10 Amazing Star Facts to Impress Your Kids
Camping is a great chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and relax at night with your family while appreciating Mother Nature. Part of that appreciation is sitting in awe of the night sky and the chance to sleep out ‘under the stars’—even if technically you are actually sleeping in a tent.
We’ve rounded up some interesting astronomical facts about stars and constellations, so you can take the opportunity when you’re camping at Broken Head Holiday Park to sneakily pull out this star information and sound knowledgeable.
10 Star Facts for Kids:
1. We can’t count the number of stars in the universe. Scientists at NASA try to put a number on them by estimating the number in our galaxy, the Milky Way, and then multiplying that number by the number of galaxies we believe are out there, but even that is a guess. And by a guess we mean, an Australian National University study estimated the number of stars at 70 sextillion (or for those of us non-math people, 70,000 million million million).
2. Of this huge number of stars, we can only see a fraction of them from Earth. Even though people or commercials or songs might claim to see millions of stars in the night sky, we really only can observe a thousand or more. If it’s a really clear night with no moon and a person isn’t near any light sources, someone with extremely good eyesight might be able to view 2,000 to 2,500 stars in the sky at once. There just aren’t enough stars close and bright enough for us to see more.
3. Our sun actually is smaller than almost every star you see in the night sky. The only reason the sun appears to be bigger is because it’s closer to us.
4. Despite what the nursery rhyme tells us, stars don’t twinkle. Stars only appear to twinkle because the Earth’s turbulent atmosphere. Because the light from the star must pass through layers of different density, causing the light to deflect before it gets to your eyes, the light appears to be twinkling. However, if you look at stars above the atmosphere, you won’t see the twinkling.
5. Stars are very old—most are between one and 10 billion years old. Some stars might even be older than that!
6. When you look at stars, you’re looking back in time. Why? Because it takes millions of years for the light from stars to actually reach the Earth.
7. Stars are really, really far away from us. Consider this, the closest star to us here on Earth is the sun. It’s still 4.2 light years away. It would take 70,000 years in a very fast space ship to get to the sun, let alone other stars.
8. The two brightest stars in the Southern Hemisphere are the beta Centauri and alpha Centauri, which are pointers to the better-known Southern Cross. The Southern Cross is made up of five stars, which are believed to be between 10 and 20 billion years old.
9. Shootings stars are not actually stars. It is rock or dust that when it hits the Earth’s atmosphere, moving at such a fast rate, it heats up and glows as it travels through the atmosphere. Astronomers call these meteors.
10. Many stars in the sky are not a single star, but rather two star systems (or as scientists call them, binary star systems). They just appear as one because they are so far away.
View the Night Sky while Camping at Broken Head
Spending your evening viewing the beautiful sky filled with stars is one of the best perks of a camping holiday at Broken Head Holiday Park. Bring your family or mates and head out for a relaxing camping holiday. By day you can experience all the awesome things to do in Byron Bay just a short drive away and at night you can sit in wonder of the amazing stars above you. We have both powered and non-powered campsites where you can really get a good view of the night sky. Plus, with our location away from the town centre of Byron Bay, it’ll be that perfect quiet that you desire when you’re on a camping holiday!