main sequence

noun Astronomy.
a narrow band in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram in which 90 percent of all observed stars are plotted.

Origin:
1925–30

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Collins
World English Dictionary
main sequence
 
n
astronomy
 a.  a diagonal band on the Hertzsprung Russell diagram containing about 90% of all known stars; stars evolve onto and then off the band during their lifetime
 b.  (as modifier): a main-sequence star

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
main sequence  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (mān)  Pronunciation Key 
The continuous, generally diagonal line or band in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram ranging from the upper left to the lower right and representing stars of average size whose luminosities correspond predictably to their surface temperatures. Stars in this grouping maintain a stable nuclear reaction and experience only small fluctuations in luminosity and temperature. Main-sequence stars are believed to be in the stable, middle phase of their development; they are expected to move off the main sequence once the hydrogen in their core is exhausted. At that point, depending on its size, a main-sequence star will become a giant star, a supergiant star, or a white dwarf. The more massive the star, the faster it burns its nuclear fuel and the shorter it remains in the main sequence. See more at Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, star.

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Example sentences
It will soon quieten down by entering the main sequence, the adult stage of stellar life.
The dust was mostly formed before by a variety of different post main sequence stars in their outer envelopes.
The first criterion is to ensure a star's maturity and stability, which means it has to be on the main sequence.
Image for main sequence
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