Advertisement.

EnchantedLearning.com is a user-supported site.
As a bonus, site members have access to a banner-ad-free version of the site, with print-friendly pages.
Click here to learn more.

ad
(Already a member? Click here.)
Table of Contents Enchanted Learning
All About Astronomy
Site Index
Our Solar System Stars Glossary Printables, Worksheets, and Activities
The Sun The Planets The Moon Asteroids Kuiper Belt Comets Meteors Astronomers

THE SUN
Introduction to the Sun Solar Structure Size, Mass Flares, Solar Wind, Prominences Sun's Birth Solar Eclipses Activities,
Web Links
Solar Rotation Sunspots Sun's Death

THE DEATH OF THE SUN


The Sun is about 4.5 billion years old. it has used up about half of its nuclear fuel (hydrogen). In about 5 billion years from now, the sun will begin to die.

As the Sun grows old, it will expand. As the core runs out of hydrogen and then helium, the core will contact and the outer layers will expand, cool, and become less bright. It will become a red giant star.

After this phase, the outer layers of the Sun will continue to expand. As this happens, the core will contract; the helium atoms in the core will fuse together, forming carbon atoms and releasing energy. The core will then be stable since the carbon atoms are not further compressible.


The Pistol nebula: a planetary nebula in Sagittarius.

The Egg nebula: a planetary nebula that formed a few hundred years ago.
Then the outer layers of the Sun drift off into space, forming a planetary nebula (a planetary nebula has nothing to do with planets), exposing the core.

Most of its mass will go to the nebula. The remaining Sun will cool and shrink; it will eventually be only a few thousand miles in diameter!


A White dwarf star: (circled) in the globular cluster M4.
The star is now a white dwarf, a stable star with no nuclear fuel. It radiates its left-over heat for billions of years. When its heat is all dispersed, it will be a cold, dark black dwarf - essentially a dead star (perhaps replete with diamonds, highly compressed carbon).




Enchanted Learning®
Over 35,000 Web Pages
Sample Pages for Prospective Subscribers, or click below

Overview of Site
What's New
Enchanted Learning Home
Monthly Activity Calendar
Books to Print
Site Index

K-3
Crafts
K-3 Themes
Little Explorers
Picture dictionary
PreK/K Activities
Rebus Rhymes
Stories
Writing
Cloze Activities
Essay Topics
Newspaper
Writing Activities
Parts of Speech

Fiction
The Test of Time
iPhone app
TapQuiz Maps - free iPhone Geography Game

Biology
Animal Printouts
Biology Label Printouts
Biomes
Birds
Butterflies
Dinosaurs
Food Chain
Human Anatomy
Mammals
Plants
Rainforests
Sharks
Whales
Physical Sciences: K-12
Astronomy
The Earth
Geology
Hurricanes
Landforms
Oceans
Tsunami
Volcano
Languages
Dutch
French
German
Italian
Japanese (Romaji)
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish
Geography/History
Explorers
Flags
Geography
Inventors
US History

Other Topics
Art and Artists
Calendars
College Finder
Crafts
Graphic Organizers
Label Me! Printouts
Math
Music
Word Wheels

Click to read our Privacy Policy

E-mail


Enchanted Learning Search

Search the Enchanted Learning website for:



Advertisement.



Advertisement.



Advertisement.



Copyright ©1999 EnchantedLearning.com ------ How to cite a web page