Stars
Why do stars twinkle?
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  Facts
  • Stars seem to twinkle
  • The twinkle is actually the light travelling from the star and being bent and twisted in its long trip through layers and layers of gas particles in the atmosphere back to your eye.
  • Stars are mega hot balls of nuclear fusion that are so hot they glow.
  • Our sun is a star - a ball of fusion energy and its glow gives us our daylight.
  • Stars glow all the time but the brightness of our sunís daylight cancels out the twinkle of the stars.
 
  Did You Know?
  • Scientists believe that stars are formed by clouds of gas and dust starting to spin. The faster the clouds rotate the closer the particles of gas and dust get and the more friction is created. They get hotter and bigger until they become red hot balls of energy.
  • The people in the Southern Hemisphere (like New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands) look out at a different part of the sky from the Northern Hemisphere so they see different stars.
  • A star can shine for over a billion years. It takes millions of years for a star to form and millions of years for it to "die".
  • When a star "dies" or explodes it can form a black hole
  • A "falling star" is actually a meteor or meteorite (a lump of rock) moving through space. The friction created by the movement of the rock through our atmosphere causes the rock to burn so we can see it like a star.
 
  Experiments
With the help of some friends or while on school camp experiment with a torch to see how the light of a torch looks smaller and dimmer the further away you are - just like the "light" of a huge star.
On a clear night see how many stars you can see. If you live in a large town or city you wonít see as many as if you lived out on a farm because of the glow of all the streetlights and so on.
 
  Investigation
Over a number of clear nights look at the stars and see if they twinkle more on a windy night or a still night? Do you see more stars when the moon is out or when itís hidden by a cloud? See if you can find stars that twinkle different colours? Where is the brightest star? Is it in the same place a month later - why would that be?
 
  Jokes
Why did the star want to go to Hollywood?
It wanted to be a movie star!
 




 
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