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.
Origin of spectral type
First recorded in 1920–25
Also called spectral class.
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British Dictionary definitions for 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
Science definitions for 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.
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