What happens when our sun dies?
Scientists have made new predictions about what the end of the life of our Sun, and with it the Solar System, will look like, and when it will happen. According to estimates, our star will transform into a beautiful planetary nebula after its death.
Professor Albert Zijlstra of the University of Manchester, along with an international team of scientists, has estimated that the Earth’sow predicts that the Sun will turn into a massive ring of bright interstellar gas and dust, known as a planetary nebula. The death of the Sun will be a cosmic spectacle seen from several light years around.
Researchers have long agreed that the death of our Sun will occur in about 10 billionow years, but they were not sure what would follow poź later. Nine out of ten stars after death form planetary nebulae, where clouds of dust and gas thatore were part of the dying star, are ejected into space, but illuminated from within by the remnants of the stellar nucleus.
Mathematical models have previously suggested that our star has too little mass for a visible planetary nebula to form on its ruins. It would have to be about twice as massive to cause any visible effect. But from a new study by an international team of astronomersow shows that low-mass stars such as our sun may be three times as hot, and therefore brighter, than previously predicted.
The research was based on a new model of the life cycle of stars, whichory estimates the brightness of the rejected envelope for stars with roThe star’s masses and roFIFTEEN YEARS. The results of the analysis were published in the journal „Nature Astronomy” and it follows that our Sun is massive enough to end life in spectacular style.
The sun is about 4.6 billion years old. Based on observations of other stars, astronomers predict it will reach the end of its life in about 10 billionoin years. Along the way, in about half that time, the Sun will turn into a red giant. The star’s nucleus will shrink, but the outer layers will expand as far as the orbit of Mars, absorbing Earth in the process.
But by then life on Earth will have long been impossible. Our time on Earth will come to an end in about a billion years, researchers estimate. This is because the Sun’s brightness is increasing by about 10 percent. per billion years. This increase in brightness will end life on Earth. The oceans will evaporate and the planet’s surface will become too hot.
– When a star dies, it ejects entire masses of gas and dust from its surface into interstellar space. This so-called. envelope. It may contain up to half the mass of the star. In this wayob nucleus is exposed, ktore at that time it will burn the last reserves of fuel. Gradually this process stops and the star dies – Zijlstra said. – Only then does the hot nucleus make the ejected envelope begin to glow brightly, and it takes about 10,000 years – krotki period in astronomy. Then such a planetary nebula is visible. Someore are so bright that they can be seen from very long distances measuring tens of millions ofoin light years – added.
The new model also solves another problem, whichory for a quarter of a century occupied by the astronomer’sow. About 25 years ago, astronomers discovered that if you look at planetary nebulae in another galaxy, the brightest ones always have the same brightness. This means that it is possible to estimate the distance to the galaxy based on its brightest nebulae. Data showed that this is indeed the case, but models contradicted it.
– Old, low-mass stars should form much fainter planetary nebulae than young, more massive stars. It has become a source ofoI dld conflictoIn between researchers for the last 25 years. Data mobind that bright planetary nebulae can form from low-mass stars such as the Sun. Models, on the other hand, claim that this is not possible and everything below dwoch masses of the Sun would give a planetary nebula too faint to see – Zijlstra said.
New models have solved this problem by showing that the Sun has less mass for a star thatora can produce a spectacular nebula, but once the envelope is discarded, the star’s core heats up three times faster than in earlier models, making a bright nebula much more likely.
– These are interesting results. Not only do we now have a wayob to measure the presence of stars a few billion in ageow years in distant galaxies, which is extremely difficult to measure, but we also learned what will happen when our Sun dies – noted Zijlstra.