Even if The final death of the sun will occur in billions of yearsThe life of the astronomer in its current stage, known as the main sequence, where nuclear fusion of hydrogen allows energy to radiate and provides enough pressure to prevent it from collapsing under its own mass, will end with less than thought.
“The Sun is less than 5 billion years old,” Paula Testa, an astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, told Live Science. “It’s a middle-aged type of star, meaning its life will be in the order of 10 billion years or so,” he explained.
When the sun burns off most of the hydrogen in its core, it will enter its next phase as a red giant. At this point, about 5 billion years from now, it will stop generating heat through nuclear fusion and its core will become unstable and shrink, according to NASA. Meanwhile, the outside of the Sun will expand and glow red as it cools. This expansion will gradually devour neighboring planets and crush the Earth’s magnetic field.
The Sun will then begin to fusing excess helium into carbon and oxygen, before finally collapsing into its core, leaving behind a planetary nebula in its outer layers as it shrinks into a much hotter and denser stellar body, known as a white dwarf. This nebula will only be visible for 10,000 years.According to Testa. From there, the remainder of the Sun will spend billions of years cooling off before eventually becoming an emitting body.
Once astronomers and astrophysicists had a better understanding of the merger, they were able to make more complete models to determine the life of the stars.
“By collecting a lot of different information from many different stars, astronomers and astrophysicists have been able to build a model of how stars evolve. […] This gives us a fairly accurate estimate of the age of the Sun.Testa, who studies the heating mechanisms and X-ray emission processes in the outer layers of our star’s atmosphere, said.
(taken from RT in Spanish)
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