Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Beloved children's tune gets a scientific tweak.

I think you know the tune:

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 
I know exactly what you are 

 Opaque ball of hot dense gas 
Million times our planet's mass 
Looking small because you're far 
I know exactly what you are 

Fusing atoms in your core 
Hydrogen, helium, carbon and more 
With such power you shine far 
Twinkle twinkle little star 

Bright when close and faint when far 
I know exactly what you are 
Smallest ones burn cool and slow 
Still too hot to visit, though 

Red stars dominate by far 
Twinkle twinkle little star 
Largest ones are hot and blue 
Supernova when they're through 

Then black hole or neutron star 
I know exactly what you are 
Forming from collapsing clouds 
Cold and dusty gas enshrouds 

Spinning, heating protostar 
I know exactly what you are

I found this over at Reddit, where it was  attributed to the Girl Scouts.  I cannot find the source, but I liked this more educational version so much that I thought it was worth sharing.


  1. An European viewpoint3:12 AM

    Very nice, thanks, I'll use it with my students.

  2. Anonymous6:58 AM

    Girl Scouts? Not surprised since the RW believes they are a godless, communist, lesbian group being brainwashed by Planned Parenthood.

    Nice lyrics, I LIKE them!

  3. Anonymous8:48 AM

    Neil deGrasse Tyson would be proud! :-)

  4. Adorable. On a related note, I've been watching "Eureka" on Netflix and laughing at the antics of super smart people. A relief from the idiocy that is all things Palin.

    It's sad, really, how the Republicans have been assaulting and insulting intelligence ever since calling Adlai Stephenson an "egghead."

  5. Anonymous11:44 AM

    I'm memorizing it right now!

  6. Anonymous12:14 PM

    Starkle starkle, little Twink
    Who the heck you are, I think
    I'm not under the affluence of incohol
    as some thinkle peep I are.
    It's just the drunker I sit here,
    the longer I get.

    1. Starkle starkle , little twink.
      Who the heck you are?, I think..
      I'm not under the alcofluence of incohol.
      Tho, some thinkle peep I am.
      ...Thanks for the memory grandpa. R.I.P...

  7. And that's why I love this blog- I get my soap opera fix, my politics fix, and my science and the real world fix! Thanks, Gryph. You're a gem.

  8. physicsmom5:56 PM

    There's been a Girl Scout ad on the radio around here for several years, which included the song with different lyrics than you quoted above. All I can remember off hand is
    "Twinkle, twinkle little star,
    You're a ball of gas that's really far.
    When it reaches supernova stage,
    It erupts in (something something) bursts of rays."
    So I don't know if both versions can be attributed to the GS or not, but I'd like to think so.

  9. It's not by the Girl Scouts. The lyrics in the OP are by Julia Kregenow, an astronomer at Penn State University.

  10. I would not say "we know exactly"!
    Dark matter?

  11. Anonymous2:06 PM

    http://mamasdukesofhazard.blogspot.com/2011/06/twinkle-twinkle-little-star.html this has an updated version and they at least credit the writers


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