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How are stars aligned?
Question Date: 2014-09-08
Answer 1:

This is a unique question in that it's the subject of ongoing research in the astrophysics community. At the size of galaxies and stars, the main driving force toward alignment is gravity.

The gravity of a large star can be felt for millions of miles. When a galaxy forms, over a very long time they take different shapes.

Galaxies were originally formed from massive, massive clouds of star material dust, so big that if you moved at the speed of light it would take you hundreds of thousands of years to cross them. As this "star stuff" clumped together, stars were born and began releasing energy and glowing.

Astronomers can watch this still happen today in nebulas (like this one: click here to see a nebula from NASA : ).

As the other stars nearby form, they push and pull on each other until they are jumbled together in the sky. There isn't a lot of order to the way stars are located, it's mostly random in the sky, based on these interactions as they formed. The gravity of all the stars together though leads to galaxies forming, which are clumps of hundreds of thousands of stars. These can have many shapes

click here to see galaxies.

Our galaxy is a spiral shape. That is why if you look in the sky in the middle of the desert it looks like this: click here to see our galaxy .

We are actually inside one of the bands on that spiral.

Fun fact: there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches of the world.

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