STARS

Stars are celestial bodies made up of hot gases. Stars radiate energy that comes form thermonuclear reactions. In this section you will learn all about stars and their importance in the universe.
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Algol

Algol, a variable star in the constellation Perseus. (A variable star is one that changes in brightness.) Algol, which was observed by the ancient Greeks and named by the Arabs, is now known to be a complex system of at least four stars revolving around one another.

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  • Can scientists create a star on Earth?

    Can scientists create a star on Earth?

    Stars are enormous celestial bodies hot enough to register millions of degrees. They're fascinating scientific phenomena, but is it actually possible for scientists to create them? See more »

  • Could a gamma-ray burst wipe out all life on Earth?

    Could a gamma-ray burst wipe out all life on Earth?

    When a huge star collapses, it releases massive amounts of radiation in concentrated streams. If one of those streams hit Earth, it wouldn't be pretty. But where should we put "gamma-ray bursts" on our list of anxieties? See more »

  • How a Supernova Works

    How a Supernova Works

    A dying star can explode with the force of a few octillion nuclear bombs and create any element in the universe. But why do stars go supernova? See more »

  • How are stars formed?

    How are stars formed?

    Long, long ago, our sun began its life as a mere twinkle in the universe's eye. How did it become the ruler of our solar system? See more »

  • How do galaxies form?

    How do galaxies form?

    Galaxies got their start nearly 14 billion years ago, with one unimaginably hot, dense and tiny pinpoint. How did we arrive at the universe's sprawling state of galactic affairs today? See more »

  • How Stars Work

    How Stars Work

    When you look up at night and see thousands of stars, have you ever wondered what you are looking at? Learn what stars are and how they live and die! See more »

  • How the Milky Way Works

    How the Milky Way Works

    A look at the night sky at any time of year will reveal a faint band of light stretching across the sky -- our solar system's home, the Milky Way. How much do we really know about it? See more »

  • What is the Milky Way?

    What is the Milky Way?

    It's your home, and a colossally sized one at that. How much do you know about your galactic digs and their residence amid the yawning universe? See more »

  • What is the universe made of?

    What is the universe made of?

    It wasn't so long ago that astronomers thought the universe contained normal matter, or baryonic matter, the base unit of which is the atom. But when it comes to the cosmos, there's always more than meets the eye. What else is hanging out in space? See more »

  • How are astronomers able to measure how far away a star is?

    How are astronomers able to measure how far away a star is?

    It turns out that measuring the distance to a star is an interesting problem! Astronomers have come up with two different techniques to estimate how far away any given star is. See more »

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