Facts About Twinkling Stars
The stars, in fact, do not twinkle. It seems that flash when they are far away and when their light on the way to our eyes must pass through the air.
If we, by any chance, been somewhere where there is no atmosphere, even the most distant stars would not twinkle. For example, the astronauts on the Moon, which has no atmosphere, see the sky filled with stars with unchanging shine.
But here on earth, covered with a thick coating air, starlight is on the way to the floor sways to and fro. Above and around us, the air masses are always on the move; warm air rises and cool down.
The air sways light in greater or lesser extent, depending on its density. Therefore, starlight seems blinks when passing first through less frequent, and then through the denser air.
Due to flickering, we see the stars less sharply and it seems that they are greater. The severity of their brightness are also rapidly changing: shine, and darkened, but again shine as a star that sparkles. This change in brightness is called scintillation, from the Latin meaning scintilla spark. The whole phenomenon is known as jitter. Check biggest star!
For example, Venus and Mars seem like a big bright star – who do not blink. As these planets closer to Earth, we see them as tiny circle, and not as a dotted lights. The light that comes from all parts of the disk still sways under the influence of air.
But the circle is made up of so many dot-lights, some of them dark and some of them at the same time enhances the shine to the overall average brightness level does not change.
Therefore, it seems that the glow of the planet is unchangeable. In fact, thus we differentiate between planets and stars – planets twinkling. Only when its light passes through a very rough thick air, seem to us that the planet is blinking.
The sun is a star, but since it is much closer than the stars in the night sky, we see it as a great circle of unchanging shine. If the sun was away billions of kilometers from us, it would twinkling just like all the other stars.
Did you know; biggest star is 1,708 times larger than sun!