You’ve likely heard that there are an infinite number of stars in space. That’s entirely true- the Milky Galaxy alone holds an estimated 100 thousand million stars, and we don’t know how many galaxies total are out there waiting to be discovered.
With so much area to cover, it’s only natural that space is one of the greatest frontiers for exploration, research, and interest. You may use a telescope to see galaxies. But first, you should have core knowledge of astronomy. Certainly great painters such as Van Gogh were enchanted with the starry night they could see every evening.
Read on to expand your mind beyond the boundaries of this galaxy!
1. Star Stuff Is Universal
Despite the different classifications of stars, all of them are made out of the same elements. They’re also made in the same way.
Stars are born when clouds of molecular hydrogen begin to collapse because of gravity. As this cloud collapses, it splits off into many different pieces that will form different stars from one another. The material from this collapsed cloud develops its own gravity and sucks in other particles from space. This ultimately leads to the formation of a star.
Each star, no matter how big or small, is made up of hydrogen and helium. Generally, about 75% of their matter is composed of hydrogen. The remaining 25% is helium. While these numbers may vary slightly in different stars (our sun has a 70-30 split), they’re pretty consistent overall.
2. Mass, Temperature, and Color Are Entwined
Stars come in a variety of different colors. Most of them are yellow, red, white, or blue.
Yellow and red stars are the coolest with temperatures around 3,500 degrees Kelvin. Then come white stars that are about 6,000 degrees Kelvin. Blue stars are by far the hottest. Their temperatures are approximately 12,000 degrees Kelvin. These color-degree ratios are consistent across the board, so it’s clear that there’s a pretty strong relationship here.
The temperature and color of a star are also inextricably tied to its mass. The more mass a star has, the larger its core will be. The size of the core corresponds to how much energy the star produces, and so those with higher mass will produce more energy. This means that they’ll be hotter than smaller stars!
3. Star Sizes Vary
The vast majority of stars are what are known as red dwarfs. These stars have half as much mass as the sun (at most- some only have 7.5% the sun’s mass!) Red dwarfs burn with an amount of energy that’s comparatively lower than other stars, which actually means that they have longer lifespans.
Red giants and supergiants also exist, and these can be so large that they could engulf the entire planet of Saturn including its rings!
White, yellow, and blue stars can be large or small as well. Our sun, for example, it a medium-sized yellow star!
4. You Can Name a Star
Stars are untouchable and amazing things, but did you know that you can file information into the star-name-registry and name a star anything you want to?
Well, it’s true!
This site also ensures that the star you name exists at the right magnitude that you can easily pick it up with a telescope on a clear night. Yourself or the loved one that you name it after is sure to have an amazing feeling after seeing their star. After all, this is one way that human beings can carve out a corner of the universe.
Head over and learn more about how to do this so that you can name a star and look at it while stargazing.
5. Black Holes Are Really Cool
While stars are incredible and we’ve focused the majority of this post on them, there are other interesting facts about astronomy that you’ll want to know, too. One of the coolest things to learn about is what happens when a star dies.
You’ve likely heard of black holes before, but what you likely were unaware of are the facts that make them so interesting. A black hole is essentially a place within space that gravity condenses and pulls so much more than normal that nothing- not even light- can escape.
Despite what you may have heard online or in films, the sun will never turn into a black hole and consume the Earth. It isn’t a large enough star to do that. The black hole has the same amount of gravity as the star that it once was, and the gravity of the sun is not at all enough to suck up Earth or other planets.
Black holes are invisible, but astronomers can tell that they exist by analyzing the movement of stars surrounding them.
6. There’s Evidence of Life
There is evidence of life in space outside of Earth. No, we aren’t talking about little green men or amoeba-like space invaders- chances are, the life that other planets (at least those in our solar system) sustain is more similar to bacteria or insects than it is to human beings.
Jupiter’s moon Europa is a likely candidate for a place that sustains life. Scientists have discovered frozen lakes on the surface of the satellite, making it likely that something could live there and drink it. The same goes for Mars. It has great amounts of ice on its surface as well.
Who knows about other solar systems, though! It’s possible that there’s life we could communicate with and befriend somewhere out there. We just need to keep looking.
More Facts About Astronomy
While the Earth may feel vast at times, it can be immensely comforting to remember that we’re just a tiny speck in the grand scheme of space.
Now that you know seven of the most interesting facts about Astronomy, it’s time to learn more interesting facts and quotes about space and all that exists within it. Check out the ‘facts and quotes’ tab on our home page to learn more interesting things and expand your mind as much as possible!