Superstar facts

25th January 2021

Do you know your constellations from your supernovas? Your Orion's Belt from your Milky Way?

Here’s some useful star facts to tuck away ready for the next pub quiz…

  • A star’s life cycle lasts billions of years - that’s a LONG time. (Even better, when you name a star, that means you're leaving a lasting imprint for almost eternity).

  • Some stars shine brighter than others - This can depend on how far away from Earth they are and how much energy (luminosity) they are giving out into the atmosphere.

  • Not all stars are the same golden colour we see in pictures - in fact, hotter stars are generally white or blue whereas a cooler star could be orange or red.

  • The sun is a star, and it’s actually now 4.6 billion years old, and scientists are expecting it to stick around for a few billion more years too… phew, that’s good to know!

  • Different configurations of stars are called ‘constellations’ - and they all have really cool names like for example, The Milky Way! Some are named after animals they resemble such as Canus Major (Big Dog).

  • Constellations of stars can also be used to help you find your way home - you may have heard of the North Star - This can be used by people living in the Northern Hemisphere to get a sense of direction - useful to know if you ever find yourself lost in the wilderness too.

  • There are around 9,096 stars visible to the naked eye, and many, many more which you can see using a telescope.

  • If you look up at the sun, you’re actually seeing it as it was in the past, 8.5 minutes ago to be precise - how cool is that?

We LOVE astronomy, there’s so much to know and learn, plus more and more developments are found out every year thanks to the work of astronomers.

Make your mark on the night sky and name a star - take a look here to get started 1. Star-Name-Registry