How many types of stars are there?

Admiring the clear sky at night is a luxury that we can enjoy on countless occasions. The stars manage to illuminate the entire sky and leave us speechless with their beauty. But how many types of stars are there? How are they classified? How many years are they capable of living?

If you want to know everything about the stars and the sky, don't miss the answers to these questions below.

What is a star?

To know how many types of stars exist, the first thing we need to know is what a star is. A star is nothing more than a luminous sphere of plasma that manages to maintain the shape that we see thanks to the gravity of the Universe.

In the Milky Way, which is our Solar System, we find only one star, the Sun, considered to be a yellow dwarf star.

How many types of stars are there?

Experts have determined that there are around more than 100,000 million stars distributed in the 100,000 galaxies that are known today. Those millions of stars are classified according to their life cycle, according to their luminosity and temperature, and according to their gravitational criteria.

Types of stars according to their life cycle

According to their life cycle, stars can be categorized as follows:

  • Protostars
  • Red Giants
  • White dwarfs
  • Black Dwarfs

Similarly, there are also residues in the sky such as neutron stars and black holes.

Types of stars according to their luminosity and temperature

According to luminosity and temperature, stars are classified as follows:

  • Hypergiants: they are those that have up to 100 M.
  • Luminous supergiants: they have a mass between 10 and 50 M, with a dimension of up to 1000 times that of the Sun.
  • Giants: usually have a radius between 10 and 100 times the radius of the sun.
  • Sub-giants: these are stars that have fused all the hydrogen in their cores.
  • Dwarfs: they are part of the main sequence, which are the majority of the stars found in the Universe.
  • Sub-dwarfs: they have a luminosity between 1.5 and 2 magnitudes below the main sequence, but with the same spectral type.
  • White dwarfs: These stars are the ones that have run out of nuclear fuel. They are, like the dwarfs, the most numerous.

In this classification of stars it is established that the redder a star can be observed, the colder it is. This means that the hottest stars appear blue.

Types of stars according to gravitational criteria

Stars can also be classified according to four gravitational criteria. The most used is the stellar classification.

  • Classification by stellar gravitational center
  • Classification of systemic stars by position
  • Classification of stars by gravitational grouping
  • Classification of stars by planetary system

And shooting stars?

Despite their name, shooting stars are not actually stars, but meteorites. Meteorites are small particles that disappear due to friction against the atmosphere that is created upon entering, hence the brightness we see when a shooting star passes through the sky.

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