Stars Blown Blind

K.L. and B.J Kosanke

When an aerial shell bursts, stars that fail to burn are often said to be “blind stars”, or more descriptively as having been “blown blind”. This detracts from the beauty of the shell and contributes to debris fallout. The problem can be caused by any of a combination of factors; the most important of these are the degree of violence of the shell burst and the burn characteristics of the stars.

In simplest terms, a star will ignite when its surface has been raised to its ignition temperature. The star will continue to burn only so long as the burning surface feeds sufficient energy to the next deeper layer of the star, to raise that unignited composition to its ignition temperature. (See Figure 1.) (For a more complete discussion of pyrotechnic ignition and propagation, see reference 1.)

 Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 4, (1995-1997), pp 1-4

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