What in the Stars?

What are Stars?

  • Born within the clouds of dust and scattered throughout galaxies.
  • Most widely recognized astronomical objects.
  • Represent the fundamental building blocks of galaxies.
  • Responsible for the manufacture and distribution of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen.
  • Fueled by the nuclear fusion of hydrogen to form helium within them.
  • Central to the field of astronomy.
  • The smallest stars are known as red dwarfs while the massive stars are known as hypergiants.

Orion Nebula

  • Also known as Messier 42.
  • 1,500 light-years away.
  • The closest large star-forming region to Earth.
  • Turbulence within the dust clouds forms knots with enough mass that the gas and dust collapse resulting in the material at the center to heat up.
  • Protostar is the hot core that will one day become a star.
  • Any remaining material may become planets, asteroids, comets, or remain as dust.

Main Sequence Stars

  • Span a wide range of luminosities and colors on the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram.
  • The Sun is a yellow dwarf star. It requires about 50 million years to mature and will stay in the maturity phase for approximately 10 billion years.

White Dwarfs

  • Hot stellar cinder left from average stars ejecting their outer layers and exposing the stellar core.
  • About the size of the Earth.
  • The bigger the core, the denser the white dwarf.
  • They lack a source of energy production and fade away when they cool down.
  • If formed in a binary or multiple star system, they may become novae.


  • Star’s core collapses and explodes.
  • Releases a huge amount of energy and may outshine an entire galaxy.
  • An explosion occurs once every hundred years in the typical galaxy.
  • Produces a neutron star when the stellar core contains between 1.4 and 3 solar masses.

Black Holes

  • Formed when the collapsed stellar core is larger than three solar masses.

What in the Stars? Word Search


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Stars: Important Members of the Galaxy Crossword Puzzle

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