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What is the difference between a planet and a star?

What is the difference between a planet and a star? How do you decide which is which?
Class 6 from Nottinghamshire (Age 5-14)

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2 Responses

  1. In a star, lots of chemical fusion reactions are taking place, forming lots of new elements from the smallest one: Hydrogen. Our Sun is a small star, so the only other element it can make is Helium, the second smallest element. Big stars can make the bigger elements such as mercury. Eventually, a star will burn out. like a match does. When this happens, it explodes, spreading all the elements and chemicals it has made into the universe. New planets are made with some of these chemicals. Planets are much smaller than stars in almost all cases.

  2. Thank you for your answer. Now you’ve made us think about what might happen when our sun burns out. – class 6

    ps – I did not find it easy to navigate the site to find our answer, the whole project is a brilliant idea, but perhaps needs looking at to make it more child friendly. -psmith, teacher

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