Research

The Sun Would Become A Solid Crystal After Its Death

The Sun Would Become A Solid Crystal After Its Death

The core is then formed of a crystallized metallic oxygen interior, with a carbon enhanced mantle. The astronomers said that their observation provides the first direct evidence that white dwarf stars would solidify into crystal.

And there are billions of similar sparkling crystal spheres in the Milky Way alone.

"Previously, we had distances for only a few hundreds of white dwarfs and many of them were in clusters, where they all have the same age", says Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay from the University of Warwick, UK, lead author of the paper describing the results, published today in Nature.

- We got the first unequivocal evidence that the matter of the white dwarfs gradually kristallizuetsya. But I still wouldn't mind skipping the part where our entire planet is swallowed in the hellacious heat of a massive nuclear furnace we once called the sun. "Using modelling, we infer that this pile-up arises from the release of latent heat as the cores of the white dwarfs crystallize", the researchers wrote in their study which was published on January 9.

The Sun still has about five billion years before it becomes a white dwarf, and the astronomers estimate that it will take another five billion years after that to eventually cool down to a crystal sphere. What they found was a "pile-up", or a large group of stars at specific colors/luminosities that "do not correspond to any single mass or age".

Scientists trained the Gaia space telescope on 15,000 white dwarf candidates within around 300 light years of Earth. White Dwarf Crystallization Crystallization is the process by which materials turn into a solid form in which the atoms are organized into a structure known as crystals. Image credit: Tremblay et al, doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0791-x.

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Tremblay said that the Gaia satellite provided the team with significant data about the distance, colour and brightness of thousands of white dwarfs sitting in the outer disc of the Milky Way, and covering a range of masses and different ages.

But just as the water in your freezer continues to cool after it releases all its latent energy, white dwarfs eventually resume their cooling as well.

'All white dwarfs will crystallise at some point in their evolution, although more massive white dwarfs go through the process sooner.

Scientists further reveal that this crystallisation lasts for several billion years, and the heat released during the process slows down the evolution of the white dwarfs.

There are billions of white dwarves out there that have already gone through this process, astral remnants haunting our galaxy like weird crystal ghosts. Our sun is also expected to end its life in the same manner, crystallizing like a jewel in about 10 billion years.