How will our sun die?

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How will our sun die?
How will our sun die?

Sunlight reaches the human eye in eight minutes, covering a distance of nearly 150 million kilometers. This huge furnace is 73% hydrogen, 25% helium and 2% other elements such as carbon, iron and oxygen. Interestingly, in the past, many scientists flatly refused to believe in the fact that the sun was born not millions, but billions of years ago. So, Lord Kelvin believed that our star should spend all its energy in 30 million years and, therefore, should be even younger, since it continues to shine. However, Kelvin, as we know today, was wrong - modern science has proven that the Sun is at least 4.5 billion years old (judging by the ages of other objects in the solar system that formed around the same time). At the same time, the Sun is similar to other stars that we can observe with telescopes, except that it is not very large - slightly larger than Proxima Centauri. And such stars, according to astronomers, live for billions of years, during which they overcome certain stages of growth, developing, aging and eventually dying. So how does our star die?

Star life

Since most stars are made of hydrogen - in fact, the simplest element in the universe - there is a "hydrogen time bomb" inside them, which converts hydrogen into another simple element - helium, while releasing a huge amount of energy in the form of heat, light and other types of radiation.

Interestingly, the size of a star is a balance between expanding heat and contracting gravity. This constantly maintained equilibrium allows the star to boil for several billion years - until it runs out of fuel. When this happens, the star collapses into itself under the influence of gravity and at some point simply explodes.

The death of stars is one of the most beautiful phenomena in the Universe.

But by human standards, the life of stars is too long, so that astronomers can only observe a small fragment of it. However, modern astronomical instruments have allowed scientists to observe a wide variety of stars, each of which is at a certain stage of development. So, newborn stars are formed from clouds of gas and dust - like our Sun four and a half billion years ago, and astronomers call the age of many other stars "average." But in the vastness of the infinite Universe, there are also very ancient luminaries - dying stars.

By carefully peering into the night sky, astronomers eventually assembled impressive "collections of stars" of different sizes and at different stages of evolution. Interestingly, each instance "in the collection" demonstrates what happened or what will happen to any other instance. So, stars like the Sun consume all hydrogen, after which they begin to "burn" helium instead - the stars at this stage of development scientists call red giants.

The planet revolves around a red dwarf.

It is believed that the Sun will reach this stage of development in 5 billion years. Its core will shrink, but the outer layers will expand to the orbit of Mars, while engulfing our planet. Our star will reach the end of its life path in about 10 billion years. And although the assessments of the researchers may differ somewhat, one thing is obvious - you and I, like the Earth, will definitely no longer exist.

Interesting fact

The sun's brightness increases by about 10 percent every billion years. So mankind has about so much left - such an increase in brightness will evaporate the oceans from the face of the Earth, and the surface will become too hot.

How will the sun die?

In 2018, an international team of researchers decided to use computer simulations to predict how both the Sun and 90% of stars similar to it might end their lives. The results of the work showed that our Sun is likely to shrink from a red giant to a white dwarf, and then turn into a planetary nebula.

When a star dies, it throws a mass of gas and dust into space. This is the shell of a star, which can be as much as half the stellar mass. This shows the core of the star, which by this point in the life of the star runs out of fuel, eventually it turns off and finally dies, - explains one of the study authors, astrophysicist Albert Zeilstra from the University of Manchester in the UK.

Planetary fog CVMP 1 is one of the most beautiful in the Universe.

As for planetary nebulae, the hot core causes the ejected envelope to shine brightly for about 10,000 years - a short period in astronomy. Some nebulae are so bright that they can be seen from extremely long distances, measured in tens of millions of light years.

The data model the team created actually predicts the life cycle of various types of stars to determine the brightness of a planetary nebula associated with different masses of stars, Science Alert writes.

It may sound surprising, but nearly 30 years ago, astronomers noticed something unusual: the brightest planetary nebulae in other galaxies have roughly the same brightness level. This means that, at least in theory, by looking at planetary nebulae in other galaxies, astronomers can calculate how far away they are.

The data, published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy, showed that old, low-mass stars should form much fainter planetary nebulae than younger, more massive stars.

Surface of the Sun in the lens of the NASA Solar Orbiter probe.

The findings also showed that researchers now have a way to measure the presence of billions of years old stars in distant galaxies. And this is a range that is surprisingly difficult to measure. And yet, it is safe to say that today we know exactly when and how our star will die.

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