Evan Bradman loved to talk about heavens and high heavens and black holes and planets and all things galactical.
He especially liked to talk about it to Triskett Tutor as they walked home from school. And talk he did, Triskett rarely got a word in edgewise. Evan didn’t always have his facts straight but he did always sound like he knew what he was talking about.
“You know Trisk, all stars die.”
“Really Evan? That’s a shame.”
“Oh, yes, they all die; however, the process takes thousands of years and sometimes millions! Time diminishes a star’s energy causing its light to dim. Luminosity, that’s the amount of light energy produced by the star, can be measured to determine how old a star is. From that information, scientists project approximately when that star will fall. Stars that no longer have the energy to stay in orbit free-fall through the galaxy until they burn out completely; unless, of course, they collide with some galactic object and explode. Then they, and whatever they hit, explode together. BAM! It can be a real mess. When they fall past earth, the trail of light we see behind the star is the last bit of star energy. Once the light is gone, the star is gone.”
“That’s so sad, one less light to shine in the sky.”
“Oh, but there are millions upon millions of stars!” So many that….”
“Hey Evan, thanks for walking with me. I have to get going. See you tomorrow?”
“Sure thing Trisk.” Evan headed across the street and down a ways to his house.
“Hey Dad, can a star mend itself?” Tiskett asked later that evening.
“No, Sweetie, once a star loses light it will never be as bright again.”
“Does it always have to die?”
Her dad hadn’t heard her. He shook his head and began mumbling about light pollution and urban expanse. “It’s a shame so little of the celestial beings are visible these days. See the star hovering near the horizon that’s…” Mr. Tutor was off and talking.
Triskett spent the next hour star gazing with her dad. She’d have to ask him some other time about stars dying.
more celestial reads:
Galactic Junk and Catstranauts