The sun is the most powerful star in our solar system. According to science, the sun will go out after 10,000 million years. From that time on, it is possible that there is no trace of human civilization, although it is safer than the planet continues to exist.
Of course, for us as mortals of this planet, the sun seems an abominable star, of infinite power, capable of providing enough energy to sustain the life of the Earth. However, in astronomy, the sun is seen as a “mediocre” star. Yes, because its potential is not comparable to that of other stars.
In fact for the same reason, its life is quite short, taking into account that science has calculated that its current age is about 4.6 billion years. The star takes charge of burning hydrogen constantly. This means that a temperature of 15 million degrees is generated in the area of its core.
Combustion between hydrogen and helium
Hydrogen is the main element that contributes to its nature to produce helium. But, with the passing of millions of years, the burning of hydrogen will lead to the sun increasing its size. It is something that is actually happening at the moment and that has allowed this star to acquire a larger size. It is estimated that its growth is 20%.
Only when the hydrogen that is used for combustion is depleted, will the sun enter its final phase of life. By then about 5,000 million years are missing. When that date arrives, the star enters a phase that is called a red giant and that is when the helium begins to burn.
When this happens, the sun’s core will tend to compress. The sun maintained until then its life, because in this same two forces exist, that when being opposed, they grant life to him. The first of these forces has to do with the mass of the star that pushes inward from zero gravity.
The temperature level will increase greatly
On the other hand, on the other hand, there is the nuclear fusion that is the one that generates energy, generating a pressure outward. The thing is that when the hydrogen is completely extinguished, the energy that was pushing out will do it inwards and then the nucleus will not support the situation and collapse.
When the contraction is established, the nucleus will tend to heat exponentially. And it is just that warming that will begin to completely burn the level of helium that this star still possesses, which is also classified as a star according to science.
The heat generated by then will achieve that in the nucleus of the sun it continues devouring helium, while in the outer zone the hydrogen will also do combustion. What happens then that in the heart of the sun, it will burn at high temperatures, while hydrogen is burned outside.
The sun will get a size up to 200 times its current condition
The sun acquires at that point its intense red color because it is a color that contrasts between the combustion of the nucleus and the effect of the outer layers that are in which the impact of hydrogen is affected. The sun will then begin a process of enormous expansion in space.
What science still doesn’t know is the real effect that expansion will have. It is still unknown how devastating the effect of the explosion will be and the degree of impact it will have on the solar system. What is estimated is that the sun will reach a size that could be up to about 200 times what it represents at the moment.
In that way, it is clear that it could devour the Earth, although some scientists say that size could only devour Mercury and Venus. By that time, long before the explosion is generated, the Earth and other planets will face tremendous changes in their biosphere, as a result of the high temperatures between the combustion of hydrogen and helium.
The battle between helium and hydrogen continues
It is estimated that life on planet Earth by then can already be declared completely extinct, as represented by a planet as close to the sun as Mercury is today. The issue is that the effect of the sun’s expansion is accompanied by the process of compressing it.
What will happen is that the star will begin to have a rhythm of life similar to that of a heart. It will palpitate expanding and compressing due to the combustion generated by helium and hydrogen. In the end, science estimates that a point will be reached when this phenomenon will unleash a planetary nebula.
That is, the star will be wrapped in a cloud of gas and dust, shaped like a ring. Meanwhile, in the center of this cloud, there will be a very small sphere that is called a white dwarf. At this point it is said that the sun acquires the beauty of a star that will take a few thousand years to completely go out.