The researchers predict that in 10 billion years the star will turn into a crystalline white dwarf.
The sun will become a giant crystalline object in a few billion years. This is stated in an article published in the scientific journal Nature by an international group of scientists from the University of Warwick (UK), informs Rus.Media.
According to the researchers, the transformation of the Sun into the crystal held by analogy with the evolution of white dwarfs – compact “burnt-out” stars, deprived of their own sources of fusion energy.
According to experts, the process of crystallization of these space objects proceeds in several stages. When the temperature of the metal and oxygen in the core of white dwarfs harden, carbon, helium and hydrogen remain liquid. The solidified matter gets into the center of the star, displacing other atoms. Eventually the star becomes a ball the size of the Earth, the density of the nucleus which is so huge that a single cubic centimetre of its matter weighs about 10 tons.
Such a transformation similar to the transformation of liquid water into ice, said the scientists. According to the head of the research group of Pierre-Emanuele Tremblay, the process of crystallization common to all stars of medium size, including the Sun, which belongs to the class yellow dwarfs.
“Billions of white dwarfs have already completed this process and almost completely turned into a crystal sphere. After 10 billion years the Sun will become a white dwarf, crystal”, – said the scientist.
To such conclusion experts have come after seeing over 15 thousands of white dwarfs seen by the satellite of the European space Agency Gaia at a distance of 300 light years from Earth. The first assumption of the transformation of white dwarfs in crystals was proposed half a century ago, but scientific confirmation of this hypothesis has been only now.
White dwarfs are called remnants of “dead” stars of relatively low mass, which do not have their own sources of energy. They are the result of evolution of stars with a mass not exceeding the sun more than 10 times.