When you look up high in the sky at night, you’ll observe trillions of shining dots, some of which are brighter, some of which are larger and some of which twinkle. It’s worth thinking about what these light dots are? Actually, they’re just stars and planets. Stars are celestial bodies with their own light and twinkling. They have a fixed, big luminous body, similar to the Sun. on the other hand, planets are celestial objects that have their own apparent motion and circle the star in an elliptical orbit. While these two bodies appear to be identical, there is significant difference between planet and stars.
What is a star?
Difference between planet and stars is very easy to understand. In the dark sky at night, there are over 10,000 stars visible to the naked eye, but have you ever wondered if you’re looking at a star or one of our solar system’s planets? Since the stars we can see from the naked eye are several light years distant and emit their own light, their light has been distorted and disturbed when it passes through the various layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, causing the star to twinkle.
Stars are described as a glowing ball made up of plasma that is held together by gravity. Plasma is a state of matter that is extremely hot. Gases such as hydrogen, helium, and other light elements make up stars. The nuclear reaction that occurs in the center of the stars, results in the fusion of hydrogen into helium, is responsible for their radiance. The nuclear reactions that take place in stars constantly release energy in the form of light in the universe, allowing us to see them and observe them with a radio telescope.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of stars is that they twinkle. This is because when a star’s light falls on the planet, it travels through the atmosphere and appears to twinkle as a result of atmospheric refraction. The Sun, which is nearly 150 million kilometers away, is the nearest star to the planet Earth. It appears to be shifting from east to west.
What is a planet?
Planets in our solar system are much closer to Earth than stars, so their light is brighter than stars’, despite the fact that planets do not emit their own light. Since the sun is a source of light for all of the planets in our solar system, the light we see from the other planets is a reflection of the light from our sun reflected from that planet.
The word “earth” refers to a celestial body that revolves around a star in a specific direction, i.e. orbit. It is large enough to take the form of a sphere due to gravity, but not large enough to trigger a nuclear reaction. Our solar system’s planets are classified into two categories: inner planets and outer planets.
What are inner planets?
Inner planets are planets whose orbits are located within the asteroid belt. These are small and made up of solid materials such as rocks and metals. Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are all part of it.
The asteroid belt is defined as a torus-shaped region that is located between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. It contains a large number of solid, irregularly shaped bodies, which have different sizes but much smaller than planets, known as asteroids or minor planets.
What are outer planets?
These are planets whose orbits are outside of the asteroid belt. Their scale is larger than that of inner planets, and they have a ring around them. They are made up of gases such as hydrogen and helium. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are all included in them.
Difference between planet and stars
The primary difference between planet and stars is that stars have far higher temperatures than planets do. Nuclear reactions occur in stars; in most cases, hydrogen is burned in their cores thus releasing large quantities of energy. Stars must be very large in order to be hot enough for these reactions to occur. They must be at least 75 times the mass of Jupiter, the Solar System’s largest planet. Stars are very bright objects because they emit light. Planets do not produce their own energy via nuclear reactions. Any of the radiation from their parent star is just due to reflection.
Stars vs planets
To distinguish in a better way, here is a comparison chart.
|Properties of stars||Properties of planets|
|Stars emit their own light, produced by thermonuclear fusion reaction.||Planets have fixed path around a star.|
|They are made up of hydrogen, helium and other lighter elements.||Planets are composed of solids, gases or liquids.|
|They produce their own light.||They don’t have any light itself, however their shine is just due to reflection of light.|
|Stars can twinkle.||Planets don’t twinkle.|
|They are bigger in size.||They are small as compared to stars.|
|There is only 1 star in full solar system.||Solar system has 8 planets.|
|They have higher temperature.||Their temperature is less than stars.|