Seeing Stars!

The Sun is the closest star to the earth, at a distance of some 150 million kilometers away. Because of this we are able to study the Sun in great detail using an array of instrumentation both in space and on the ground. With dedicated solar telescopes we are able to identify individual features on the solar surface and in the solar atmosphere. The average star, however, is many light years away, the closest being Proxima Centauri at approximately 4.5 light years distance. The great distances involved in stellar astronomy means that normal telescopes are not particularly useful in studying the average star. Instead special observational techniques are required in order to obtain some information about any particular star. Before discussing these techniques it is important to understand some basic concepts about stars, including the Sun.


Star Menu