Star in a Box

Have you ever wondered what happens to the different stars in the night sky as they get older? This activity lets you explore the life-cycle of stars.

Interactive life-cycle

Star in a Box is an interactive webapp which animates stars with different starting masses as they change during their lives. Some stars live fast-paced, dramatic lives, others change very little for billions of years. The webapp visualises the changes in mass, size, brightness and temperature for all these different stages.

Classroom resources

Are you a teacher? Do you want to use Star in a Box in your classroom lessons? These resources are designed to help you to explore the life-cycle of stars with your class.

Life-cycle of stars (teacher presentation)PowerpointPDF
Beginners level worksheetworksheetsolutions
Intermediate level worksheetworksheetsolutions

Further reading

If you would like to know more about how stars evolve, why not take a look at our SpaceBook pages about the life-cycle of stars.

Activity time: 
30 minutes or less
Objectives: 
  • Describe the relationship between a star's mass and its life span
  • State that stars above a certain mass end their lives in a supernova
  • Name the stages of a star's life-cycle, in order, for several masses of star.
  • Describe the relationship between a star's mass, its age, and its position on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram