Stellar Fate: Astronomers Reveal What Might Happen To Our Sun At Death

09 May, 2018, 00:32 | Author: Grady King
  • Scientists have figured out when and how our sun will die

Prof. Albert Zijlstra at the University of Manchester, who was one among the worldwide group of researchers, said that when the stars die they expel a huge mass of dust and gas into the space, which is called its envelope.

Effectively, the study suggests that the star will become what's known as a planetary nebula, a mass of gas and dust.

A team of global astronomers, including Professor Albert Zijlstra from the University of Manchester, predict it will turn into a massive ring of luminous, interstellar gas and dust, known as a planetary nebula.

Near about ninety percent of all the stars end up as planetary nebulae becoming red giants.

Our sun aged 4.5 billion years
Our sun aged 4.5 billion years

Stars even a fraction smaller than the sun won't be able to produce a visible planetary nebula, but our sun will die to form a comparatively faint planetary nebula.

Professor Albert Zijslra says, 'When a star dies it ejects a mass of gas and dust - known as its envelope - into space. That means enough energy is released that even a low-mass star like good old Sol has enough juice to light up its debris field to produce a nice, bright planetary nebula when it dies. The software takes into account the light measurements from other planetary nebulae, including chemical composition, carbon and oxygen environments, and the dynamics of the stellar winds coming off the dying star - and their consequent illumination by the waning core. To determine the answer with some more certainty, the researchers used a data-driven model to predict the life cycles of stars.

A new study reveals what will happen to the sun after it dies in 10 billion years from now.

"Problem solved, after 25 years!", Ziljstra concluded.

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The new model also solves a paradox that puzzled scientists for decades, Science News reported.

Professior Zijlstra said that after 10,000 years of the star dying, the planetary nebula becomes bright. However, they couldn't find out what would happen after the Sun ceased to be a star. In about 5 billion years our star will burn out, disintegrate and turn into a massive ring of interstellar gas and dust that will emit the light.

New models show that once the ejection of the envelope is complete, the heat of the stars increases up to three times faster as compared to the previous models.

This is true for a majority of all active stars, but researchers were unsure if the sun would follow the same process because of its low mass.

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Professor Zijlstra added: "We found that stars with mass less than 1.1 times the mass of the sun produce fainter nebula, and stars more massive than 3 solar masses brighter nebulae, but for the rest the predicted brightness is very close to what had been observed".

The new research published in the journal Nature Astronomy shows that the sun is just massive enough to end its life in glorious style, as a luminous planetary nebula.

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