I have always found astronomy to be an interesting subject as it aims to explain to us the many mysteries of our universe. And what is our universe if not a huge mystery? From our planet to the billions of stars in outer space, there are many questions that still need answers.
Our planet earth, which is humongous, is only a tiny speck in our solar system, which is among the many other solar systems that exist. These solar systems further have their suns, planets, moons, and stars. Getting your child to show interest in astronomy is not a tough task as the space in itself is fascinating and interesting.
While science has uncovered a lot, we still have a large way to go if we want to understand the outer space. It was only recently that we were able to view at a black hole for the first time. Viewing such things for the first time only makes you realize how small our existence is and how much there is out there that we still need to explore.
If you want to encourage your child to learn more about outer space and its many mysteries, there is a lot more you can do other than buying space charts and toys. You can give your children interesting books about space, but they must be interesting.
There is a thin line between boring and informative things, and children don’t like to be bored on their first try. It is better to give your children books that are easy and short. Once they are interested enough, your children will be eager to learn more. You can also get your child to register to online websites like starregister.org, where they can have fun while learning.
Here are some interesting facts about stars that will fascinate your children!
There Are Billions Of Stars In Our Galaxy!
The Milky Way is our galaxy. It is where our solar system exists, along with many. The number of stars in the Milky Way range from a hundred to four hundred billion. However, the numbers are continuously changing. New stars are being born as the old ones are dying out.
Not All Stars Have The Same Color!
When we look up at the sky at night, we see hundreds of stars, but they all look the same to us. In reality, the stars have different colors according to how hot they are. For example, these stars can be blue, white, yellow, orange, red and brown, depending on their temperature.
The hottest stars are blue while the coolest are brown. While we are used to seeing fire as red, it changes color as the temperature rises. As the star’s temperature goes up, its color first turns into red, and then blue.
Most of the Stars Are Red Dwarfs
There are millions and billions of stars, but the most common type of stars is called the Red Dwarf. These stars’ mass and size is less than the sun’s, hence the name dwarf. Red dwarfs burn slowly, unlike other giant stars, which extends their life.
These stars are not as hot as the other stars, and therefore, don’t shine as bright. With time, red dwarfs become less bright, until they fade out. Red dwarfs are not like giant stars as they don’t explode.
Our Sun Is A Dwarf Star!
If you thought our sun is huge, wait till you get to know about the rest of the stars in the solar systems! In case you are still confused, there are three types of stars: dwarfs, giants, and super-giants. There is no white dwarf though, as it is not a star but the corpse of a dead star.
The giants and super-giants are the old stages of stars. Most of the stars that are in the long, mature stage of evolution are all called dwarfs. Our sun is a yellow dwarf! These stars range in size, but they are all smaller than the giants and super-giants.
The Biggest Stars Can Engulf Saturn
Red giants, or red super-giants, are some monster stars that will make our sun look tiny. A red super-giant that many astrologists are familiar with is the star Betelgeuse, which is in the constellation Orion. Its mass is about 20 times bigger than Sun, and it is a thousand times larger too. But that’s nothing. The largest known star is the VY Canis Majoris and is known to be almost two thousand times the size of the Sun. It means it could easily engulf the orbit of Saturn.
Stars Don’t Twinkle
When we see the stars at night, they appear to twinkle. As pretty as the sight is, it is not the stars that are twinkling. Instead, it is the light of the star that is being refracted. Our earth’s atmosphere is made of many layers. The light of a star must pass through all of these layers before it reaches us. When the star’s light crosses the earth’s atmosphere, it experiences the same effects as if it were a ball in a pinball machine. When the light gets to our eyes, every deflection causes its color and density to change. This makes the star look as if they were twinkling.
The Bigger the Star, the Shorter Its Life Is
We have mentioned how dwarf stars can live for trillions of years. The reason is that dwarf stars are small. Hence, the larger stars are not that lucky. These stars can be a hundred times bigger than the sun, but they only last a few million years as they also put out that much energy.
One of such stars is Eta Carinae. The scientists are expecting it to detonate as supernovae at any time. Once it explodes, the light from the star will be almost as bright as the sun, and we could all see it.
Now that you know these interesting facts, tell your children about them, so they want to find out more interesting facts about stars and space! Good Luck!
About the Author
Currently a student of Management Sciences, in his final years, Luke Wood is passionate about outdoor activities. He takes up outdoor projects in his leisure time to accompany his studies. He regularly writes blogs at Starregister.org