Not all stars you see at night still exist. Some of them may have died millions of years ago. That means that some of the brightest stars you are looking are already dead. If that’s the case, why are they still sparkling in the sky? This is because of the unfathomable distance between our planet and those stars. Light travels faster than anything else, sound itself being several magnitudes slower. Even then, these distances can make light travel for hundreds of millions of years!
Travelling at the speed of 300,000 kilometers per second, some of the star lights, those closer to us, would take about 8 minutes for them to become visible to our eyes. And what we see as infinite numbers of stars at night is in reality only about 6,000.
Stars die and fade away but without first making a spectacle out of themselves.
The process of star death starts when the atoms inside them begin to collide and fuse together. This process is called nuclear fusion. This generates a lot of heat, highly visible lights, and other forms of energy. The star turns highly visible during this stage of their life. It’s like an already half-used candle when they burn the brightest. It’s the same with the stars. When they shine at their brightest it is also the stage when they start to ebb. The star that burns the brightest is a star that’s about to fade away.
Some of those lights wee see at night are just the “echo” of the stars that may have burnt themselves out millions of years ago.
How far is the nearest star from our planet not including the sun? The sun is only 93 million miles away from us.
Alpha Centauri the nearest star system is about 4.3 light years away from us. If we translate that into kilometers that would be, let’s see 1 light year is 6 trillion kilometers so 4.3 light years is about 25.8 trillion kilometers. That’s a lot of kilometer if I may day so.
How many stars are there in Our Milky Way Galaxy? According to research there are about one hundred billion stars.