Glossary term: Effective Temperature

Description: So-called thermal radiation, which is the electromagnetic radiation given off by an idealized warm or hot body, only depends on a single parameter: the emitter's temperature. Once the temperature is given, the amount of energy emitted per unit area is fixed, as is the spectrum of the radiation: the distribution of that energy between the different wavelength regions. To good approximation, the light we receive from stars is thermal radiation, somewhat changed due to outer regions of the star's atmosphere absorbing light at very specific wavelengths ("absorption lines"). The temperature value for that electromagnetic radiation is called the star's effective temperature.

Related Terms:

See this term in other languages

Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".