Our sun is still at its ripe old age of 4.5 billion years in its glorious years. In about 10 billion years, the core of the Sun will lose large amounts of hydrogen and helium and turn it into a red giant star. At least we learned that in middle school, right? Obviously that does not mean the whole story.
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"When a star dies, it pushes a mass of gas and dust – known as its shell – into space," Professor Albert Zijlstra of The University of Manchester explains in a statement. "The shell can be as much as half of the mass of the star, revealing the core of the star, which at this point in the life of the star has no fuel left and finally leaves and finally dies."
Planetary Nebula Abell 39  By developing a new stellar data model, the team attempted to plan the final act of the sun. The model predicts the brightness of the planetary nebula of our sun, based on the age and luminosity of the gas envelope of other stars. Although scientists had long assumed that our sun was not massive enough to form a planetary nebula, the team showed that it is indeed possible.
The team's models show that stars like our Sun have a lower mass compared to many others, can get very hot very quickly, even if it dies. This would mean that our sun could still emit gasses and dust to form a visible planetary nebula.
"We found that stars with a mass less than 1.1 times the solar mass have weaker nebulae and stars more than 3 solar masses produce lighter nebulae, but for the rest, the predicted brightness is very close to what is observed ", adds Zijlstra.
Could this resolve the long debate over the death of our Sun? Not exactly, I mean, it's just a study. That is, at least we have some convincing ideas about what's going to happen to our favorite sun when it's finally time for it to die – it could become a ghost.
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Photos about TARECTOR (NRAO / AUI / NSF and NOAO / AURA / NSF) and BAWOLPA (NOAO / AURA / NSF)
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Written by Rae Paoletta
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