The sun needs no introduction. It is always a part of all of us. It’s no surprise, then, that many of us don’t like having to deal with the harsh reality that our star will one day die, and with it everything on this planet. But don’t worry: we’re unlikely to be anywhere near seeing it.
Now, thanks to the latest data from .’s Gaia mission, European Space Agency (ESA) For stellar mapping, a new study shows that the venerable star is now in its middle ages and will die in a few billion years – between 5 and 7 billion years – which is, as we think, human, a long time.
Thus, at present, our Sun is at its zenith, in the middle of its comfortable life, at 4.57 billion years old, fruitfully fusing hydrogen into helium and glowing healthily.
The well-known story of the sun
Until now, we already knew in some detail what would happen in the future of our Sun. Our star will continue to heat up for the next few billion years and will eventually run out of hydrogen to coalesce into its core, in other words, without the juice that fuels it to keep working.
From this point on, the core will begin to shrink and the star, which has lit up everything we know and love about our world, will cool and darken and become a stellar corpse or white dwarf.
Beyond a little astrophysics clairvoyance
Now, thanks to the latest release of data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia Milky Way mapping project, which has pinpointed hundreds of millions of stars, many of similar mass and composition, we have the most detailed future timeline ever. sun life
Orla Crevi, an astronomer at the Observatory de la Côte d’Azur in France, and the team of researchers from the Gaia 8 Coordination Unit used the data to find 5,863 stars with a temperature, surface gravity, composition, mass and radius similar to that. From Earth, Sun: Using these stars, the team estimated the Sun’s age and potential life cycle, while also learning more about the star.
“If we don’t understand our Sun—and there are many things we don’t know about—how can we hope to understand all the other stars that make up our wonderful galaxy?” said Crevey. In a press release.
In summary, the team found that the Sun will reach its maximum temperature in about 8 billion years, after which it will cool down, but continue to increase in size. Gaia data reveal that when it is 10 to 11 billion years old, the Sun will become a stunning red giant (like the tenth-brightest star in the night sky, called Betelgeuse) before it begins its end-of-life sequence.
The end of life on earth
On the other hand, there is only about a billion years left for life on Earth, long before the end of the Sun. This is, of course, if we do not create first or disaster strikes us.
according to ScienceAlert, Life on Earth will not exceed this threshold because the brightness of the Sun increases by 10% every billion years, which means that its temperature is also increasing. This seemingly simple change would make Earth uninhabitable for life as we know it.
Meanwhile, Gaia’s new catalog of sun-like stars can tell us not only more about the future path of our sun, but also more about how and why we’re here to begin. And answer big open-ended questions like “Do all solar analogs have planetary systems similar to ours, or do all solar analogs rotate at a speed similar to our sun?”.
Edited by Felipe Espinosa Wang.
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