Stellar Evolution Part 3: Supergiant and Supernova

Stellar Evolution Part 3: Supergiant and Supernova

Most stars on the main sequence are relatively average: not too big and not too small. But every so often, a star begins its life as an absolute monster: a supergiant. These supergiants do join the main sequence, but due to the sheer amount of gravitational force and pressure, they burn through the hydrogen in

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Stellar Evolution Part 2: Main Sequence Stars

Stellar Evolution Part 2: Main Sequence Stars

When a protostar’s core reaches 15,000,000 degrees Celsius, nuclear fusion begins in its core. This ignition marks the star’s birth as it becomes a main sequence star. Main sequence stars have a ton of variety. They range from cooler red stars to hotly burning blue ones, and their size can range from a fraction of

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Stellar Evolution Part 1: Nebulae and Protostars

Stellar Evolution Part 1: Nebulae and Protostars

In the vast emptiness of space, there are floating clouds of gas and dust called nebulae. These clouds are stellar nurseries, filled with material that will one day become multiple solar systems. When part of a nebula is slightly more densely packed than the rest, gravity is stronger in that region. It begins to pull

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Measuring the Brightness of Stars

Measuring the Brightness of Stars

There are countless stars that we can see in our night sky, and all of them are unique. Some are dim, barely visible without a telescope. Others are bright and can be seen even in the most light-polluted areas. We measure the brightness of these stars using the magnitude scale. The magnitude scale seems a

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The Geminid Meteors

The Geminid Meteors

Nothing is more exciting than looking up and seeing a shooting star streak across the night sky. But we all know it’s not really a star falling from the heavens, but rather a giant ball of rock, ice and dust skimming through the atmosphere. This December we will be able to witness one of the

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Look up and Constellations

Look up and Constellations

A constellation is a group of stars that are considered to form imaginary outlines or meaningful patterns on the celestial sphere. They typically represent animals, mythological people, gods or creatures. There are 88 modern constellations, but just because those are the ones that are recognized doesn’t mean that one you make up is less valid.

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The Life and Death of Stars

The Life and Death of Stars

Did you know that stars live and die just like other living things?…Okay, maybe not just like them. But they do have a beginning, middle, and end. All stars start out the same way, from a nebula. A nebula, otherwise known as a “star nursery”, is a cloud of gas and dust out in space. Nebulae

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Where Do Stars Come From?

Where Do Stars Come From?

Where do stars come from? The short answer is: gravity. All objects with mass experience gravitational attraction to each other. That includes you & the Earth, you & me, every person on our planet, and every star in the cosmos. So, why aren’t we pulled in all directions? Gravity depends on two things: mass and

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Angular Momentum Makes Science FUN!

Angular Momentum Makes Science FUN!

Woohooo! Science is fun! What you just saw is a classic demonstration of something called Conservation of Angular Momentum. This concept can be difficult to grasp, and is certainly a mouthful. Let’s break it down and see if we can understand what is happening! A good place to start is the last word. Momentum is

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How Many Stars are Out There?

How Many Stars are Out There?

The numbers used in Astronomy are truly staggering.  For starters, the Earth is about 25,000 miles around. The nearest star to us is–obviously–the sun, which is 93 million miles away. To travel that distance, you would have to circle the Earth nearly 4000 times! The larger the numbers get, the harder it gets to understand

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