Stars are fascinating. They twinkle from afar and yet, they are just spheres of gas. These glowing objects are mainly made of gases like hydrogen and helium. They look so tiny from Earth but they are actually massive objects that are very hot. They even produce great amounts of energy. Stars could last a thousand years and some could even reach millions of years! Our Sun is a star but it is just a medium-sized star. There are smaller stars and definitely bigger ones. Some are a thousand times larger than the Sun. Since there are hundreds of billions of stars in the universe, stars are grouped according to various classifications. Some of the classifications are discussed below:
A Protostar is a very young star in its earliest stage of formation. Formation takes at least a hundred thousand years for a star and the time it takes to mature depends on its size. Protostars are usually seen by a telescope with molecular clouds around them, making them very difficult to observe. These young stars are very unstable because they are still gaining heat and mass to develop completely.
T Tauri Star
T Tauri Stars are also young stars that are less than twice the size of the Sun. They are unstable but not as unstable as the Protostars. T Tauri Stars could show unpredictable changes in luminosity. Just like the Protostar, it is not yet mature because it has not undergone nuclear fusion yet. Nuclear fusion can only be achieved when the temperature of the star’s interior is high enough to force atoms to move at a very rapid rate. When atoms move at a very rapid rate, they tend to collide, which could result to a very large amount of energy.
Red Dwarf Star
Red Dwarf Stars are stars that develop slower than most stars. They are usually small and their surface temperature is less than 4000 Kelvin. Red Dwarf Stars’ mass is less than half that of the Sun. Its luminosity is stable until it exhausts its fuel. Red Dwarf Stars are categorized as cool stars.
Red Giant Star
Red Giant Stars are stars in the last stage of their lives. These stars’ brightness is very high, at least a thousand times brighter than the Sun. Since they are in their last stage, they expand for at least a million years or so. After the expansion, they turn into white-dwarf planetary nebula systems, which soon mark the death of the star.
White Dwarf Star
Stars, no matter how big they are, end up using all of their fuel at some point. When they do, some of them are reduced to White Dwarf Stars. White Dwarf Stars would eventually explode. The explosion doesn’t really mean the end of the star because it could leave some of its pieces, which could then turn into new white or red dwarf stars.
Not all stars would become White Dwarf Stars during the last phase of their lives. They could turn into Neutron Stars once their fuel depletes. Stars that are 1.5 to 3 times the mass of the sun would most likely turn into Neutron Stars as they collapse. Neutron Stars contain neutrons and they are very compact. Their gravitational field is around 2x10^11 times stronger than that of the Earth.
Blue Giant Star
Blue Giant Stars contain so much energy that they have at least 10,000 times as much as the Sun. Blue Giant Stars are also extremely luminous. They have a surface temperature of at least 20,000 Kelvin, which is also very, very hot. These giants are blue in appearance.
Hydrogen composition of Yellow Stars is somewhat weak compared to other stars. However, they have very evident metallic lines. They are categorized as Yellow Stars in the Stellar Classification because their surface temperature ranges from 5,200 Kelvin up to 6,000 Kelvin. The Sun is considered a Yellow Star, despite its white appearance in space.
Super Giant Star
Super Giant Stars are those that have at least 30,000 times the brightness of the Sun. Although they are ‘giants’, their lifespan is very short. Super Giant Stars could last up to 30 million years, but there are others that could survive for only a hundred thousand years. There are Red Super Giant Stars, while there are Blue ones as well. According to experts, Blue Super Giant Stars are hotter than the Red ones.
What is a Birthday Star?
A light-year is a unit of measurement that refers to the distance that light has to travel. It’s a fascinating unit because it can help us determine age. The birthday star tells us which star sent light the day you were born, in other words it is a star that is your age in light years away from the Earth. However, birthday stars change from time to time because as you get older, light from more stars would reach the Earth. If you’re interested in finding your birthday star, you may consult the links shown below:
Check out the following resources for more information on stars: