Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 19:09, 27 February 2013 by Waldir (talk | contribs) (update comment for calculation of number of explanations)
Jump to: navigation, search


Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained 6 xkcd comics, and only 2003 (33383%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is located in its own lower right corner, unless you're viewing it on an unusually big screen.
Title text: The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is located in its own lower right corner, unless you're viewing it on an unusually big screen.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a RED GIANT - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

The Hertzsprung–Russell diagram is a scatterplot showing absolute luminosities of stars against its effective temperature or color. It's generally used to understand a star's age.

The axes are labeled in Kelvin (degrees Celsius above absolute zero) for effective temperature and, in a unlike many Hertzsprung–Russell diagrams, Watts for luminosity. While most Hertzsprung–Russell diagrams are labelled in units of solar luminosity or absolute magnitude, all three are perfectly valid measures of luminosity, which refers to the total power emitted by the star (or other body). Effective temperature refers to temperature of a blackbody with the same surface area and luminosity. This is meant to provide an estimate of the surface temperature of the object.

Regular Hertzsprung–Russell diagrams start at about 1000K and what is labeled on this diagram as 1021 watts—i.e. the upper-left corner. This diagram has been extended to lower magnitudes on both axes. The joke comes from the absurdity of showing tiny (at least compared to stars) and often mundane objects on a diagram meant for stars. Though not included in the diagram, the title text notes that the screen displaying the diagram would probably be plotted somewhere in the lower right corner.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.



Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.