Planets, Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe



About Lesson 7

If you have ever spent much time looking through a small telescope, chances are that you have seen a star cluster. Some of the most famous clusters—the Pleiades, h & χ Persei, M13, M3, and many others—are famous because they are excellent targets for backyard observers.

Beyond their beauty, star clusters, like binary star systems, give us a chance to really make detailed tests of the theories of stellar evolution. In this lesson, we are going to look at star clusters in some depth. We will see that, by studying star clusters, we will be able to tie together all of the concepts from the previous three lessons. We will also find that, taken as a whole, clusters of stars are very interesting objects that can aid us in understanding the entire Universe.

What will we learn in Lesson 7?

By the end of Lesson 7, you should be able to:

  • Identify the different types of star clusters that stars inhabit;
  • Compare and contrast the HR diagrams for different types of star clusters;
  • Describe the process by which astronomers measure the distance and age of a star cluster.

What is due for Lesson 7?

Lesson 7 will take us one week to complete.

Please refer to the Calendar in Canvas for specific time frames and due dates.

There are a number of required activities in this lesson. The chart below provides an overview of those activities that must be submitted for Lesson 7. For assignment details, refer to the lesson page noted.

Lesson 7 Requirements
Requirement Submitting your work
Lesson 7 Quiz Your score on this quiz will count towards your overall quiz average.
Lab 2 You will complete Lab 2 and submit it to a Canvas drop box.


If you have any questions, please post them to the General Questions and Discussion forum (not email). I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.