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This is how the sun will destroy our star system

This is how the sun will destroy our star system

Avatar: white dwarf

© Dr Mark Garlick/University of Warwick

What happens when the sun reaches the end of its life? Will our central star swallow the planets along with Earth? Or is there a chance for Earth to escape this fate?

Researchers at the university offer possible answers to these questions Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS). They give an overview of what our solar system is like 5 billion years It will look like.

The expanding Sun will likely engulf the Earth

Their conclusion: There probably won't be a happy ending on Earth. “The sad news is that the Earth will likely be swallowed by the expanding Sun,” he explains Boris Janecicco-author of the study, In the current situation. But this is not entirely certain.

➤ Read more: When will the sun explode?

The life of a sun-like star, from its birth on the left until its transformation into a red giant on the right

From yellow dwarf to white dwarf

The basis for this is her study of the evolution of planetary systems. Our sun is one Dwarf star,or,A Yellow dwarf. It is currently burning to its core hydrogen. However, at some point, this hydrogen will run out.

Then it extends to something like this 100 times its original size out and become one Red giant. Ultimately it falls on you White dwarf It collapses in on itself, i.e. a dead star that has completely exhausted its fuel.

➤ Read more: What happens if our sun runs out of fuel?

Chaotic environment for celestial bodies

to Planets and moons And AsteroidsPassing through these white dwarfs has serious consequences. “The enormous gravity of white dwarfs tears these small planetary bodies into smaller and smaller pieces,” says the lead researcher. Amornrat Ungwirujuit. Then the pieces fly in a chaotic path. They collide and are gradually ground down.

To draw their conclusions, the researchers noted Crossing Of corpses. This works by looking at the white star and detecting the dimming caused by objects passing in front of it.

➤ Read more: Stunning animation shows the true size of our solar system

Observing white dwarfs

more 17 years The researchers analyzed these brightness changes in front of white dwarfs. In addition, dust generated by destroyed objects can be recorded and information about the materials they are made of is revealed.

It was the focus of the notes 3 White dwarfs have different properties:

  • ZTV J0328−1219 It is currently “quiet”, but a major catastrophic event is said to have occurred there in 2010
  • ZTV J0923+4236 It darkens irregularly every few months and shows chaotic fluctuations over several minutes during the dark phases
  • WD 1145 +017 He has undergone a sudden change. In 2015, transits that fit theoretical models were observed, and they have now disappeared and the star is slowly getting brighter as the dust around it melts.

“The unpredictable nature of these transits can drive astronomers crazy,” explains Boris Gaensicke. “One minute they are there, the next they are gone. This is an indication of their chaotic environment.” It was the study In the Journal of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society published.

Chaos in our solar system

When applied to the solar system, it looks at least as far as the inner planets Mercury And Venus It looks bad. The sun will almost certainly crush and devour them, according to the study.

This fate will likely also affect Earth. But there is a chance that our planet can free itself from the clutches of the Sun. habitable But then it won't be. “It is not clear whether the Earth will be able to move fast enough before the Sun catches up with it and burns it up, but the Earth will move fast enough.” the weather And your Ocean “You lose and it's not a nice place to live,” says Gainesek.

➤ Read more: Discovering 3 new moons in our solar system

Only then will you Mars And the four gas giants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus And Neptune Orbit around a white dwarf. Asteroids and moons will gradually break apart and eventually fall onto the dead star.