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Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in TellMeWhy |

How Are Stars Formed?

How Are Stars Formed?

A star like our sun is born inside a huge cloud of gas and dust. A globe of space matter grows as it sweeps up surrounding matter by gravitational attraction. As the star material condenses, extremely high temperature and great pressure build up at the center.

This causes the crowded atomic particles to smash into one another and unite in a process called “fusion.” As the particles fuse, they release energy in the form of heat and light. This is why stars shine. Once formed, a star has enough fuel to send out light for millions or billions of years.

Like people, stars grow old and die. Their birth places are huge, known as ‘nebulas’. The most famous of these is the Orion nebula, which is just visible with the unaided eye.

After their birth, most young stars lie at the centre of a flat disc of gas and dust. Most of this material is eventually blown away by the star’s radiation. Before this happens, planets may form around the central star.

Just like living organisms, stars have a life cycle. In the same way that you are born, develop; age and die, stars do the same things. One big difference is that stars don’t need parents. Stars are born from huge clouds of gas and dust.

It’s amazing how that gas and dust are probably the most boring things in the universe and they can become everything, asteroids, planets and even stars.

Content for this question contributed by Chris Nyman, resident of Menominee, Menominee County, Michigan, USA