MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: When will the sun die

Date: Wed Apr 14 09:28:36 1999
Posted By: Nick Steph, Faculty, Physics, Franklin College
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 923894187.As

Our sun will die in about five billion years; at least that is what we 
think based on our current theories.  We presently think that stars fuse 
hydrogen into helium in their cores.  This process releases the energy that 
ultimately is emitted as electromagnetic radiation from the surface of the 
star.  The lifetime of a star is then determined by the amount of hydrogen 
that it has when born.  Thus the lifetime of a star is determined by its 
mass.  A star with the mass of our sun is thought to live a total of ten 
billion years.  Other evidence persuades us that the sun has been shining 
for five billion years and will begin its death process in another five 
billion years.  This is discussed in much more detail on many web sites 
which can be found with any good search engine like

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