Scientists predict dying Sun will devour Earth

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Scientists have made a new attempt to blow the lid off what turmoil, if any, awaits our solar system after the Sun reaches the end of its existence in approximately 10 billion years, which is a little over twice as long as it has already been around.

Axar.az reports citing sputniknews.com.

According to research published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy, the Sun, which increases in temperature markedly every billion years, will indeed melt into a planetary nebula, like it was previously assumed.
Before that, however, the aging star is forecast to turn into a red giant, with the core of it crumpling and shrinking, while its outer layers will exponentially grow to engulf our planet along the way, if it hasn’t ceased to exist by then. The latter is a highly realistic scenario, since the 10 percent growth in brightness that the Sun witnesses every billion years immediately corresponds to oceans, eventually, evaporating at a frightening speed, as well as Earth's surface overheating.

While scientists voice alarm over six recent solar flares, it is just the easy bit if compared to a mechanic contact between the star and the Earth.

Separately, an international team of astronomers has used top-notch computer modelling techniques to determine that our Sun's fate will mirror that of 90 percent of other stars: it will supposedly shrink down from a red giant to become a white dwarf and subsequently end up as a planetary nebula, something that humans stand little chance of witnessing.

Interestingly, the envelope at the time shines bright enough to make the dying star observable, although not for long – for maximum 10,000 years, which is quite brief from the standpoint of astronomy. The commonly visible Nebulae, which were called 'planetary' long ago due to its resemblance in shape to planets, include the Helix Nebula, the Cat's Eye Nebula, the Ring Nebula and the Bubble Nebula.

Our Sun, which is technically known as a yellow dwarf, is 4.6 billion years old. While it may last another 10 billion years, red dwarfs such as the heart of the seven-planet Trappist-1 system, discovered in February 2017, burn at lower temperatures and can last for trillions of years.

2018.05.08 / 18:44
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