back to article The Sun will blow up into a huge, glowing bubble of gas during its death

The Sun will shed a large chunk of its mass to turn into a planetary nebula, a gigantic globe of luminous gas, as it nears the end of its life cycle. Low mass stars like the Sun will become red giants and then white dwarves when they die. Now, a paper published in Nature Astronomy predicts that in between those stages, the Sun …

  1. DNTP

    Tolkien Elf Warrior Hairstyle Logic:

    If you don't get to live forever, at least try to leave a beautiful corpse.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Tolkien Elf Warrior Hairstyle Logic:

      Astrophysics has never been my forte. The time periods are too, well, astronomical. I've decided instead to invest in forestry. Granted, even there, I may not live to personally see the benefits. Still, as they say, "die young and leave a beautiful copse.".

      1. Jim Mitchell

        Re: Tolkien Elf Warrior Hairstyle Logic:

        @ Frumious Bandersnatch

        Isn't that, "die young and *leaf* a beautiful copse", in that scenario?

        1. DNTP

          Re: Forestry

          Forestry is forbidden under Elven law since everything runs on nature magic and doesn't need your help. For your crimes you are sentenced to be drafted into the Elven Army, 10th Stylist Regiment, the "Beautiful Corps".

          1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Forestry

            Personally I plan to live forever.

            So far, so good...

            1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

              Re: Forestry

              Who want's to live forever ... Who want's to live forever ?

              I'm the one with a big sword and a liking for 1970's rock gods ... :-)

              1. Danny 14 Silver badge

                Re: Forestry

                surely there can be only one?

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Tolkien Elf Warrior Hairstyle Logic:

        @Frumious Bandersnatch

        Arrange for your corpse to be buried in the copse. That way you'll still be providing for the tree growth for sometime after your death

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Coat

    Once once the sun starts this process, we'll have about 135 hours to get the ultimate suntan before becoming a ball of flame ourselves then. Not that any of us will still be around when it happens in about 6 billion years but good to know anyway.

    Icon: The one with the SPF 1000 sunscreen in the pocket.

    1. Carl D

      >>The one with the SPF 1000 sunscreen in the pocket.<<

      First thing that came to mind for me:

      "Anybody not wearing two million sunblock is gonna have a real bad day."

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2BlUN-h8-I

      1. ravenviz
        Mushroom

        two million sunblock

        Since SPF (in theory) extends your normal burn time by 'F' times, if you would otherwise normally burn in 15 minutes, then you get to see the view for almost 60 years before having to go inside for a lie down.

  3. Youngone Silver badge

    Good

    I will look forward to this.

    I was getting a bit worried it might never happen.

  4. Schultz

    Cute conversion: 40,000 Kelvin (~ 39,727 degrees Celcius)

    Does anybody believe that those 40000 K were estimated to within 1 K precision? I believe the proper conversion should be: 40,000 Kelvin (~ 40 000 degrees Celcius). Or use proper engineering units to give proper significant digits: 40 kC.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Cute conversion: 40,000 Kelvin (~ 39,727 degrees Celcius)

      Just be thankful that it's one of those rare publications that doesn't incorrectly call them degrees Kelvin...

    2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Cute conversion: 40,000 Kelvin (~ 39,727 degrees Celcius)

      Or use proper engineering units to give proper significant digits: 40 kC.

      Or very, really, truly proper El Reg units: 3,970Hn.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Well that's reasuring

    Boffins had previously said it would shed Nebulas repeatedly.

    Now we're told it will expand just enough to swallow the inhabitable goldilocks zone.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      "So it took these people 25 years to figure out what I could have learned from an afternoon of reading a textbook."

      Where exactly do you think the information in textbooks comes from?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Where exactly do you think the information in textbooks comes from?

        Wikipedia. Duurrr

        God, some people are so dumb.

        1. ravenviz

          What's Wikipedia? Everything's in my phone.

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge

      You mean the textbooks that previously said it would take a star with at least twice the mass of the sun to turn into a planetary nebula?

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        since im a flat earther, im worried about the turtle and elephants. Will the great a'tuin be warned in advance to swim us away?

  7. Long John Brass Silver badge

    Star-lifting

    Time to start mining our nearest star and bring it's mass down a little; Bonus points for filtering out the hydrogen and recycling it back down to the fusion reactor :)

    The 'left-over' crud is useful for all sorts of things

    1. DNTP

      Re: Star-lifting

      I once had a shower thought: "Why don't we just mine hydrogen from the sun and use it for fusion power?" and then realized that we were already doing that and it's called solar panels.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Star-lifting

        It might also get a touch warm, although I guess you could do it at night ;-)

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Star-lifting

          It might also get a touch warm, although I guess you could do it at night

          Stand in Mercury's shadow and use a really long spoon.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: Star-lifting

            just buy a 7a fuel scoop. those things scoop quite quickly. That being said, if the sun white dwarfs then you can supercharge your fsd a little then.

  8. mijj

    getting old has its embarrassing moments.

  9. Peter Prof Fox

    Never heard of Celcius

    Is it like Celsius?

  10. Crisp Silver badge

    40,000 Kelvin

    So shorts and tshirt weather?

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: 40,000 Kelvin

      Bet it still rains though!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disappointed

    I was looking forward to an article about the newspaper...

    1. Luke Worm

      Re: Disappointed

      Exactly my thoughts when I read the headline in my RSS reader :-D

    2. Ian Emery Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Disappointed

      I was thinking that if you replaced "The Sun" with "The Donald", it would make a lot of people happy.

      That's not a divine being; that is someone using Colgate Total Care Toothpaste!!!

  12. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Frankie Mouse

    Do you think that we'll be on our way to becoming hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings at that stage?

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: Frankie Mouse

      no, all the dolphins will have left.

  13. ravenviz
    Thumb Up

    New study shows the Sun will turn into a planetary nebula after all

    Yay!

  14. rfrovarp

    Something is off

    Their 90% number seems off. Most of the stars out there are red dwarfs. So are they saying that red dwarfs will transition to red giants?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something is off

      Maybe not red giants but according to this research all but the lightest red dwarfs release enough energy during the collapse to degeneracy to burp out some kind of nebula.

  15. JLV Silver badge
    Trollface

    awww shit, now we definitely need to build a wall!

  16. Korev Silver badge
    Joke

    I'm not scared...

    Didn't Oracle swallow the Sun a few years back?

  17. Torchy

    58 Days.

    Only 58 days from the ejection starting till it toasts earth.

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