HR diagrams for stars are available on the internet and it is also easy to plot this for thousands of stars from their absolute magnitude and color index values (obtainable from any catalog). However, we don't see many evolutionary tracks on HR diagram for a particular star. Even if we see one, that is probably a schematic diagram rather than a plot from data.

Is it not possible to plot the evolutionary track of a star given its mass, temperature, luminosity, etc? Is there any such software/packages where you can achieve this?


1 Answer 1


One nice resource is the Digital demo room. You can choose the masses of the stars, their metallicity, and it creates a movie where you can see the evolution of those stars in the HR diagram. It's completely online, no need to download anything.

If you are looking for something closer to research, you can download the SSE code and run it from your computer. It is a rapid stellar evolution code. Today I'd say it's quite outdated, but many modern rapid population synthesis codes are still based on it. In the related paper Hurley et al. 2000 you can find the actual formuale used to compute the evolution.

A step further would be to abandon the simple (and approximated) analytical formulae and solve the stellar fundamental equations directly, which you can do by downloading and running MESA, a state-of-the-art 1D stellar evolution code, that is free, well documented and (arguably) user friendly. It will allow you to see the evolution of the star in the HR diagram, as well as the Kippenhan diagram of the interor of the star and the Temperature-density profile for any given time (and much, much more).

Each of these steps that I am suggesting is an order of magnitude more complex than the previous one, requiring more time to setup, to run and more advanced knowledge of how stars work to use properly and interpret the result.


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