What the stars are ?

To the ancient shepherd or early astronomer, a star was but a flickering point of light in the sky, seeming almost about to be blown out by every passing breeze. Some thought of the stars at little glittering gems set in the solid dome of the sky. Only after many weary centuries had rolled past did some man suggest that perhaps the stars are really large and very hot and very bright, like the sun, and that only their great distance makes them appear faint.

Today we know this is true; the sun is a star, and it is only because it is so close to us that it appears more important then the other stars. But that closeness is only relative; as measured in ordinary terms, the sun is very far away. If we should some how be able to fly to the sun in a transport plane traveling at a speed of 250 miles per hour, we should need to start out early in life, for more then forty years would be required to make the trip! Well if in air-plane is too slow, suppose we ride a rifle bullet; that travels much faster then an airplane. This would help, but even then it would take us almost five years to get to the sun.

The sun is the nearest star, and certainly the most important one to us, for the earth and all the other planets revolve around it, forming what is called the solar system. From the sun we get all our light and life. Like the sun, the other stars are great glowing masses of gas, shining by them. They are not burning, as a piece of coal or wood burns; if they were burning, they would all have burned up long ago. They are glowing, they are incandescent. So the stars, though glowing, last a long time, most of them show no change of any kind, even after many, many centuries have passed. Our star, the sun has been shining as it is today for at least many millions of years.

A star is a enormous, glowing ball of plasma held together by magnitude. At the end of its life time, a star can also contain an amount of disintegrate substance. The nearest star to earth is sun. Other stars are visible from earth only on nights. Historically the most important stars on the celestial sphere were grouped together into collection and asterisms and the brightest stars added proper names. Extensive catalogues of stars have been accumulated by astronomers.

By Rehana khan(111/10)


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