Planet vs Star

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nexius

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What is the difference between a planet and a star? I know stars are made up of gas and such were planets are made up of rock and so forth. The reason i ask is because isn't Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter all just gas but their planets. Im sure this has like 20 previous posts but thanks. Ben
 
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yevaud

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Simply, because a Star acquired enough mass to begin a Fusion reaction. All planets, by definition, have not. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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nexius

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What do you meen a fusion reaction? What exactly is that? (New to the whole astronomy thing)
 
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MeteorWayne

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It is what powers the sun.<br />Hydrogen atoms combine to become helium, releasing energy in the process. Like a hydrogen bomb.<br />Planets are too small to compress the matter at it's core<br />enough to start this reaction.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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nexius

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Oh. I see do planets go through a death? or supernovae like a star? Or i guess they dont decay like a star?
 
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nexius

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so you could say Pluto "was" the oldest planet in our solar system since it was the coldest?
 
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