• Question: Why do stars shine

    Asked by bronaghd to Angela, Karen, Shane on 21 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Angela Stevenson

      Angela Stevenson answered on 21 Nov 2013:

      Oh great question! I love star gazing! Stars are giant balls of glowing gas and these giant balls shine because the gas inside them is so hot that a process called “nuclear fusion” takes place (this is where 2 atoms come together or “fuse”) to form a different kind of atom… this process gives off a lot of energy that we can see as light. Great questions Bronagh!

    • Photo: Shane Mc Guinness

      Shane Mc Guinness answered on 21 Nov 2013:

      And when this light reaches the earth it has to pass through our atmosphere before it reaches our eyes. Because our atmosphere is full of a mixture of gases all at different temperatures and movements, this causes the stars we see to “twinkle” or shine, like I think you mean.

    • Photo: Karen McCarthy

      Karen McCarthy answered on 21 Nov 2013:

      Also Bronagh, many stars you can see in the night sky seem like a single, distant glimmer of light. However most stars you see are actually two star systems, or binary star systems. They are so far away however that they just appear as one speck of light.

      Technically speaking, our nearest and most visible star is actually the Sun, although there are actually some stars almost 100 times MORE massive than the sun.

      This is the photo gallery for the Hubble telescope, its has such beautiful pictures of stars! http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/star/