Stargazing and the Moon Week

What Is A Star?

Part of Stargazing and the Moon

What is a star? Stars are huge balls of mostly helium and hydrogen burning in their cores. They give off light and heat and are the building blocks of galaxies. In fact, astronomers estimate there are about 300 billion stars in our galaxy – the Milky Way – alone!

Stars form in clouds of gas and dust, which are called nebulae. Scientists have theorised how the birth of a star happens, but actually, no one has been able to see it happen! In October of this year, though, the Webb Telescope will launch and one of its instruments – the MIRI or Mid-Infrared Instrument – will be able to see inside these nebulae for the first time!

Read more about the Webb Telescope at jwst.org.uk web site.

Did you know, the closest star (other than our Sun) to us is called Proxima Centauri and is 40,208,000,000,000 km away?

You would have to go around the Earth 1 billion times to match that distance! Unfortunately, you cannot see it from much of the Northern Hemisphere on Earth.

Check out the Virtual Planetarium shows below to learn more about ‘What’s Out There” and start your ‘Shapes of the Moon’ activity today to be ready for Friday!

Virtual Planetarium Show
Star
An Introduction James Webb Space Telescope Mission
Destination Space Show

This page is part of the Stargazing and the Moon information.

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