A Deadly Fault in Our Stars?

by Sayra Garcia, age 12

While they might all look similar from Earth, stars actually differ in size, color, and temperature. However, all stars are born in and end the same way.

Stars are created when gravity draws together dust and gas into balls, forming nebulae. As nebulae heat up and gain energy, they begin to emit heat, shine, and illuminate the night sky.

Young stars typically stay together in clusters. Though the naked eye cannot perceive it from Earth, these clusters actually contain stars that are many different colors and sizes. Large stars are white and hot while small stars are red and cool. Because of their size, larger stars create energy much faster and become much hotter than smaller ones. Stars that fall in the middle of this size spectrum, like the Sun, appear yellow.

Since large stars use energy quickly, they have shorter life spans than small stars do. The Sun, which has been shining for approximately five billion years, is halfway through its life span. Like the Sun, each star will ultimately fade.

[Source: 100 Things You Should Know About Space ]