Gathering Data

The stars are unimaginably distant from Earth—only the Sun is close enough to study in detail. Even through the largest telescopes, other stars appear as mere

colorful starfields

The rich starfields visible in the constellation Sagittarius, toward the center of our own Milky Way galaxy, reveal almost every variety of star, from dim dwarfs to bright giants, and from hot blue stars to cool red ones.

points of light. In order to discover the nature of these stars, astronomers use a variety of ingenious techniques, and scientific models pieced together from laboratory work and studies of the Sun.

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