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It's a big day for Jessi and Squeaks because they've finally finished their brand new observatory! Join them as they try out their new telescope and take a look back at a compilation of everything we've learned about space so far!
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What are Stars:
Rocky Planets:
Gas Giants:
Explore our Galaxy:
What do Astronauts Do?:

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Today is a really big day here at the for because we finally finished building our brand-new observatory. Now we can learn even more cool stuff about space. Let's fire up the new telescope, Squeaks.

*Squeaks squeaks*

Ah, you're right, Squeaks. It does look a little bit blurry. While Squeaks and I fix the focus on our telescope, check out this episode for a refresher on what stars are and why they shine. 

If you're like us here at the fort, you probably enjoy stargazing. The night sky is full of cool things to look at and I bet a lot of you have been looking up there and wondering about the same things that we do. We've gotten some really interesting questions from kids like you about what you see up there.

Eight-year-old Alice from New Zealand has been doing some sky-watching and she recently emailed to ask us, "What are stars and how do they work?" Let me just say that's a stellar question. If you look up at the night sky all the stars that you see might look pretty similar, but don't let your eyes fool you. All of those stars have some important things in common, but they're also all different. They can be different colors like white, yellow, red, and blue. They can also be different sizes from about the size of a planet to something many, many times bigger than the Sun.

But before we meet some of the extreme stars, let's figure something out first: what exactly is a star? Stars are just really huge balls of hot gas in space, and deep in their centers, all stars are constantly generating an enormous amount of energy. This energy eventually travels out from the center of the star where it's given off as heat and light. That's what gives stars their glow. So keeping in mind that all stars are balls of gas that come in all kinds of sizes and colors, wanna meet some for yourself? 

Let's start with the most important star, at least for us here on Earth, the Sun. That's right the Sun is a star, and it's a specific kind of star called a yellow dwarf. While we think of our Sun as being super huge and incredibly hot, which it definitely is, compared 

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to Earth, it's actually pretty average compared to other stars, meaning it's right in the middle between the biggest and the smallest and the hottest and the coolest stars. So, there are some stars that are much bigger than the sun, and way hotter. If you want to find one, just look for the constellation known as Orion. It's one of the easiest constellations to spot. If you look down to the right, to the star where Orion's knee is supposed to be, you'll find Rigel. Rigel is a good example of a kind of star called a blue super giant. As you can guess from its name, it's blue instead of yellow, and it's enormous. Rigel is more than twice as hot as the sun and is also more than 70 times bigger.

If you could put the sun next to Rigel, our big old sun would look like a tiny speck. And, in addition to all of the huge, hot stars in the sky, there are plenty of smaller, cooler ones, too. The smallest and coolest stars in space tend to glow with a dim, red color. And the sun is more than twice as hot as most of them. A good example of this kind of star is right next door, at least in terms of space.

Promixa Centauri is the nearest star to our sun and is a kind called a red dwarf. It'd in the constellation Centaurus in the southern sky, but even thought it's closer to the sun than any other star, it's so small that you can't even see it from earth without a telescope. How small is it? Well, you could fit 7 Promixma Centauris inside the sun, from end to end. So while you're stargazing on th next clear night, keep in mind that the stars might look pretty much the same, but now you know they come in different colors and sizes, a lot like we do. 

Okay, we're ready to go now. What should we look at first, Squeaks?

*squeak, squeak*

Mars, huh? You got it!

Whoa, check it out! There are 8 planets in the solar system. Some of them, like mars, are what we call rocky planets. Check out this episode to learn more. 

Hi guys! Welcome back to the fort. Today, Squeaks and I thought we'd do a little sight seeing using our telescope. We're gonna tour our solar system. the solar system is made up of the sun, the earth, and 7 other planets.

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