The middle-aged Sun is likely to die soon! The data published from the ESA’s Gaia spacecraft revealed the shocking date.
The key source of light and life on Earth – our Sun – is going to die! This latest study from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gaia mission has revealed a shocking fact about the centre of our solar system – the Sun. The data released from the ESA Gaia mission details the past and future of the Sun. It shared a chilling prediction that our Sun is almost halfway through its life span, almost 4.57 billion years old. It has been fusing hydrogen into helium in a generally stable state.
However, the data suggests that this stability will not last forever, as slowly the fused hydrogen will begin to deplete from the Sun’s core. This will cause massive and notable changes in the star’s fusion process to occur. And when it will be near to its end of life, the Sun will swell up to a larger size and will subsequently decrease the surface temperature of the star, while changing its colour to red.
When will the Sun die?
The ESA’s Gaia mission has studied the Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram that plots the intrinsic luminosity and effective surface temperature of stars against one another. It showed that the Sun will achieve its maximum temperature when it will be around eight billion years old. Once it reaches its maximum temperature, the Sun will begin to cool down from its angry state. During the transition phase, it will be turned into a red giant when the sun will be around 10-11 billion years old. That means there are still 5-6 billion years in the fiery demise of the Sun.
What will happen after that? The study mentioned that the Sun will begin to shed off mass once turning into a red giant and will eventually become a dim white dwarf star.
What is the Gaia mission?
The Gaia is a space observatory of the European Space Agency, launched back in 2013, aimed at collecting massive amounts of data on the intrinsic properties of the billions of stars present in our galaxy and near regions of the universe. In the latest data release, Gaia has examined several stars on the basis of their temperatures, sizes, masses, and more to measure their luminosity, or brightness, and surface temperature.