spectral type

any of various groups into which stars are classified according to characteristic spectral lines and bands. The most important classification (Harvard classification) has a series of classes O, B, A, F, G, K, M, the series also being a scale of diminishing surface temperature
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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spectral type in Science
spectral type  
A classification system for stars based on the strength of their spectral lines, using the letters O, B, A, F, G, K, M, L, and T to denote a range from blue (as in blue giant stars) to dim red (as in brown dwarfs). The spectrum of a star correlates with its surface temperature, ranging from over 60,000°K (O type) to less than 3,500°K (L and T types). See also Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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