All stars die at some point, so even our Sun will find its end after all. So far, researchers could estimate its existence will end in about 10 billion years. However, they couldn’t find out what would happen after the Sun ceased to be a star. Now, a team of international researchers has managed to find out what will happen when the Sun dies.
What will happen when the Sun dies?
None of us will be around at the destruction of the Sun. If we are curious about how our star will find its end, the researchers have decided to run a few models and simulations and see what they get. This way, they found out that, when the Sun dies, it will turn into a huge transparent ring made of dust and gases.
In fact, this ending is not surprising at all. These rings bear the name of planetary nebulas and are pretty common whenever stars die. During this process, they let out all the gas they contained and produce the surrounding cloud called envelope.
These nebulas occur as stars are starting to lose fuel until they can no longer sustain themselves. Also, they still contain materials from the star’s core which keep shining bright for a long period of time. This explains why most of these nebulas stay bright even after thousands of years.
The Sun appears to deny the researchers’ initial expectations
Researchers weren’t sure that, when our Sun dies, it will produce the same type of nebula like most stars. Initially, they thought its mass was too small to produce a major envelope that stays visible. There was a clash between the data researchers could collect from the Sun and the models they ran afterwards.
However, for the latest model, they used a clever combination of resources. They didn’t only add mass in the equation, but also the age of the star. This way, they discovered all the material our Sun would eject is likely to heat up a lot more quickly. Even if it has a low mass, this heat will make the envelope bright and visible.
The observations also revealed our star is just about the size of the smallest one that produced a visible nebula. Therefore, when the Sun dies, it will at least make a beautiful show. The results of this study were published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
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