Watching a magician, we are again and again amazed and delighted by the rabbits, doves, and flowers appearing apparently naturally from his hat or coat. But the things nature can conjure up surpass all imagination. From the simplest of ingredients, the chemical elements hydrogen and helium, it is able to form the most diverse objects—nebulae, stars, and systems of stars. And not all stars are similar. Particularly if there is time for evolution, they appear in great variety. There are stars smaller than Earth, and there are stars several hundred times larger than the sun. There are stars almost as old as the universe, and others younger than humanity. They can be single or double stars, or live in large families called star clusters. They can appear as red giants, white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes. They can pulsate, explode suddenly, or flicker like a defective fluorescent tube. The Milky Way alone is home to 200 billion stars—more than there are humans on Earth.
KeywordsMethane Dust Helium Flare Amaze
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