• Question: is it true that the biggest and brightiset star is the sun ?

    Asked by cherryboop to Ben, Clare, Ezzy, Mario, Sam on 20 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Ben Smart

      Ben Smart answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      No, the sun is actually pretty small compared to a lot of other stars. Have a look at this picture:

      It shows how different things compare in size. The brightest star in the nights sky is Sirius, and in the picture you can see that it’s bigger than the sun, but you can also see that there are other stars that completely dwarf both Sirius and the sun!

      That’s how big things would be if you put them next to each other though. Here on earth, the sun is the star that shines the most light on us, and it looks the biggest (but just because it’s so close).

    • Photo: Elizabeth Pearson

      Elizabeth Pearson answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      It’s definity not the biggest, there are many that are much, much bigger, but it is the brightest. When we astronomers use the term ‘bright’ we mean in terms of how bright it looks to us which is determined by distance so in that sense the sun is the ‘brightest’. If we’re talking about things that are the same distance away then we use the term ‘luminosity’. In terms of Luminosity the sun is quite dim.

    • Photo: Mario Campanelli

      Mario Campanelli answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      it is the brightest as seen from the earth, just because it is the closest, however it is a medium-sized star, the ideal companion to keep us warm, but not too much!