In physics and chemistry, plasma is a state of matter similar to gas in which a certain portion of the particles are ionized. Heating a gas may ionize its molecules or atoms , thus turning it into a plasma, which contains charged particles: positive ions and negative electrons or ions...
held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter
Degenerate matter is matter that has such extraordinarily high density that the dominant contribution to its pressure is attributable to the Pauli exclusion principle. The pressure maintained by a body of degenerate matter is called the degeneracy pressure, and arises because the Pauli principle...
. The nearest star to Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...
is the Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...
, which is the source of most of the energy
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems...
on Earth. Other stars are visible from Earth during the night, when they are not obscured by atmospheric phenomena, appearing as a multitude of fixed luminous points because of their immense distance.