Stars fascinate many people. They are so bright, so close, and so beautiful. But you can’t see stars in space. Why not? It’s because the stars are so far away. You can’t see stars from Earth because they are so far away. You can’t see stars from the Moon because they are so far away. You can’t see stars from Venus because they are so far away. You can’t see stars from Mercury because they are so far away. You can’t see stars from Mars because they are so far away. And you can’t see stars from Venus because they are so far away. So why can’t you see stars from space? Read on to find out.
why can’t you see stars in space?
stars are so far away that we can’t see them from Earth. The light from a star takes about 8 minutes to reach us, and it takes about 200,000 years for a light wave to travel from the Sun to us on Earth. So when we look at a star, we see its light as a point of light in the sky, but the star itself is really very far away and really very small. It’s like looking through a pinhole into space – you don’t see anything at all!
Stars Are Too Far Away
- The reason why you can’t see stars from space is that stars are so far away. The stars are very far away from Earth that you can’t see them from Earth.
- Stars are so far away that you can’t even see them with the naked eye. You need a telescope to see the stars. A telescope is a tool used to look at objects in space and in the sky, such as planets and stars. In fact, there are many different kinds of telescopes.
- You need a telescope to see the star because they are so far away that they cannot be seen with the naked eye or even with one of our eyes alone. Light travels at a speed of 300,000 km/s (186,000 miles/s). This means it takes light about 8 minutes to reach Earth from the Sun, or 10 hours to travel between Venus and Mercury! Light needs time to travel through space, which is why we cannot see stars from space.
- If a star is so far away, as the light travels through space it is stretched and distorted, like this.
Our Atmosphere Blocks Out Starlight
- The atmosphere blocks out starlight. The atmosphere is a layer of gases that surround the Earth. The gases in our atmosphere absorb and scatter the light from stars. The atmosphere also blocks most of the heat that comes from the Sun, so it cools down and hinders our ability to see stars.
- Our atmosphere distorts starlight. Some of the colors in a star’s light are shifted or changed by our atmosphere, so we can’t see them clearly. This is called chromatic aberration, and it happens because the light is bent by air molecules in our atmosphere before it reaches us on Earth.
- Our atmosphere changes the colors of the stars that we do see. Different colors of light are made up of different wavelengths, so they are absorbed by different amounts at different depths in our atmosphere, which changes their color and makes them look slightly different from one another (see image below). For example, red stars have a longer wavelength than blue ones, so they are more easily absorbed by the atmosphere.
- Our atmosphere blocks the light from stars that we can see with our eyes. The light from many stars is blocked by our atmosphere, but we can still see some of it with our naked eyes when it gets to us, even though it’s filtered out almost completely by the atmosphere. The light that you see with your naked eye is called direct vision, and it’s what most people think of as a star.
Stars Are So Hot That They Are Invisible
- Stars are very hot. It takes about a million years for a star to cool down to the point where it is visible to human eyes.
- Stars are so hot that they glow in the dark. If you put your hand up in front of a light bulb, the heat would burn your hand, but if you put your hand up next to the Sun, you would not feel the heat at all because the Sun is so much hotter than your hand.
- Stars are so hot that they radiate energy into space at an incredible rate. This energy can be detected by instruments on Earth and in space.
- Stars are so hot that they emit radiation in all directions from their surface, and this radiation may be detected by instruments on Earth and in space (e.g., radio telescopes). The radiation from a star’s surface is thought to be very hot compared with its core temperature; this is why we cannot see stars from space because their radiation is so hot that it is blocked by Earth’s atmosphere.
- When stars die, they collapse under their own mass and form a black hole. Black holes are so hot that light cannot get out of them, so we cannot see them from space either.
Stars Are Too Large To Fit Within Our Atmosphere
The Sun Is So Far Away
The Earth orbits around the Sun at a distance of about 150 million miles (240 million kilometers). In other words, the distance between the Earth and the Sun is at least 150 million miles. The distance between the Earth and the Sun is so great that it would take a minimum of 7 years to get to another star. But even if you could make it in 7 years, you wouldn’t be able to see the stars because they are too far away.
The Moon Is So Far Away
The Moon orbits around us at a distance of about 240,000 miles (380,000 km). In other words, the distance between our Moon and us is about 380,000 km or 240,000 miles. It would take more than three days for an object from our Moon to reach another star! So how can we see stars from there?
Venus Is So Far Away
Venus orbits around us at a distance of about 225,000 miles (362,000 km). In other words, the distance between us and Venus is about 375,000 km or 225,000 miles. It would take more than 4 months for an object from Venus to reach another star!
Mercury Is So Far Away
Mercury orbits around us at a distance of about 58,000 miles (93,000 km). In other words, the distance between us and Mercury is about 95,000 km or 58,000 miles. It would take more than 7 months for an object from Mercury to reach another star!
Mars Is So Far Away
Mars orbits around us at a distance of about 1.2 million miles (2 million km). In other words, the distance between Mars and us is about 2 million km or 1.2 million miles. It would take more than 6 years for an object from Mars to reach another star!
Stars are too far away to be seen without a telescope. The distances between the Earth and the Sun, the Moon and us, Venus and us, Mercury and us, and Mars are so great that it would take more than 7 years for an object from any one of these planets to reach another star.