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The Milky Way Galaxy
Photo courtesy of NASA
The Milky Way Galaxy. See more pictures of outer space.

It's a dark, clear, moonless night. You look up into the sky. You see thousands of stars arranged in patterns or constellations. The light from these stars has traveled great distances to reach Earth. But what are stars? How far away are they? Are they all the same? Are there other planets around them?

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In this article, we will look at the fascinating world of stars. We will examine the nature of stars, types of stars, how stars form and how stars die. If you have read How the Sun Works, you already know a lot about the nature of Earth's nearest star. As you read the following pages, you'll find out even more about what you can see in the night sky.