Professor Brian Cox explains how we can discover what stars are made from by analysing the light that arrives on earth from the stars. Elements are shown to emit certain colours when they are burnt. Star light can be analysed using spectroscopy which generates a bar code style pattern, unique for each element. This shows up as black lines on the rainbow spectrum from white light. It can be used to show all stars only contain the same 92 elements as we find here on earth.

This clip is from:
Wonders of the Universe
First broadcast:
5 May 2011

Students could gain an understanding of what elements are and an introduction to the periodic table. They could take part in experiments to identify the different colours certain elements emit when burnt. Students can split into groups and study the different planets in the solar system to find out which one has the most similarity to Earth.