the mass-luminosity relation
If we now consider just the (very few) main-sequence stars for which accurate masses are known,
it is found that there is a mass-luminosity relation, which is
illustrated in figure 3. The mass-luminosity relation
tells us that the more massive a star, the more luminous it is. The luminosity
increases with, on average, the fourth power of the mass, Ls
Ms4, and the slope appears
to be somewhat less steep for both more massive and less massive stars.
Hence if we move along the main sequence on the HR diagram from bottom to top, we find
that the stars gradually increase in mass. Like the HR diagram, this is a relation which
we must hope to understand theoretically.
Schematic mass-luminosity relation for main sequence stars.
©Vik Dhillon, 27th September 2010