Readers ask: What is a star?

What exactly is a star?

A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma held together by its own gravity. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun.

Is every star a sun?

If all stars are suns, then why don’t we call them suns. Stars can be suns, if they have inhabitable planets that have cognitive life and they decide to call its life giving radiation their sun . Our very own sun is a star very similar to millions of the stars that we see in our telescopes.

How big are the stars in the sky?

Astronomers generally measure the size of stars in terms of the radius of our sun. For instance, Alpha Centauri A has a radius of 1.05 solar radii (the plural of radius). Stars range in size from neutron stars , which can be only 12 miles (20 kilometers) wide , to supergiants roughly 1,000 times the diameter of the sun.

Can a star turn into a planet?

Yes, a star can turn into a planet , but this transformation only happens for a very particular type of star known as a brown dwarf. Despite beginning life as a star , a brown dwarf quickly uses up its heavy hydrogen, goes dark, cools, and spends the rest of its life as a planet .

How do stars die?

Stars die because they exhaust their nuclear fuel. Really massive stars use up their hydrogen fuel quickly, but are hot enough to fuse heavier elements such as helium and carbon. Once there is no fuel left, the star collapses and the outer layers explode as a ‘supernova’.

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Why do stars twinkle?

As light from a star races through our atmosphere, it bounces and bumps through the different layers, bending the light before you see it. Since the hot and cold layers of air keep moving, the bending of the light changes too, which causes the star’s appearance to wobble or twinkle .

What are the 7 types of stars?

Scientists classify stars by temperature and the elements they absorb, which are called their spectra. They have divided stars into seven main types . There are seven main types of stars : O, B, A, F, G, K and M. The O stars are the bright, hot, blue stars and the M stars are the dimmer, cooler, red stars .

How long do stars live for?

A star like our sun lives for about 10 billion years , while a star which weighs 20 times as much lives only 10 million years , about a thousandth as long. Stars begin their lives as dense clouds of gas and dust.

Is the sun black?

The Sun , with an effective temperature of approximately 5800 K, is an approximate black body with an emission spectrum peaked in the central, yellow-green part of the visible spectrum, but with significant power in the ultraviolet as well.

What really is a shooting star?

Meteors are commonly called falling stars or shooting stars . If any part of the meteoroid survives burning up and actually hits the Earth, that remaining bit is then called a meteorite. At certain times of year, you are likely to see a great number of meteors in the night sky.

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What is the biggest star in the universe?

The largest known star in the universe is UY Scuti , a hypergiant with a radius around 1,700 times larger than the sun .

Are we made of stars?

Stars that go supernova are responsible for creating many of the elements of the periodic table, including those that make up the human body. ‘It is totally 100% true: nearly all the elements in the human body were made in a star and many have come through several supernovas. ‘

Is Jupiter a failed star?

” Jupiter is called a failed star because it is made of the same elements (hydrogen and helium) as is the Sun, but it is not massive enough to have the internal pressure and temperature necessary to cause hydrogen to fuse to helium, the energy source that powers the sun and most other stars .

Can a planet explode?

Contrary to science fiction, planets are stable and causing one to explode would require some chemical or nuclear process which can provide an explosive punch of energy. While it is impossible to kick-start a fusion reaction at a planet’s core, uranium fission is possible provided no neutrons are absorbed.

Are Stars heavier than planets?

Stars have much, much more mass than planets . They need a huge density in their core to be able to fuse hydrogen to helium, which requires huge mass. Planets , on the other hand, have much less mass. Heavy is a relative concept, stars have more mass.

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