Some students think that all stars are the same size

Earth and Space

Misconception RESEARCH REVIEW

 They might think the brightness of the stars in the night’s sky depends only on the distance away from Earth.

Resources to address this

  • The Sun is a star  (11-14)

    Ref - ES03 PN09 

    The Sun is a very ordinary star about halfway through its lifetime of 10 000 million years. At the end of its life, the Sun will expand into a red giant star, swallowing the Earth. It is always a bit sad to realise that the Earth will not be around forever. Stars are different than all the other elements of the solar system mentioned so far because they are a source of light. That light is emitted as a result of nuclear reactions.

    View Resource

References

The following studies have documented this misconception:

  • Sharp, G, J., () Children's astronomical beliefs: a preliminary study of Year 6 children in south‐west England, International Journal of Science Education, 18 (6)

    685-712.

    Review sheet

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