I never saw a purple star...

Sometimes I pray when I weave.  Sometimes I sing.  Sometimes I hold weird, random conversations with myself.  Like this:

Is it weird to be weaving a star pattern in purple?  What about green?  I mean there are red stars, and yellow stars, a even blue stars.  But are there purple stars?  

“I never saw a purple star, I never hope to see one,  but I can tell you anyhow…” No, stop that’s just silly.

So I call to my husband, who is doing dishes in the kitchen.  “Bruce, are there such a thing as purple stars?”  Bruce is an optical physicist by training, I figure it’s the next best thing to having an astrophysicist in the house.  You’d be surprised how useful it is.

Well, he explained, all stars have some purple light in them, and there are some stars called blue hypergiants.  Some of those stars have a lot of light in the violet end of the spectrum, but our eyes see blue better than purple, so that’s what we see.  

Those blue hypergiant stars are very rare and very, very big. For example if you put a blue hypergiant star in the center of our solar system, the surface of the star would be somewhere in the neighborhood of Jupiter.  Hypergiants are the savants of the stellar world - they burn hot and bright, but burn out after just a few million years. 

This is a picture of Eta Carina, the largest known star in the universe.  It used to be the brightest object in the southern sky, but not any more.  Eta Carina gives off so much gas it has it’s own nebula fan club.  

They can call it “blue” if they want to.  I say it’s purple.

Eta Carina Nebula" by Clem Brazil is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?      Psalm 8:3-4