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Our sun becomes a crystal for 10 billion years – Axios

About 10 billion years ago, our sun will probably be transformed into a white dwarf – a shrunk, extremely dense star whose core nucleus has burnt out and released its outer layers.

A new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature claims that the first evidence shows that white dwarf stars form solid crystal nuclei containing metallic oxygen and carbon. The oldest white dwarfs, the study finds, are likely to be almost completely composed of crystals.

Why It Causes: The crystallization process, which resembles water that turns into ice but occurs at much higher temperatures (about 1

0 million degrees Celsius), slows the cooling of these stars, potentially making them billions of years older than originally thought . Scientists use white dwarfs as markers to get a better idea of ​​the age of surrounding stars and planets.

What they did: University of Warwick astronomers in the UK used observations from the European Space Agency Gaia satellite to investigate the brightness and colors of about 15,000 white dwarf candidates in about 300 light years of Earth.

  • They found a large number of stars that had colors and luminosities that seemed to match the phase of a star's development when it releases enormous amounts of latent heat, resulting in a slower cooling process.
  • According to a press release, such stars may have slowed their aging by up to 2 billion years.

"That means that billions of white dwarfs in our galaxy have already completed the process and are essentially crystal balls in the sky."

– Study lead writers, astronomer Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay, in a statement

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