Techniquest

9 facts you didn’t know about stars

For centuries, human beings have found both delight and fascination with the night sky.

With constellations named after Greek gods and far away planets burning in the depth of the night, quick glimpses of satellites and shooting stars, there’s plenty to get starry-eyed about.

Chances are when you think about the universe, you automatically think about the stars that cluster across the sky. Stars make up our visual understanding of the universe and the 2 trillion galaxies that form it, and many of us are inspired by and curious about their glittering appearance.

In honour of International Astronomy Day (April 21), we’re dishing out a few facts about the white lights in the sky.

  1. The most stars seen by the human eye at any given time is approximately 2,000–2,500, with that many stars being bright and close enough to make an appearance in the sky.
  2. Stars don’t twinkle… the movement of light is down to turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere, and the light from the star is refracted in different directions, causing a bend in starlight. Some light reaches our eyes directly, while some gets bent along the way, causing a twinkling effect.
  3. The word “constellation” means “set with stars”, coming from a Latin term.
  4. Constellations have been around for centuries, and there are currently 88 of them officially recognised.
  5. A small pattern of stars found within a constellation is known as an asterism. Both the Big Dipper and Little Dipper are known as these.
  6. The closest star to the Earth is the Sun.
  7. Around 275 million stars are born every day.
  8. Stars were some of the earliest objects to form in the early universe.
  9. Most stars move through the universe in clusters. Our sun however, moves alone.

For a journey into the dark depths of the night, don’t miss our planetarium shows.

Support us

 

Find us

  Techniquest, Stuart Street, Cardiff, CF10 5BW

Contact us

  029 2047 5475
  info@techniquest.org

Opening hours

  During local school holidays
10.00am–5.00pm Bank Holidays, seven days a week.

  School term
9.30am–4.30pm Tuesday–Friday;
10.00am–5.00pm Saturday and Sunday.

Charity & company

  Registered charity no. 517722
  Registered in Wales no. 01955696

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FAQs

  •   What is Techniquest?

    Techniquest is an educational charity, with a science centre in Cardiff Bay. Our mission is to embed science in Welsh culture through interactive engagement. We provide a range of services to schools and teachers to complement formal education provision in Wales and work extensively with public audiences.

  •   Where can I park?

    We are pleased to be able to offer all of our visitors discounted parking with Q-Park, our preferred parking partner.

    The Q-Park operates the Cardiff Bay car park in Pierhead Street which is around 8 minutes walk from Techniquest.

    We have agreed a special discount rate for our customers of 15% off all pre-bookings.
    Pre-book and guarantee your space here using the code TECHNI15.

    There are also nearby pay-and-display car parks on Stuart Street and Havannah Street. Please do not park on Havannah Street itself.

  •   Who is it for?

    Techniquest is suitable for all ages! We do have special events for certain groups, however — see Toddler Days, After Hours and Home Educator days.

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