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Star Origami

What is a Star? 

Living in the city, there’s not much in the sky to look at other than the moon, however, moving even a couple of miles away, the delicate beauties of the sky seemingly awaken stars. A star is a collection of plasma that forms a sphere-like shape, unlike its more common portrayal of a five-pointed pentagram, and is held together through its own gravity. Stars are created through space clouds, or emission nebulae, made of hot gases and dust. Sometimes, these clouds will begin to collapse through the power of the gravity which the elements accumulate. As this happens, the material within the center begins to become hotter; this object is known as a protostar. As the core heats up more and more, it will eventually become a fully-fledged star.


A Star’s Purpose

Stars are responsible for creating and spreading elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. This is possible through the process of nuclear fusion which occurs when stars fuse two hydrogen atoms together to form helium. Along with this, they can also fuse two helium atoms together to form beryllium. Stars can repeat this process to eventually create every element up to iron on the periodic table. In fact, the carbon that your body is made up of was created through nuclear fusion in stars since the beginning of time.


A Star’s Life

The life cycle of a star is dependent on the mass, or the weight of the accumulated gases, in which the star is made out of. Surprisingly, the more mass that is in a star, the shorter the lifespan the star has. This is due to massive stars having more hydrogen to use through nuclear fission, thus using that hydrogen at a faster rate compared to the rate of smaller stars. After the creation of a star and its eventual complete usage of the hydrogen within it, they can end up as different objects depending on their size or mass. Smaller stars will become red giants near the end of their lifespan and eventually create a planetary nebula which then forms them into a white dwarf star. On the other hand, Large stars will become red supergiants and eventually collapse under their sheer volume, exploding in an event known as a supernova. Afterward, depending on its mass, it can become a neutron star or even a black hole.

How to Make an Origami Star

Instructions found and revised from 

Equipment and Materials: Paper (About 10-11 inches long) and Scissors

  • Get the paper ready

    • Cut the side of the piece of paper so that it is ¼ to ¾ of an inch.

    • You can also purchase star origami paper, made especially for this project. 

  1. Fold

    • With the colored side facing outwards, take the top right of the strip
      of paper and bring it downwards

    • Bring this end over the left edge of the paper to make a loop or a hole.

    • With this loop made, bring the long end of the paper down through the
      loop, gently pulling to tighten the knot. 


  2. Knot

    • Flatten the knot out when you can no longer move it inwards. 

    • You can either tuck the small tail inwards or cut it off if it is too long.
      We decided to tuck it in. It peeked through the other end a little bit,
      but it will be covered up later on. 

    • Fold the long strip over the edge or the side which forms the pentagon. 

  3. Wrap

    • Turn your entire strip around and make sure that the tail is facing yourself. 

    • From the long end at the bottom, wrap it over to the right side of
      the pentagon shape. 

    • Turn your project over and make sure the tail is facing yourself again. 

    • This time, take the long end at the bottom and wrap it over to the
      the left side of the pentagon shape.

    • Repeat these steps until there is not enough strip left to wrap more

  4. Tuck and Inflate

    • With the remaining strip, tuck it into the pocket made from wrapping
      the strip of paper. 

    • Push in on the sides of the pentagon, being sure to push the middle
      of those edges in. 

    • Rotate and repeat on all five sides. 

    • You will notice that the star begins to puff up and inflate as you do this. 

    • When you are done, you will have a star

Project Ideas

When you are done making tons of stars, you can put them in a small jar for decoration, string them on wire or string and hang them on your walls, glue them to a board for a school project, or gift them to a friend. These stars are an amazing way to pass time. 

In the photo to the left, the star paper has self-love quotes written on the inside as little reminders to stay positive. 

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