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Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Tell Me Why Numerous Questions and Answers |

Why Do Stars Shine Only at Night?

Why Do Stars Shine Only at Night?

Though stars seem to disappear when daylight comes, there are really stars in the sky all day, and their light keeps streaming to earth. When you look up at the sky on the clearest night, you can see thousands of twinkling stars.

They shine because they are huge balls of hot, glowing gases. They are held together through their own gravity and they give off some of the heat that they produce. Stars come in all sizes. Some are incredibly large, and oddly, it is the larger ones that have the shorter lifespan. Others are very small and they exist for longer periods of time.

During the day, we can’t see starlight because the sun’s light is thousands of times brighter. The sunlight spreads out through the atmosphere and colors it blue. In all this brightness, the light from the stars is lost.

Only when night falls, you begin to see them again. When we look into the night sky we are seeing the light from billions of stars that are at many distances from the earth.

Depending upon the distance, some of the light that is shining could have come from stars that gave off that light millions of years ago. We are actually seeing the moment that each sun released the energy that had waited and fought to get outside of the sun and was carried through the universe to us.

Each time we see the light of a star, we are seeing a star’s past.  If we had the chance to actually travel to where that star is located, we would notice that many things have changed from the moment it released the energy until the time it traveled to reach our site.

In some cases, a star could have lived and died; becoming a white dwarf or even exploding and going ‘nova’.  If we were actually there and looked back, we might also see the light from our own sun, but that would be light that was sent out millions of years before.

Content for this question contributed by Meredith Webster, resident of West Chester, Butler County, Ohio, USA