Stars in the Sky
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
Ceylon Today Features
If you’re reading this during the day, why not take a few minutes to step outside. Feel the warmth from the sun as its rays bounce against you.
Imagine how different life would be if it weren’t for the sun that provides all the energy needed to make this Earth the planet full of life that it is.
You might already know that our Sun is a star. While it may seem rather warm from our homes here in Sri Lanka, the Sun is in fact, a gigantic flaming ball of fire burning brightly as we hurtle through space.
When comparing our Sun and the planets of our Solar System, the difference in size is very obvious.
But did you know that stars come in all different sizes and even colours? Also, have you ever thought of what happens to a star when it dies? That ball of fire is going to burn out one day in the future.
There are billions of stars out there, scattered throughout the universe. Thanks to technology and modern science, scientists have been able to see closer into these stars and study them the best way we can right now. So far, we’ve found some interesting facts about stars.
Clean source of power
Each star uses a process called nuclear fusion in order to generate its heat and energy. Our sun’s nuclear fusion is powerful enough to provide energy to basically the entire solar system, in different levels depending how close each planet is to it.
In fact, it won’t be wrong when you say that stars are the generators of the universe, providing energy to everything around it.
In fact, scientists are trying to recreate the nuclear fusion of suns here on Earth. While we are still discovering how to make artificial suns of our own, experts are sure that fusion energy will become the energy of the future.
Factories of the universe
Because of nuclear fusion, stars also have the ability to create many elements that are essential building blocks for everything around us. In fact, you could say that most of the elements that were used to create your physical body was once formed inside the core of a star
Different colours and sizes
While gigantic it may be, the sun is not the largest star out there. In fact, our Sun is barely average in size when compared to the other stars that scientists have discovered. Scientists have found many stars that are easily many times bigger than our Sun. The biggest of stars are called supergiant stars, which burn a bright blue and die out in massive explosions called supernovas, scattering matter into the universe.
On the other side, there are the stars that burn the coldest, which appear red. One of such red stars is proxima centauri, where scientists have found a planet very similar to Earth.
Our Sun is right in the middle of the two types of stars, burning a yellow-orange. Of course there are other types of stars such as white dwarves and neutron stars, however, you’ll have to search about them with your parents or siblings to find out more.
That’s because there’s a lot more to know about stars and how they play an important role in the universe around us.