• Question: What are stars made out of

    Asked by pielover2424 to Amy, Grant, Martin on 21 Mar 2013.
    • Photo: Grant Kennedy

      Grant Kennedy answered on 21 Mar 2013:

      They’re mostly made out of Hydrogen. However, because the way that they shine is to do nuclear fusion, which turns Hydrogen into Helium and eventually heavier elements, they’re not entirely Hydrogen.

    • Photo: Martin Archer

      Martin Archer answered on 21 Mar 2013:

      n fact we know that all stars are mostly made of Hydrogen by comparing the light from the Sun with that from the stars.
      That’s an image of the light from the Sun on the left and you see a load of dark lines, these are the colours of light that Hydrogen and Helium like to absorb (what the Sun in made of). Looking at distant stars on the right we see the similar dark bands telling us that all stars are made of the same stuff. The reason for the shift in colour is because the stars are moving away from us because of the Big Bang.

    • Photo: Amy Tyndall

      Amy Tyndall answered on 21 Mar 2013:

      According to a NASA website, stars are typically made up of the following:

      Hydrogen, Helium, Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen, Silicon, Magnesium, Neon, Iron, and Sulphur.

      Hydrogen and Helium make up 99.9% of the star! Everything else comes in tiny amounts. It’s this nuclear fusion of Hydrogen into Helium that makes the star ‘shine’, as it generates a lot of heat and light.