We all remember our nursery rhyme “twinkle twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are?”
Most of us are still wondering what exactly are these tiny objects that we see in the night sky. We can say that these twinkling objects are stars, but if you notice, not all stars twinkle. On a few, you can also see a falling star. And the list of questions will go. Here, in this article, we shall try to answer a few of the questions such as why do stars twinkle, how far are these stars, what are falling stars known, and many more.
How far are the stars?
There are millions and billions of stars and all these stars are at different distances from us. The closer the star to us, the brighter it appears. The size, the distance, and the brightness of the star vary. As the size of the star increases, the brightness of the star increases. According to scientists the closest star to our solar system is Proxima Centauri. While the closest star to the earth is Alpha Centauri. There are two main stars and they are Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B and they form a binary pair. The average distance between the earth and the Alpha Centauri is 4.3 light-years while the average distance between the earth and the Proxima Centauri is 4.22 light-years.
Why do stars twinkle?
In reality, stars do not twinkle, but they appear to twinkle. This is because of the layers of atmosphere that surround our earth. When the light from the star enters our earth’s atmosphere, the rays get affected by the winds, densities in different areas, and the temperature also affects the light rays from the stars. This is the reason why the stars appear to twinkle. Another interesting fact is that not all stars twinkle. The stars that do not twinkle in the night sky are the planets.
Why do stars come out only at night?
This is a misconception that the stars come out only at night. The fact is that the stars are present in the sky all the time. But the brightness of the sun is so much that the presence of the stars goes unnoticed.
What are falling stars?
Falling stars are also known as shooting stars which are technically known as meteors. When a meteorite which is a part of an asteroid hits the earth’s atmosphere, it travels with a high velocity which makes it appear as a flashy fireball. Therefore, falling stars or shooting stars are actually meteors and not stars. Earthgrazers, fireballs, and bolides are the different types of meteors.
What are constellations?
A constellation is defined as the group of stars which makes an imaginary shape in the night sky. These constellations are named after the mythological characters, objects, animals, and people. The connecting of dots in the night sky is an old practice that is used in keeping track of the seasons and also helps in navigation at night.
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