Tag Archives: night sky

A question about the night sky for astronomers (and others who know this)

My knowledge about stars and the night sky is rather limited, so please stay with me even when I get the terms wrong:

Recently I’ve started to go for a quick walk before going to bed. Certainly at this time of year it’s dark by then. Recently we’ve had a few clear nights, allowing me to see the stars in the night sky. Which made me wonder about what we can see up there. For the purpose of this question I’m splitting the objects out there into two classes: Objects like the Sun, which is sending out light itself and objects like the Earth, the Moon, Mars, Venus and the others in our solar system which don’t send out light themselves but reflect light from the Sun.

Now, when I look up into the sky and see all these lights up there in the night sky, what share of these thousands of lights are objects like the Sun and what share are objects like the Earth etc just reflecting light from another Sun? Are they pretty much all objects like our Sun (i.e. far too hot to visit) or can we see objects just reflecting light outside of our solar system? I’m only talking about what we can see with the bare eyes, not using telescopes or other technology.

If you know about this kind of stuff, can you leave your answer in the comments? (Please note comment moderation is turned on, I will approve as soon as possible).