Class Notes: 3f – Stars
Five facts about stars:
- The larger the star, the shorter its life. Although bigger stars have more fuel, they have to quickly consume it through nuclear fusion to maintain hydrostatic equilibrium.
- All stars are made from hydrogen and helium, and they all started out with the same proportions – they contain about 1/4 helium and 3/4 hydrogen.
- The vast majority of stars are red dwarfs, which can have masses as low as seven per cent t hat of the Sun’s mass. They can burn for no less than 10 trillion years.
- The name ‘yellow dwarf’ is a misnomer: these can range from white to yellow. The Sun is white, but it appears yellow due to the scattering of light in our atmosphere.
- The brightest star in our sky aside from the Sun is Sirius, which is actually a binary star system about 8.6 light years away from Earth.