There are various celestial bodies in the solar system such as planets, comets, satellites, stars. Stars are one of the earliest celestial bodies known to us. Since ancient times, fishermen have often used the stars as a guide.
The definition of a star is a celestial body that emits its own light. Stars are so far away from Earth that their light is visible only at night and appears small. Stars form certain patterns called constellations.
Stars are also called glowing gas balls. Most of the components of light are hydrogen and helium. The two materials are held together by gravity with a high temperature which then produces energy.
Each star will have a different size and amount of energy. We can tell the energy of a star by looking at the color of its light.
Stars with white or blue light have a higher temperature. Whereas stars with lower temperature or cooler are orange or red in color.
Also read: Star Binoculars: Functions, How They Work, and Types
Most people draw a star in the shape of a pentagon, with five acute angles. Even sea animals that look like this are called starfish. Is it true that the shape of a star is like this?
Judging from the notion of a star, a star is described as something spherical. In general, stars are perfectly round or nearly perfect due to the gravitational pull acting in all directions. However, there are some stars that are flat, even like a walnut.
Flat-shaped stars actually start with a spherical star. Due to its very rapid rotation, this star loses some of its mass and becomes flattened in shape.
A flattened-shaped star called Achernar. The flattest star ever discovered by astronomers through observations at the European Southern Observatory in 2002.
In addition to being flattened, a pea-sized star occurs when two binary stars touch each other and the gases from each star mix between the two cores, forming a bean-like shape.
There are four benefits of stars for human life, which are as follows:
Some stars are fixed in the sky, so they can be used as directions or navigation. One of the stars widely used to determine direction is the North Star or Polaris and the constellation Ursa Major.
Both are used to determine the direction of north, and from here the other direction can be determined. Polaris is near the North Pole, while the constellation Ursa Major is near the Arctic sky with seven very bright stars.
The stars are shaped like a bear (for Europeans) or a large dipper (for people in Indonesia).
- determine the latitude of a place
To find the latitude, we can measure the angle of the star Polaris above the horizon. This is due to Polaris being located near the North Pole. This method was used by European sailors during the exploration period to determine their location while sailing to various oceans and continents.
- set time and month
The speed of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun (Earth’s revolution) will change which is visible at different times of the year. Due to this change, different moons are visible in different constellations.
By looking at the visible constellation patterns, i.e. the zodiac, we can find out the current month. For example, the constellation Aquarius (Drawer of Water) appears on January 20 – February 18.
- planting time
By determining the season using the constellations, this constellation change can be used to determine planting time. When the rainy season has arrived, start planting paddy which requires a lot of water.
Stars are divided into several types, including:
As the name suggests, giant stars are very big. Compared to the Sun, the size of this massive star is 200 times larger.
There are two types of giant stars, namely hot blue giant stars and cold red giant stars. An example of a massive star is Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus.
Supergiant star is the largest star in the universe. The size of this animal is bigger than a giant star. Even supergiant stars are 10 million times brighter than the Sun.
There are two types of supergiant stars, blue supergiant stars and red supergiant stars. An example of a supergiant star is Betelgeuse, the brightest star in the constellation Orion.
Most of the stars in the universe are dwarfs, including our Sun. Like humans, dwarf stars go through several stages in their lifetime. There are several types of dwarf stars, such as yellow dwarfs, orange dwarfs, red dwarfs and blue dwarfs.
The Sun is a yellow dwarf that can live up to 10 billion years. Actually, there are three other types of dwarf stars, namely brown dwarfs, white dwarfs and black dwarfs.
A brown dwarf is a failed star because it is not hot enough to become a normal star. A white dwarf is a very old star, while a black dwarf is a dead star that no longer glows.
When a high-mass star dies, it explodes as a supernova. After the explosion, the star will transform into two possibilities, namely a black hole or a neutron star. By the way, this neutron star is small but very dense.
Just imagine, a neutron star measuring only 20 kilometers could have the same mass as the Sun. Even though the size of our Sun is 14 lakh kilometers.
A pulsar is a neutron star that emits bright vibrations from its magnetic poles. Radiation is usually in the form of radio waves. If it takes one day for the Earth to rotate, the pulsar takes less than a second to rotate.
Magnetar stars are neutron stars with very strong magnetic fields. The magnets of this star can attract or repel other celestial bodies, even if they are not in contact.
Magnetars are created when a star dies in a supernova explosion. So, supernovae usually generate black holes or neutron stars. But there are also supernovae that generate magnets, although this is rare.