How It Works

Top 5 Facts: Stars

Bigger isn’t better

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.

The same, but different

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.

More red dwarfs

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.

Not yellow dwarfs

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.

Second best

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.