Questions regarding grouping objects together based on one or more shared property.

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15
votes
2answers
569 views

What physical features determine if a planet is a major, minor or dwarf planet?

Like many, when I was growing up, we always were taught, hence always learned that there were 9 planets. However, recently, decisions were made and all of a sudden there were 8 major planets and a ...
13
votes
1answer
302 views

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, forms part of a galaxy group called The Local Group. What are the parameters that dictate what a galaxy group is?

Are there different classifications or just the one? How does our galaxy group compare with others?
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Is Pluto still a dwarf planet?

Recent news seem to suggest that astronomers are arguing about whether Pluto should become a planet again. However, I cannot find an official source for this. Is this actually true?
7
votes
2answers
236 views

Why does the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram's x-axis go from large temperatures to lower?

In my textbook, the H–R diagram’s y-axis is $\log(L/L_{\odot})$ and values are higher as we go higher on the scale, but the x-axis is $\log(T_\text{eff})$ and gets smaller as we proceed to the right. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the origin of the OBAFGKM classification system?

Once a body has been identified as a star it is classified into a subsection of either O,B,A,F,G,K or M (I think there are also 3 more letters recently added) What is the origin of this ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

Is Ceres in the inner solar system or outer solar system?

Do we consider the dwarf planet Ceres to be in the inner solar system or outer solar system (or possibly neither / in between). It is located within the asteroid belt, but is the asteroid belt part ...
2
votes
1answer
731 views

Classification of a Comet

Google's definition of a comet is: a celestial object consisting of a nucleus of ice and dust and, when near the sun, a ‘tail’ of gas and dust particles pointing away from the sun. This ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Synthesising types of galaxies using various stellar spectra

I have asked this on Physics Stack Exchange but Astronomy is probably more appropriate. I have been given the task of synthesising an elliptical galaxy, a starburst galaxy and a spiral galaxy ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Star class according to initial mass

Studying the stars classes for my homework (school) i learned that stars are classified by the spectral types (Harvard) and luminosity class (MKK) .. So the sun is a star class ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Planets classification by density

In our Solar system, the density of major planets varies from 0.7 g/cm3 (Saturn) to 5.5 g/cm3 (Earth). For exoplanets, the density varies from very low (0.03 g/cm3 for Kepler-51x) to very high (77.7 ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

Betelgeuse and sun classification

In this video, between 4 and 6 minutes, the lecturer describes M type stars as being less massive, smaller, and redder than G type stars. He then gives Betelgeuse as an example of an M type star and ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Why does spectral class and U-V colour correlate slightly differently for main sequence, giant and supergiant stars?

In this diagram the $x$-axis is spectral type for stars and the $y$-axis is B-V colour. Taking Series 1 as the Main Sequence, Series 2 as Giants and Series 3 as Super-giants. Why the spectral class ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Is there a strict chronological order that determines the shape of galaxies?

Assuming no collision happens, do all elliptical galaxies eventually become spiral? also when a galaxy becomes spiral or barred spiral, can it switch between these shapes or is it set forever?