One of the most surprising and overwhelming natural phenomena that we can observe is the simple fact of enjoying the starry sky on a clear night. However, both modern life and daylight prevent us from observing this wonder of nature more than we would like.
What are the stars
Stars are celestial bodies that are characterized by being made up of a large amount of gas, mainly hydrogen and helium, in an incandescent state. Learn more about what stars are made of in this other GreenEcology article.
This means that, being in this incandescent state, in addition to emitting heat, they also emit light, which is the main characteristic that defines them. In fact, in general terms, a star is usually understood as those celestial bodies that emit their own light , while, for example, planets, they would simply be celestial bodies that do not emit their own light and that revolve around a star.
There are many types of stars and, in fact, when we look at the sky on a clear night, each bright point that we see in the sky usually corresponds to a star that is very far from our planet. Because of this, it is why they look so small. Although it is true that most of the luminous points observed in the night sky are stars, some of the brightest planets in our solar system can also be seen with the naked eye, such as Jupiter or Venus. However, it is important to bear in mind that, although these planets shine at night, their light comes from the Sun itself, which illuminates them in the same way as it does the Moon, which allows us to see them and they can become confused. with stars at night
Yes. Actually, the Sun is the closest star to us and, furthermore, it is the star around which our planet, the Earth, orbits. In fact, when we see stars in the night sky, what we are observing are celestial bodies similar to the Sun.
Although they can have different sizes, being more or less large than the Sun , in essence, it is the same type of celestial body. That is, huge balls of gas burning light years away. These enormous distances are what make, despite being the same as our Sun, they are observed as tiny as simple white dots in the sky. But, despite this, it is important for us to be clear that they are celestial bodies of the same type.
Why are there no stars in the sky during the day
Actually, saying that there are no stars in the sky during the day is a mistake. In fact, there are stars during the day , the same as at night. However, what happens is that we cannot see them due to excess light from the Sun , our own star.
Now you know why the stars shine at night and not during the day , but why exactly does it happen? This happens due to saturation of light. It must be taken into account that, although the Sun and the rest of the stars are space bodies of the same type, the amount of light from the stars that reaches us is much less than that which reaches us from the Sun. This means that, although the light of the stars reaches us also during the day, their brightness is completely blurred due to the excess of sunlight in the atmosphere, making it impossible to see them even if they are still there. On the contrary, as the atmospheric light diminishes as night falls, we can observe how the stars begin to appear gradually in the sky, filling the sky with white and luminous points on a night with a clear sky.
However, although the sunlight does not allow us to see the stars , it is not the only phenomenon that prevents them from being easily seen, even at night. If we try to see the sky on a clear night, it would be natural to see billions of stars scattered across the sky. However, if we look up at an urban nucleus or at cities , the most common is that we find a yellowish or orange sky that, in addition to preventing us from seeing the stars, is also characterized by taking an unnatural tone, completely remote of the darkness of the night.
This phenomenon is due to light pollution from city lights. In the same way that excess sunlight prevents us from seeing the stars during the day, artificial lights, such as streetlights, urban lighting or the light that comes from inside buildings, fills the nearest atmosphere with excess light. which prevents most of the stars from being seen even at night.
On the contrary, if we move away from densely populated urban centers, such as mountains or areas near the sea and without artificial lighting, we will be able to observe the night sky full of stars, since, in these places, there is no light pollution of any kind and, consequently, the night sky can be observed without obstacles of any kind.