Q:

Are all stars suns?

A:

Quick Answer

While the sun is a star, not all stars are considered suns. In order to be classified as a sun, any given star must have planets orbiting around it, and not all stars do. However, the sun is not the only star that has planets orbiting it.

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Full Answer

In the early 1990s, astronomers discovered that there were planetary systems orbiting around other stars, essentially making them suns. While only a few were found at first, scientists now know that many such systems exist. These discovered planets are now referred to as exoplanets so that they aren't confused with the planets in this solar system.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are stars made from?

    A:

    Stars are mostly made up of hydrogen and helium, with only trace amounts of heavier elements. A star is a massive incandescent ball of plasma held together by its own gravity. The principle process that occurs within a star is the conversion of hydrogen into helium.

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  • Q:

    What are some facts about stars?

    A:

    All stars begin as dust and tiny particles in a cloud of gas called nebulae. They develop into stars by passing through several stages over a period of millions of years. Once a star is born, it emits heat, light, x-rays, ultraviolet rays, gamma rays and other forms of radiation.

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  • Q:

    How are stars made?

    A:

    Stars begin the formation process in cold clouds, called molecular clouds; eventually, these clouds collapse internally, generating a solar nebula, which shrinks and generates heat, spins and flattens. Following the change in the nebula, stars have distinct shapes and exist independently of their formative clouds. To fully transform into a star, they undergo the process of nuclear fusion, which produces heat and energy sufficient for preventing the further collapse of the nebula, ultimately helping stars expand.

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  • Q:

    How long do stars last?

    A:

    The life cycle of a star is related to its mass. A star the size of the sun has a life cycle of approximately 10 billion years. A star 10 times the size of the sun, however, burns fuel faster and can have a main phase of millions of years.

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