Stars and Planets

If we look at the clear sky at a new moon night in the month of October, we will see the best view of the stars and planets. We can also see several of them are twinkling but few are glowing steadily. We have learnt the famous rhyme “Twinkle twinkle little star...” in our childhood. So we know that the stars twinkle and this happens due to their very remote distances from the Earth. On the contrary the planets do not twinkle, firstly due to their lesser distances compared to the stars and secondly they do not have their own light.

Stars are the huge masses of gas, burning for several million years. We know that the Sun is a very big star but we will be amazed to know that there are several stars in the Universe, which are thousand times bigger than it. Astronomers estimated that the Sun is just a medium sized star.

We might be thinking that if the stars are so big then why do they appear so small, because the stars are located far away from the Earth. The distance is so long that even light from some stars takes several thousand years to reach the Earth. There are some stars in the Universe, which we cannot find because the light from those stars has not yet reached the Earth.

If we look at the sky in different seasons of a year, we see difference in the positions of the stars. This occurs due to the rotation of the Earth. But if we look at the stars from the poles of the Earth no such difference in their positions is observed. This is because the position of the poles being a point, remains fixed during rotation of the Earth. At the north horizon we find a stationary star, known as the Pole star, the position of which does not change due to the Earth’s rotation. In earlier days mariners used to determine the direction of their voyage with the help of the Pole star.

Now we will discuss about the difference between the stars and planets gas.


1. A star is a burning mass of gas.


1. A planet is a celestial body of solid mass.

2. Stars emit light and generate heat.

2. Planets illuminate themselves with the light from stars and do not generate heat.

3. Stars are very large in size and heavy.

3. Planets are smaller in size and lighter than the stars.

4. Stars twinkle in the sky.

4. Planets glow steadily in the sky.

Fifth Grade

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