Wolf-Rayet star

Wolf-Rayet star

[woolf-rahy-ey; French vawlf-ra-ye]
noun
a very hot (35,000–100,000 K) and luminous star in the early stages of evolution, with broad emission lines in its spectrum.
Also called W-R star.


Origin:
1885–90; after French astronomers Charles J. E. Wolf (1827–1918) and Georges Rayet (1839–1906)

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To wolf-rayet star
Collins
World English Dictionary
Wolf-Rayet star (ˈwʊlfˈreɪət)
 
n
any of a small class of very hot intensely luminous stars surrounded by a rapidly expanding envelope of gas
 
[C19: named after Charles Wolf (1827--1918) and Georges Rayet (1839--1906), French astronomers]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

wolf-rayet star

any of a class of extremely hot, white stars having peculiar spectra thought to indicate either great turbulence within the star or a steady, voluminous ejection of material. A typical Wolf-Rayet star is several times the diameter of the Sun and thousands of times more luminous. Only a few hundred are known, located mostly in the spiral arms of the Milky Way Galaxy. The type was first distinguished in 1867 by the French astronomers Charles-Joseph-Etienne Wolf and Georges-Antoine-Pons Rayet.

Learn more about Wolf-Rayet star with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;