The origination of the difference is size, with stars being exponentially larger than most terrestrial planets – although they do drastically differ in size and gas giants such as Jupiter are very near the apex of becoming stars. This difference in size results in a great deal more gravitational compression at their core resulting in large amounts of electromagnetic radiation – as well as an increase in gravity that allows for the formation of Solar systems, where a stars gravitational effects are felt at much greater distances than planets and planetary systems (planets and moons).
Stars and planets differ in many ways. One of the more obvious ones is the fact that stars are basically gigantic nuclear reactors, creating immense amounts of heat and radiation to shine bright in the blackness of space; a planet does not have these reactions, and does not produce light at all. Planets are generally smaller, and can either be solid formation consisting of rock and metals, or gases around a magnetic core. Planets that are terrestrial (made mostly from rock and metals) can have gases around them in the form of atmospheres. Planets and stars are generally spheres in shape, but stars can be thousands or millions of times bigger than planets. Stars also command much greater gravitational forces than planets, which is why objects in space (including planets) will orbit them at a constant rate.
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