What's the fate of our Solar System? Boffins peer into giant crystal ball – ah, no, wait, that's our Sun in 10bn years

www.theregister.co.uk | 1/10/2019 | Staff
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Click For Photo: https://regmedia.co.uk/2019/01/10/crystal_white_dwarf.jpg

A scan of the heavens has shown space is littered with the crystallized remains of stars, and our own sun is expected to go the same way, too. Yes, turning into a crystal ball.

Smaller stars that don’t get to end their lives and go out with a supernova bang eventually peter out to become white dwarfs. These burnt-out stars are reduced to dwindling orbs of gas made up of electrons and carbon and oxygen ions. As they shrink, the ions are squeezed closer together until they eventually freeze in place to form ordered crystal lattice structures. Our sun is also expected to end its life in the same manner, crystallizing like a jewel in about 10 billion years.

Crystallization - Process - Hugh - Van - Horn

This crystallization process was first predicted by Hugh Van Horn, a theoretical astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester in America some fifty years ago. Now, a team of researchers have finally found observed these stellar remnants by digging into data collected by the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft. The results were published this week in Nature.

Gaia has been helping scientists build a 3D map of our galaxy. It pinpoints the position of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: www.theregister.co.uk
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