The night sky has titillated the fancy of people for eons.
There is nothing more relaxing than looking up at the clear blanket of sky sprinkled with a million sparkling stars.
If you have an interest in the cosmos, here are a few interesting facts about the night sky that will make you marvel even more!
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1. There are 9096 visible stars in the sky
There are a thousand stars bedazzling your eyes in the night sky, but have you ever stopped to wonder just exactly how many? As children, we’ve all attempted to count the night sky stars but in vain. Well, here we put your curiosity to rest. There are a whopping 9096 stars that light up the beautiful night sky.
2. You Can See 9 Galaxies in the Night Sky
We’ve all had nights spent just gazing into the depth of the glorious night sky. But did you know you can actually spot around 9 galaxies in the sky with your naked eye. The most obvious one is the Andromeda Galaxy, which is bright enough to spot easily even on relatively darker, moonless nights.
3. The Most Common Type of Star is the Red Dwarf
Star types have rather interesting names! Did you know? The most common type of star is the Red Dwarf. These stars burn very, very slowly, which means they can live up to a 100 billion years! These stars shine less than other ones, as their brightness decreases over time. They are typically less than half of the sun’s mass and size.
4. Looking at the Night Sky is Looking Back in Time
When you look up at the night sky, you are essentially looking at how it was about 100,000 or more years ago! Blows away your mind, doesn’t it? Since it takes millions of years for the star’s light to reach us, we see the night sky in the state it was years and years ago. It’s like time travel.
5. Stars Don’t Actually Twinkle
Sorry to burst your bubble, folks, but contrary to our beloved nursery rhyme, ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’, stars don’t actually twinkle. As the star’s light reaches us, which takes several hundred years, it passes by several vision turbulences in the Earth’s atmosphere. This turbulent path creates the illusion that the stars are twinkling, which in reality, they are not.
6. Shooting Stars Are Actually Meteors
We’ve all believed the assertion that wishing upon shooting stars can make us wishes come true? While we don’t know if that’s exactly true, did you know that shooting stars are actually meteors? A meteor is a tiny bit of rock in space. They move very, very fast, which is why they burn up when they hit the earth’s atmosphere. This is what creates the stunning visual of a shooting star!
7. Stars Can Be Different Colors
We are all used to seeing stars as a gorgeous silver color. But in reality, stars come in a variety of colors like red, orange, white, bluish-white and blue. Shocking, right? The color of the star is determined by how hot the star is. The hottest stars are blue and can be as hot as up to 200,000,000° Fahrenheit at their core! A red star is the coolest, but still has a core temperature of 5,000° Fahrenheit.
8. Some Planets Are the Brightest Objects in The Night Sky
We tend to think that all shiny objects in the night sky are stars but that’s not true. The brightest objects that are visible in the night sky are actually Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn! You can look for up-to-date information about the planets that would visible in your location on any particular night.
9. Most Stars in the Night Sky Are Actually Bigger Than The Sun
While the sun obviously appears larger to us, the stars that are visible to our naked eye are actually much bigger and brighter! The dimmest star would be the Alpha Centauri, but this too, is about 1.5 times brighter than the sun.
10. Only about Half of the Night Sky is Available to View
At any given moment, we can only see about 50% of the night sky. Since the expanse is too great, what we see is literally just half of it!