Artist’s animation of the Sun becoming a red giant

Stars such as our Sun burn hydrogen in their cores for most of their lives. Once they run out of this fuel, they puff up into red giants, becoming hundreds of times larger and engulfing nearby planets. As shown in this animation, in the case of the Solar System this will include Mercury, Venus, and even Earth, which will all be consumed by the red-giant Sun in about 5 billion years. Eventually, Sun-like stars lose their outer layers, leaving behind only a burnt-out core, a white dwarf. Such stellar remnants can still host planets, and many of these stars exist in our galaxy. However, until 2019, scientists had never found evidence of a surviving giant planet around a white dwarf. The detection of a Neptune-like exoplanet at WDJ0914+1914 may be the first of many orbiting such stars.


ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen)

About the Video

Release date:4 December 2019, 19:00
Related releases:eso1919
Duration:40 s
Frame rate:25 fps

About the Object

Type:Solar System : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Red Giant
Category:Solar System

Ultra HD (info)



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10.1 MB

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