Our sun is almost halfway through its life span, and when it reaches the end, it will swell and demolish our planet, according to the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gaia spacecraft. However, data from the mission predicts this won’t happen for at least another five billion years.
Gaia calculated that the sun is around 4.57 billion years old and predicted the solar’s evolution and supernova explosion by determining the sun’s mass and composition.
Around 10–11 billion years old, when it turns into a red giant and swiftly grows significantly in size, the road to its demise begins.
From this point on, the sun rapidly approaches death and departs as a hot, dense white dwarf—the cool, dim white dwarf of a dying star.
The sun is’middle-aged’ and steady at the moment because it is fusing hydrogen into helium.
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Gaia, which orbits the sun at a distance of around 930,000 miles, is equipped with two telescopes to map the galaxy and study stars in order to forecast their futures.
And even though many have long worried that the sun could eventually consume the Earth whole, the most recent evidence from the ESA dispels those concerns.
When the sun is eight billion years old, as Gaia predicted it would be, our planet won’t be destroyed because it will have reached its maximum temperature.
The sun will start to cool down and grow to be more than twice as big as it is now at least two billion years from now. Its width is approximately 846,000 miles.
Finding stars identical to our solar is crucial, according to French astronomer Orlagh Creevey, who works on Gaia, if we are to comprehend how our sun fits into the cosmos.
He stated in a statement, “If we don’t comprehend our own Sun—and there are many aspects about it that we don’t know—how can we expect to understand all of the other stars that make up our lovely galaxy?”
Because it contains a lot of iron, the sun on Earth burns brighter than other stars.
We can close this observational gap by discovering stars that are comparable to the Sun, but this time with similar ages, the researchers said.
Recent media attention has been drawn to the sun’s growing activity.
News of a “cannibal” ejection that sent intense, highly magnetic, superheated gas hurtling toward Earth was most recently reported this week.
This coronal mass ejection (CME), which was emitted from sunspot AR3078 on Monday, was called a cannibal because it devoured another ejection that had been released the day before. With entangled magnetic fields and compressed plasma, a highly ionized gas, which is known to trigger potent geomagnetic storms, it created a “mish mash of the two.”
Billions of tons of corona material can be ejected from the sun’s surface by CMEs. Magnetic field and plasma make up the substance.
Such eruptions have the potential to cause space weather, which could damage unprotected astronauts and disrupt Earth’s satellites and power infrastructures.
After a solar storm struck Earth on July 19, auroras were seen, resulting in electric greens and purples across the northern US and Canada.
On August 3, not long after, another warning for a solar storm was issued.
On that same Sunday, a C9.3 flare also erupted from the sun, however it did not do so on the side of the sun that faces Earth.
But it did create enough of a stir that NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, a ship that has been studying our big star since its debut in 2010, was able to catch it.
According to Mike Cook, who works in space weather operations, there was a coronal hole in the sun’s southwest area that was spewing “gaseous material.”
By directing solar winds in a stream, this increased solar wind speeds.
The Sun has recently become more active as it approaches the most active part of its 11-year solar cycle, which will peak in 2024.
According to studies, the current level of solar activity is comparable to the level at which it was 11 years ago at the same stage of the previous cycle.
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