Stars and galaxies

We might make wishes on stars but there's much more to these balls of gas than simply being twinkly, mystical objects in the night sky. Discover how stars are formed, how they get their names, what makes a galaxy, and the history of constellations.

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The challenges of measuring everything from a fast-moving, wobbly platform through a haze.

With a telescope we can see billons of miles and travel effortlessly back billions of years in time.

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The 88 constellations act as a handy map of the skies and a seasonal calendar used from ancient times. But what connects the stars in the same constellation?

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If you could squash the Earth into a ball the size of a marble, it would become a black hole. What are these mysterious entities?

Pulsars are among the most regular but shocking objects in the universe sending out massive bolts of electricity across space.

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When did the universe start, how come it has all the elements it has and what happens when it’s all over?

The unimaginably large Sun is just one of 200,000,000,000 stars that make up our Galaxy (itself one of many).

Sirius 9798 © David Pye, Astronomy Photographer of the Year Stars and Nebulae Joint Runner-Up 2015

There are only a few things money can’t buy and your name on a star is one of them. So how are they named?

Stars are born, become middle aged and eventually die (usually in a spectacular fashion). In the process, they make almost everything in the Universe.

What do you get when you blow up a really big star? Everything it turns out.

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