science education resource

For K-12 Students • Educators • Homeschool Families • Naturalists


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A star is actually a giant ball of gas. Made of mostly hydrogen, they run like a nuclear fusion generator making heat and light energy. They vary in size from tiny neutron stars that are just a few miles wide to red super giants that are millions of miles wide. Stars can live for billions of years. The larger the star, the shorter its lifespan. When a star dies, it is because it runs out of hydrogen. It cools and expands into a red giant, then collapses into a white dwarf, and finally becomes a dead black dwarf. You can tell when you are seeing a star in a photograph because stars seem to have spikes of light shooting out from their center. This is really just how a relic of how the telescope captures the bright starlight.

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Next Generation Science Standards Connection

ESS1. A  The universe  and its stars
ESS1. B   Earth and the solar system
Patterns of movement of the sun, moon, and stars as seen from Earth can be bserved, described, and predicted has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.