When looking at stars; you’re actually looking into the past. Many of the stars we see at night have already died.
Gazing the stars, we often admire their beauty, unaware of the fact that most of these sparkling objects in the sky are actually the stars that have already died!
Light is undoubtedly very fast– it travels at a pace of 300,000 kilometres per second, but still it takes some time to travel from one place to another. For example, it takes 8 minutes for the light from the sun to reach the earth. This phenomenon also applies to the light reaching us from the moon. Similarly, we are able to see the light reflected from the stars that don’t exist now!
Countless are the number of stars in different galaxies; they are millions and billions of years old and most of them have been replaced by some new ones. However, stars have a very long life, the ones which can use their fuel the most rapidly, can also live up to 1 million years or more. This means that the chances of a star happening to die while its light is already on its way to Earth are very less. For this to happen, a star would have to be quite near to its own death after a very long life.
The nearest known star to the Sun is the Alpha Centauri triple-star system, and light takes more than four years to get from there to here.
Here are some other facts about stars–
1) Every star you see in the night sky is bigger and brighter than our sun.
2) During a clear night, with the naked eye you can see up to 19,000,000,000,000,000 miles away, very easily.
3) The bigger the star, the shorter is its life. This is true because larger stars consume their energy at a faster rate than the smaller ones.
4) There are around 200 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy alone.
5) The twinkling effect is merely the light from the star passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, and it is merely deflecting the light before it reaches your eyes.
So the next time you see the stars, it is possible that the ones you are watching might have died millions of years ago!
Reference : slate, pixabay