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A star is type of astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma held together by its own gravity. Historically, the most prominent stars were grouped into constellations and asterisms, the brightest of which gained proper names. However, most of the stars in the universe, including all stars outside our galaxy, the Milky Way, are invisible to the naked eye from Earth.
See the fact file below for more information on the stars or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Stars worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Stars are space energy engines that produce heat, light, x-rays, ultraviolet rays and other forms of radiation. Although stars might look like they’re solid objects in the sky, they’re actually huge balls of extremely hot gas. This gas is called plasma.
- Generally, the more massive the star, the faster it burns up its fuel supply and the shorter its life. The most massive stars can burn out and explode in a supernova after only a few million years of fusion. A star with a mass like our sun, on the other hand, can continue fusing hydrogen for about 10 billion years.
- It is the process by which dense regions within molecular clouds in interstellar space, sometimes referred to as “stellar nurseries” or “star-forming regions”, collapse and form stars.
- Stars are born within huge, cold clouds of gas and dust known as nebulas. A familiar example of one is the Orion nebula, which is only just visible with the naked eye. These clouds start to contract under their own gravity.
- As the cloud buckles, the material at the center begins to heat up. Known as a protostar, it is this hot core at the heart of the collapsing cloud that will one day reach a temperature of 10 million degrees Celsius and become a star.
CHARACTERISTICS OF STARS
- SURFACE TEMPERATURE
Astronomers calculate a star’s temperature on the Kelvin scale. Zero degrees on the Kelvin scale is theoretically absolute and is equal to -273.15 degrees Celsius. The coolest stars are approximately 2,500 K, while the hottest can reach 50,000 K. Comparably, the sun, the closest star to Earth, is about 5,500 K.
The color of a star depends on its surface temperature. Hotter stars’ appearance are blue, whereas cooler stars appear to have orange or red hues. Also, stars in the mid-range, like our sun, are white or yellow in color. Moreover, stars can blend colors, such as red-orange stars or blue-white stars.
Some stars have always stood out from the rest. Their brightness is a factor of how much energy they emit, known as luminosity. A star’s apparent magnitude is its perceived brightness, factoring in size and distance, while its total magnitude is its true brightness irrespective of its distance from Earth.
Stars come in huge range of sizes, which are classified in a range from dwarfs to supergiants. Neutron stars can be just 20 to 40 km in diameter, whereas a white dwarf is almost similar to the Earth’s size. The largest supergiants, on the other hand, can be more than 1500 times larger than our sun.
A star’s mass is also measured in terms of our own sun, with 1 equal to the size of our sun. For instance, Rigel, which is much larger than our sun, has a mass of 3.5 solar masses. Two stars of a similar size may not necessarily have the same mass, as stars can vary greatly in density.
- MAGNETIC FIELD
Stars typically generate magnetic fields. When it comes to the sun, researchers have discovered its magnetic field can become highly concentrated in small areas. Based on a recent survey at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the average stellar magnetic field increases with the star’s rate of rotation and decreases as it ages.
A star’s metallicity measures the amount of “metals” it has — that is, any element heavier than helium. Three generations of stars may exist based on it. Population III stars are born without “metals.” When these stars die, they released heavy elements into the cosmos, which Population II stars absorb relatively small amounts of. When a number of these die, they released more heavy elements, and the youngest Population I stars, like our sun, contain the largest amounts.
- STAR CLASSIFICATION
Stars are classified by their spectra (the elements that they take) and their temperature. There are seven main types of stars. In order of decreasing temperature: O, B, A, F, G, K, and M. O and B stars are rare but very bright; M stars are common but dim.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about stars across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Stars worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the star which is type of astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma held together by its own gravity. Historically, the most prominent stars were grouped into constellations and asterisms, the brightest of which gained proper names. However, most of the stars in the universe, including all stars outside our galaxy, the Milky Way, are invisible to the naked eye from Earth.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Stars Facts
- Brightest Stars
- Right and Bright Stars
- Sparkling Stars
- Shooting Star
- Star Gazing
- My Shining Star
- A-maze-ing Star
- Starry Night
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Link will appear as Stars Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 25, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.