25 Fascinating Facts about Stars

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The stars have throughout history been fascinating objects of study. From the ancient Greeks, to the modern day astronomers who continually search the stars for other planets and galaxies.

eagle nebula pillars

One of the Hubble telescope’s most famous images showing stars forming in the Eagle Nebula. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The universe is constantly expanding, and changing, thus every time an astronomer looks into his telescope he may see something there that wasn’t there the day before! In a place full of so much wonder and so many unknowns, it’s no wonder there are tons of facts about stars.

Here are 25 fascinating facts about stars:

1. Many stars you look at in the night sky seem like single, distant glimmer of light. However that is not the case. Most stars you see in the night sky are actually two star systems, or binary star systems. They are so far away however that they just appear as one speck of light.

2. Stars go through many phases of life, much like other organic beings. When a star is dying, it turns into a “white dwarf”, when the star uses up all of the chemicals required for its nuclear fusion reaction, it will fuse a large clump, which will emit white light until it finally darkens for good.

3. Before a massive star goes into a white dwarf phase however, it undergoes an incredible chain reaction in which it burns through the rest of its fuel at a dramatic pace and explodes due to the speed of the reaction. This reaction is known as a supernova.

4. If a star is massive enough, after it goes supernova it can actually turn into a massive, gravity and light eating black hole.

supernova

The SN 1994D supernova in the NGC 4526 galaxy (bottom left) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5. Contrary to popular belief a black hole does not “suck” in the objects around it. Due to their incredible mass, according to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, they actually bend space in such a way that everything within their gravitational field is pushed towards it. A black hole’s gravitational field is so strong that even light cannot escape it.

6. If a star has enough mass, it will burn up much like a white dwarf. Instead of fading away however, it will go into a state of degeneration, these stars are rare and are called “neutron stars”.

7. Neutron stars are extremely easy to recognize. Opposed to white dwarves they are easy for astronomers to spot through telescopes because they bend the light around them, which allows them to be seen easily through infrared telescopes.

8. There are some stars that are 100 times more massive than our Sun. These stars also can output about a million times more energy than our sun, while still maintaining the same radius.

9. Eta Carinae is one of the largest stars in the known galaxy, it is designated as a hyper-giant.

Eta Carinae

Eta Carinae and the surrounding bipolar Homunculus Nebula seen from the Hubble Space Telescope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10. Another hyper-giant star is designated as Pistol, it shines even brighter than Eta Carinae, at about 10 billion times more than our sun. It emits such high amounts of radiation that scientists have already declared it impossible for anything to live in such a system.

11. The closest observable star is Sol, or as it’s more commonly known, the Sun. Although it is around 150 kilometers away, there are billions of stars just like our Sun out there in the galaxy.

the sun from earth

Our nearest star, as seen from earth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12. The distances involved in measuring how far away a star is are immense. Consider that the closest star to Earth is approximately 4.2 light years away. It would take about 70,000 years in our fastest space craft to reach it.

13. There are approximately 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone.

14. On a clear night, you cannot see even a fraction of these stars. However during a clear night, in the country, with the naked eye you can see up to 19,000,000,000,000,000 miles away, very easily.

milky way

The Milky Way as seen above the Paranal Observatory. You can also see Jupiter (the brightest object) and the star Antares. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15. Every single star has almost the exact same chemical composition. The nuclear fusion reaction which occurs in each star is identical in each star, which requires hydrogen which turns into helium. As the hydrogen burns it collapses and forms a center mass due to gravitational pull of the heavier helium.

16. The original materials that make up all stars within the galaxy were formed during the Big Bang.

17. Stars are constantly undergoing changes in pressure and chemical makeup. However at all times, they are in perfect balance. Consider that if stars didn’t have balance, they would continue collapsing inward until they ran out of fuel. They do not because they are constantly creating a perfect balance of inward and outward pressure, and hydrogen and helium.

18. The most common type of stars within the universe are red dwarves. This stars are common due to their low mass, and the fact that they live for a very long time before turning into white dwarves.

An artist's conception of a red dwarf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An artist’s conception of a red dwarf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

19. The color of a star can tell an observer a lot of things, as the color of a star can show give an idea of how much mass it has, luminosity and other interesting data.

star comparison

Comparison of stars (left to right): red dwarfs, the sun, blue dwarf, and the largest star in the universe.

20. The coolest stars in the universe are red, and they sit at around 3,500 kelvin (a special temperature measurement used for stars).

21. Opposite to that, the hottest stars are blue due to their incredible mass and the amount of chemical reactions occurring within them. They burn at around 6,000 kelvin.

22. Despite many peoples claims of there being “green” stars, there are no stars in the known universe which are green. A green star is usually a side effect of a looking through a telescope on a certain wavelength.

23. There are exceptions to even this rule, as when certain stars reach the end of their life they increase their fusion reactions by about 1000, which can lead even some red stars to burn at the same rate as a blue star.

24. The stars that have the shortest life spans are the most massive. They lend their mass to a high density of chemicals, as such they burn their fuel much quicker than smaller stars.

25. Despite how often stars are claimed to “twinkle” this is not true. The twinkling effect is merely the light from the star passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, and it is merely deflecting the light before it reaches your eyes.

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57 Comments

  1. Test@test

    Test@test

    June 21, 2016 at 3:13 am

    Test

  2. jennifer

    jennifer

    June 10, 2016 at 12:11 am

    were are you?

  3. Revanth

    Revanth

    May 27, 2016 at 9:37 am

    After the big bang;there is a chance of origin of life forms on earth which is for example is at certain distance from sun with certain radius!!!!!so in order to find another planet with life all we need to find only the stars of same mass and radius as sun!!!so that we may find a planet like earth in that solar system!!!!!! So good luck scientists keep trying!!
    ✔✔

  4. Star Wars Fan #1

    Star Wars Fan #1

    May 25, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    I learned a lot of cool stuff for my science project.
    The info is very interesting and awesome.

  5. Black veil brides

    Black veil brides

    May 16, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Fuck you science

  6. Crazy fat boy🙇🏾

    Crazy fat boy🙇🏾

    February 26, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Shut up you so stupid 🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🙇🏾🎅🏿🎅🏻🚴🏿🕴

  7. jack

    jack

    February 26, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    ,6C7,X767,X7X6,76X76,X87UYIPP IC[PBI OOY8V XVPF9 VFYO G78O 798GO 98U ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!

  8. jack

    jack

    February 26, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOOOOOOOOOOOOOWOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW

  9. Chinga tu madre

    Chinga tu madre

    February 11, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Guys i eat ass

    • lazy_xoxo

      lazy_xoxo

      February 24, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      cool story bro

  10. jobob

    jobob

    January 23, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    the largest star known is vy canis majoris.an astronamer told my class that at school. and yes he was a real profesional astronimer.

  11. fuck boy

    fuck boy

    December 16, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    nerds

    • yourmom

      yourmom

      January 8, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      lolno

    • lazy_xoxo

      lazy_xoxo

      February 24, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      fuckboy

  12. ilovefettywap

    ilovefettywap

    October 14, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Hey get a better name!

  13. shane

    shane

    September 14, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    dont talk like that boiiii

    • yourmom

      yourmom

      January 8, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      w0t m8 dont dr1nk mo0i k0ola1d

  14. wech wech

    wech wech

    July 28, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    i loove this blog am an amatuer night watcher n i lam learnin alot

  15. RRB

    RRB

    June 18, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Fact 11 is a bit incorrect by 1000X

    150 Kilometers X 1,000,000 = 93,000,000 miles earth to sun I hope.

    • Jaquelen

      Jaquelen

      September 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      4 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day… Jesus saves.

    • Antonyms

      Antonyms

      February 11, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      It’s right.

  16. Nou chi

    Nou chi

    May 22, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    I don’t like it

  17. kolby

    kolby

    May 14, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    you are smart

  18. liam

    liam

    April 22, 2015 at 2:03 am

    he;

  19. bob the scientist

    bob the scientist

    February 4, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    wow i didn’t know that he sun was 150 km away your soooooo ……. dumb!

    • bob the not-scientist

      bob the not-scientist

      February 4, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      *the *you’re

  20. Gabe Summers

    Gabe Summers

    January 6, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    fvf

  21. Gabe Summers

    Gabe Summers

    January 6, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
    ccccccccccccccccccccc!
    iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
    nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!
    ccccccccccccccccccccc!
    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    • skye

      skye

      February 11, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      i love stars they are so cool like no joke im a young thug for life ATX south side

    • Shay

      Shay

      April 1, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      U forgot the eeeeeeeeeeeeee

    • Richard Chan

      Richard Chan

      January 14, 2016 at 4:41 am

      What the hell???????????????

  22. oreru joe

    oreru joe

    December 17, 2014 at 5:23 am

    science is sweet brt I that 150km is like 15000 meters ……

  23. sicnarf cabreros

    sicnarf cabreros

    October 15, 2014 at 7:09 am

    science is so amazing!!

  24. Pratik Bhalerao

    Pratik Bhalerao

    September 18, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Sorry to interrupt, but how can anybody tell that, blue one’s is BIG STAR in the universe?

  25. iuletyi

    iuletyi

    February 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    just kidding i love science

  26. iuletyi

    iuletyi

    February 5, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    hate

    • -_- yo mama -_-

      -_- yo mama -_-

      May 22, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      shut up

  27. bob

    bob

    January 14, 2014 at 3:32 am

    there can be cold stars and hot stars

  28. Jack

    Jack

    January 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    A lot if this is not accurate. What are your sources?
    In particular. The largest known star in the universe completely dwarves the sun, the picture associated with that section cannot be correct.

  29. Kerima

    Kerima

    November 7, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Hi

    • hayleigh

      hayleigh

      December 17, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      i do not agree because of what i have learned in class and from the internet

  30. Notoricus

    Notoricus

    August 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Well Kelvin isnt a special temperature measurement for stars but just the scientific temperature scale. 0 Kelvin ist the lowest possible temperature at which atoms stop vibrating in their place. The scaling is equal to Celcius but just set down by 271°. So 0 Kelvin = -271Celcius.

    • PJ

      PJ

      February 25, 2015 at 11:26 pm

      Actually 0 Kelvin is equal to -273.15 degrees Celsius.

    • -_- yo mama -_-

      -_- yo mama -_-

      May 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      shut up

      • ilovefettywap

        ilovefettywap

        October 14, 2015 at 7:15 pm

        Lolz 150km awy we would be toast

      • person

        person

        February 12, 2016 at 6:32 pm

        really rude dude you shut the frigde

  31. D

    D

    August 8, 2013 at 3:17 am

    This would have been a good blog except that it is missing a lot of facts. The sun is 150 kilometers? away! LOL.

  32. Chuck

    Chuck

    July 14, 2013 at 6:44 am

    The last picture claims to show “the largest star in the universe,” implying a comparison by size. However, according to another page on your site, it is the most massive, not the “largest” in terms of volume.

    See: http://www.curiosityaroused.com/space/what-is-the-largest-known-star-in-the-universe/

    • Yudi

      Yudi

      December 23, 2015 at 11:48 pm

      Yo, that’s what’s up trtuyfullh.

    • jobob

      jobob

      January 23, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      at my school a real profesional astronimer said that the largest known star is vy canis majoris

  33. rola

    rola

    April 16, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    i also liked how you also putted some pictures to show what you mean

  34. rola

    rola

    April 16, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    are you a scientist?

    • simran

      simran

      December 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      yes

  35. rola

    rola

    April 16, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    i really liked how you added interesting facts about the stars, and facts that are un known. i learned lots of cool facts about the stars that i never knew before .

    • cococococococococococococococococoococo

      cococococococococococococococococoococo

      March 24, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      ur dumd butt head

    • Diego Lopez

      Diego Lopez

      October 27, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      i really don’t like science and all but i’ll pretend to understand what you’re talking about rola

    • Conchis

      Conchis

      December 24, 2015 at 12:16 am

      You’ve really impssered me with that answer!

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