Whether stargazing with the naked eye or observing deep space with the largest telescopes in the world, humans have a seemingly never-ending fascination with the stars. Our ancestors saw patterns in their random arrangement, inventing both tales of legendary heroes and the pastime of dot-to-dot in one fell swoop. But it’s only in the last century or so that the natures of these distant lights have been revealed—and it’s more incredible than any legend.
How are stars born? How long do they live? And just how many times can you read the word "trillion" before it starts sounding made up? Find out as astronomer Greg Brown of Royal Observatory Greenwich takes a short diversion from obsessing over black holes to illuminate the lives of stars—and black holes, naturally.