Scientists Predict Dying Sun Will Devour Earth

Scientists Predict Dying Sun Will Devour Earth

This makes it much easier for a low mass star, such as the Sun, to form a bright planetary nebula.

According to a new study published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, researchers may have a new understanding of exactly what will become of the sun after it reaches the end of its life.

There are several space mysteries that have been solved and remain unsolved, but scientists and astronomers have finally put one of the widely-discussed debates to rest about how our sun is going to die. If we are curious about how our star will find its end, the researchers have made a decision to run a few models and simulations and see what they get. It depicts that the hot cores of the stars heat up envelop.

"We found that stars with a mass less than 1.1 times the mass of the sun produce fainter nebulae, and stars more massive than 3 solar masses [produce] brighter nebulae", study co-author Albert Zijlstra, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, said in a statement.

It's inevitable; in about 5 billion years our sun will burn up all of the hydrogen in its core, then it will swell into a red giant, eating Mercury and Venus before collapsing.

"These planetary nebulae are the most attractive objects in the sky".

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The study used a model to effectively figure out if the sun could create a planetary nebula.

In fact, this new model shows that "the sun is nearly exactly the lowest mass star that still produces a visible, though faint, planetary nebula", notes a news release from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, which led the project.

Contrary to previous research, scientists have predicted the sun will turn into a planetary nebula - a ring of luminous, interstellar gas and dust - when it dies in around five billion years' time. That luminous envelope of dust can be as much as half the star's mass.

As revealed, these huge envelopes have the capability of shining radiantly for near about 10,000 years and are visible ahead of even some "tens of millions of light years". "This reveals the star's core, which by this point in the star's life is running out of fuel, eventually turning off and before finally dying", explained astrophysicist Albert Zijlstra from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, one of the authors on the new paper.

The core then sends out x-rays and ultraviolet light that will cause that envelope of debris to shine for about 10,000 years, producing a nebula while the star's core flickers off.

Data from the model also sheds insight on a problem that had astronomers confused for years. "Problem solved, after 25 years!" This way, they discovered all the material our Sun would eject is likely to heat up a lot more quickly. That model suggested that it would take a star twice the mass of the sun to produce a nebula bright enough to see.

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