As a kid, the shining stars in the night sky always fascinated us. Remember coming across the beauteous pictures of bright stars in story books and craving badly to touch one of them? The first poem we all learnt by heart was “Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are”. And as we grew up, the night sky full of stars became our most cherished peace! Lying under the sheet of dark sky full of stars had been everybody’s romantic fantasy.
From childhood yearnings till the end, our connection with stars is from heart and mind.
Full of memories! Full of delight! That is how our “thrilling” stars are! But there is much more to add to our tantalization for stars. The far- fetched stars have some really far-fetched prodigious facts. The interesting facts about them will trigger the excitement and leave you wide eyed.
Be ready to get spell bound!!!
Here, the top 10 Incredible Unbelievable Facts about Stars!
10. Stars take us back to 1000s of years!
How much we adore the spark and beauty of stars. But to your amazement it is not how it looked right then. In fact what we see now is how the star looked thousands of years back. Yes, you read it right! While looking at stars we truly travel the time backwards. The reasoning is that it takes millions of years for the light of stars to reach the Earth. Studies feel that the largest star is 4900 light years away from Earth.
So the stars you see tonight are how they looked thousands of years ago!
9. Stars are not single!
You point your finger at ONE star. Did you know that you pointed at two or may be more stars and not just single? Stars mostly exist in duos or even trios. As named, they are binary stars, meaning two stars orbiting a common barycenter or the center of gravity. There might be 3 or 4 of them together and still look to be as ONE. Being too far away from Earth they appear to be single fleck of light.
Observations tell that 85% of the stars in the Milky Way galaxy come in binary, triplet or even multiple systems.
8. Red is hot. Blue is cold. FALSE!!!
Whenever we see blue, cold vibes are felt and seeing red we feel heated. This is exactly the opposite with stars. SHOCKED??? Well, blue stars if touched will burn you and the red ones will freeze you. Logically, stars are heated objects and heated objects switch colours as and when the temperature changes. Drop in temperature makes it red in colour and hike in temperature makes the star look blue. So when you see a red star, it is the coolest one among the all!
7. Green stars are a real fiction!
If you ever come across hearing about green stars, tell them it is fake talk. Green stars are all stories and no reality. Stars get their color from black- body spectrum and it is NEVER green. Even if some observers find green ones it is only an optical illusion. Red objects can make nearby objects giving impression of green. Stars come in red, orange, yellow, white and blue colour depending upon their temperature.
6. Stars so giant that make Sun look tiny!
Thought of Sun to be the biggest star? Let us prick that bubble of falsehood. There are uncountable stars that are fatter than our Sun. Red giants are 1000 or more times the size of the Sun. In fact, the monster version of our Sun i.e. HR 5171 A is found to be nearly 1300 times the size of the Sun.
The hugest star of all the times till now is VY Canis Majoris, so huge that it would engulf the orbit of Saturn. It is taken to be more than 1500 times the size of the Sun.
5. Travel for 4.2 light years to reach star next to Sun!
Sun is the closest star. But the star next to the Sun or the second closest one is Proxima Centauri. Want to reach there? Well, pack your bags then to be away from Earth for many thousands of years. Surprisingly, it would take you roughly 35,000 years to reach the nearest star next to the Sun. It is about 40,000,000,000,000 kilometers away from Earth. Quite a large number of zeroes at the end, right? In other words it is 4.2 light years away from Earth.
4. Lifespan of the stars!
Just like human beings stars also have duration of their life time. Believe it or not; they come into existence, passes phases of life and finally give up on their life. We may feel that more massive the star, longer the life. But the truth stands contrary. The low mass red dwarf stars can survive for 10 trillion years before finally running out. It helps us to draw the conclusion that the most massive stars have the shortest of the life.
3. Millions of stars on a dark night- UNCONVINCING!
It has been often said, “darker the night, brighter the stars”. What we have known through poems and songs is flawed now. The truth is that we can never see millions of stars on a dark night. The moonless night, with no source of light even for the farthest of distance will let a normal eye-sighted person to set his eyes upon 2000-2500 stars at a time. So the next time you have a clear/dark night sky just see if you could take the counting to thousands let alone millions.
2. Number of stars in the universe? UNIMAGINABLE!
People say there are billions of stars and some say there are stars more than the grains of sand. But how many are there for actual? Astonishingly, our Milky Way galaxy ALONE is thought to have more than 200 billion stars.
Now, how many galaxies do we have?
The ballpark figure for the same is 100 billion. Now try to multiply both the figures and the result? Simply mind boggling! It is approximated to be at least 70 sextillion or over a Septillion stars in the universe.
1. Stars don’t and can’t twinkle!
The first rhyme of our lives- Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars!!! Growing up we realize it was just a poem and no fact. Twinkling was never the property of the stars. It has its relation with the atmosphere of the Earth rather. The light falls from stars to Earth and when the light has to travel through the atmosphere to reach Earth, it bounces and deflects in varied directions. Hence, it ONLY appears and forms the illusion of stars twinkling.
So, no more twinkle twinkle little stars and no more wondering of what “you” are!
The next time you slip into the beauty and charm of stars, you will have all the incredible facts with you! Time to drown in their magic again!