The Suns History and Future

The Sun (properly known as Sol) is a star located at the center of our solar system. The sun itself makes up 99.8% of our solar system’s mass. There are eight planets, three dwarf planets, and numerous other objects such as asteroids and comets that orbit the sun. The Sun consists of mostly hydrogen and helium, which it uses as fuel to keep burning.

Currently, the Sun is 4.5 billion years old. When the Sun is 10 billion years old, it will expand to become a red giant. When is becomes red giant, it will be 2,000 times larger and 100 times brighter than it currently is today. This growing Sun will engulf the two inner planets, Mercury and Venus. The scientific consensus is that the red giant will also swallow the Earth. The Earth’s future along with the expanding sun is still unsure because recent scientific models suggest that the Earth will be spared this awful fate and will move out to a farther orbit. Whether or not the Earth will be swallowed by the Sun, life will be inhospitable on Earth in 500 million years.

Since the Sun not a very large star, it will not die in the very large explosions known as a supernova. Instead, the Sun will slowly shed its outer layers, which will become the beginnings of a planetary nebula (a cloud of gas). Then, only the Sun’s core will remain as a white dwarf. This white dwarf will be dramatically smaller than the current size of the sun, and will remain in space with just a white glow. This white dwarf will continue to glow for billions of years; all the while slowly becoming fainter.

It is theorized that after the white dwarf stage, the white dwarf will become a black dwarf in about one trillion years. This black dwarf will emit almost no (if any) light or heat. This small body of mass will just remain in space.