Science Editor Brian Johnson explains what a falling star is and why it shoots through the sky.
Star is a huge, shining ball in space that produces a tremendous amount of light and other forms of energy. The sun is a star, and it supplies Earth with light and heat energy. The stars look like twinkling points of light—except for the sun. The sun looks like a ball because it is much closer to Earth than any other star.
The sun and most other stars are made of gas and a hot, gaslike substance known as plasma. But some stars, called white dwarfs and neutron stars, consist of tightly packed atoms or subatomic particles. These stars are therefore much more dense than anything on Earth.Stars come in many sizes. The sun's radius (distance from its center to its surface) is about 432,000 miles (695,500 kilometers). But astronomers classify the sun as a dwarf because other kinds of stars are much bigger. Some of the stars known as supergiants have a radius about 1,000 times that of the sun. The smallest stars are the neutron stars, some of which have a radius of only about 6 miles (10 kilometers).
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