The glory of the sunset belongs not to a bearded God but to the solar system, which is transcendent and majestic.

A star initially has an abundance of hydrogen, deuterium, beryllium, lithium, and boron that it inherited from the stellar medium before its birth. Though its intense gravitational pressure, the star will fuse these elements, generating energy from the fusion, until it reaches the end of the line with Iron.

Why sunsets aren't violet or ultraviolet
Stars form together
Why stars are visible

Types of stars

Canis Majoris
Neutron stars
Our Sun


There are so, so many stars. And all of them will have planets.

There are as many stars in the Milky Way as there are grains of sand in a beach that is 30ft by 30ft, to 3 ft deep.

Chris Anderson TED Lessons, How many universes are there?

If each star were a grain of sand. The entire earth doesn't have enough beaches to represent all the stars in the universe.

And holy mother of God, go to that site and turn on Infared.


  • When I was on the plane at night and looked up into the sky, I wrote:
  • "I have never seen so many stars. There are the usual, brightest stars, but between them own in your honourable demand number. I can see about triple the normal number, without any obstruction of cloud. I imagine this to be the same view space explorers, when they look at their window, would see. Nothing but the stars and the extension of the craft (in my case, the wing) through a tiny, reinforced window. Can it be possible that there are so many dim stars? You could count how many bright ones that are, but the dim ones… They are too dim to be certain that they are not tricks of the light.
  • Stare at one of the bright ones and all of the others fade to black – till there is nothing but blackness and a single pinprick of white light. And what it signifies! It must have planets.
  • The lack of land and trees gives a curious perspective, that of an orb of stars. Or of suspension in the black cause moss… Of inhabiting a void, but accompanied by these pinpricks of light. And there are many. One may get the same perspective on a mountain without light pollution. The view from the cockpit must be extraordinary.
  • Each pinprick in the sky is a possibility of worlds beyond our own. If there are as many dim stars as I think there are (and I cannot be certain, their light is too low) then they almost entirely fill the sky."
  • Is almost every bit of sky actually full of faint stars we can't see? If all the faint stars became brighter, how much of the sky would they take up? Almost all of it??
  • Hold out a grain of sand at arms length. If you zoom in so that patch of sky fills your vision, it would be chock full of galaxies.
  • Al Worden, Command Module Pilot on Apollo 15, To see Earth and Moon in a single glance
    • The sky is just awash of stars when you’re on the far side of the moon, and you don’t have any sunlight to cut down on the lower intensity, dimmer stars. You see them all, and it’s all just a sheet of white.
  • To see a simulation, jump onto Space Engine and turn the magnitude limit up a bit, and fly through the Milky Way.
  • Amateur picture taken at Yosemite

Say hey to Owlbert Einstein

Curator of the Big Ideas Network

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