back to article What's the fate of our Solar System? Boffins peer into giant crystal ball – ah, no, wait, that's our Sun in 10bn years

A scan of the heavens has shown space is littered with the crystallized remains of stars, and our own sun is expected to go the same way, too. Yes, turning into a crystal ball. Smaller stars that don’t get to end their lives and go out with a supernova bang eventually peter out to become white dwarfs. These burnt-out stars are …

  1. redpawn Silver badge

    Glad they helped me understand

    the high temperature of these stars by using Celsius as Kelvin would confuse me.

    1. cbars
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Glad they helped me understand

      I'm still confused. How hot is a crystallised star in Hiltons?

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Glad they helped me understand

        Assuming a core temperature of about 310 Kelvin for a standard Hilton, I obtain a value of around 32.26 kiloHiltons.

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Glad they helped me understand

        I'm still confused. How hot is a crystallised star in Hiltons?

        Hot, but not as hot as 10 years ago.

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Glad they helped me understand

          Some of us just get hotter with age ...

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Glad they helped me understand

            That's called "The Menopause"1

            1. hoola

              Re: Glad they helped me understand

              Just think of it as being very hot.

    2. Chris Miller

      Re: Glad they helped me understand

      10 million Celsius is 10 million Kelvin. These numbers are not (and not intended to be) accurate to 6 significant figures. Those who understand what Kelvin means should not be confused by this; those that don't will be helped by reference to Celsius.

      1. Annihilator

        Re: Glad they helped me understand

        Pretty sure that was the joke... Or I'm hopeful anyway!

        1. redpawn Silver badge

          Re: Glad they helped me understand

          Yes, but my comprehension of temperature pretty well tops out at a glass blowers kiln.

      2. Carpet Deal 'em

        Re: Glad they helped me understand

        Actually, just "ten million degrees" would do just fine. At that point we're on the "doesn't matter" scale, so specifying Celsius is simply going against good style for no reason.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Glad they helped me understand

          "Actually, just "ten million degrees" would do just fine"

          Not really. That could equally describe how many times the star has rotated (roughly 28,000).

          *pushes glasses back up nose*

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Duh!

    Of course stars are crystalline, that's why they twinkle, innit?

    <gets coat>

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: Duh!

      Twinkle, twinkle little star,

      I don't wonder what you are.

      You're a ball of white hot gases,

      Forming into solid masses.

      Anon

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Duh!

        Twinkle, twinkle little LED

        How I wonder if you're dead.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Duh!

          Thank you for putting the need to verify the video for Hello by Twinkle in my head.

          Probably NSFW as it contains mainly two young topless young ladies "singing", wading about in water.

          (I didn't view it or post this from my works laptop or network). :D

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Duh!

        "You're a ball of white hot gases,"

        Liquid metallic hydrogen, according to latest predictions.

  3. bazza Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Boom!

    Hmmm, a ball of white hot crystalised carbon with a sphere of solid oxygen in the core. There's plenty of scope for the mother of all chemical explosions at some point!

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Boom!

      No, far too hot - the combustion products would break down immediately.

      Anyway at that sort of temperature and pressure the electrons would be squeezed out and most chemical reactions are basically electrons moving about (vast oversimplification) so such reactions would be impossible.

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: Boom!

        "No, far too hot"

        To begin with. They're going to cool down eventually though. Indeed, it's actually an interesting question which crops up in many places - at what point do you have to stop doing particle physics and start doing physical chemistry instead?

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Boom!

          You stop doing chemical reactions when you become a degerate dwarf star. The electron shells no longer exist due to gravitational pressure. Getting colder is not going to help!

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Boom!

            Though I do wonder if there might be mega - atoms, 'Atoms' that consist of a massive collection of crystallised nucleii with some kind of electron coating.

    2. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Boom!

      I'm curious as to what form the crystalline lattice of carbon forms once the oxygen has sunk out - is it diamond or Buckyballs? Or a new form?

      Asking for a friend -->

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Boom!

        "is it diamond or Buckyballs?"

        If it's diamond de Beers are going to be very upset. They depend on controlling supply.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Boom!

        It will whatever lets you pack the largest number of identically sized spheres into the smallest volume. I think that means one big diamond. I'll let others comment on whether the immensely slow cooling rate favours a flawless crystal.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Boom!

          A diamond as big as the Marsport Hilton?

          (Goddamnit, I just dragged that idiot Hilton back into the discussion, didn't I?)

  4. Kingbob

    Photino birds

    Does this account for the effects of Photino birds? :D

  5. Zebo-the-Fat

    Lucy is here!

    Lucy in the sky with diamonds??

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Lucy is here!

      The Shatner version I hope?

      Mines the one with the communicator in the pocket....

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Lucy is here!

        The Shatner version I hope?

        A truly unique aural experience.

        1. Chronos Silver badge

          Re: Lucy is here!

          A truly unique aural experience.

          ...for which we're all grateful.

  6. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Coat

    So we're basically sayin' da universe is full o' bling. It's all big explosions and massive crystals.

    God must be a chav.

    And drives a souped-up superNova - with massive speakers and blue LEDs underneath. While drinking Stella.

  7. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Coat

    Crystal Star?

    Still a shit Expanded Universe book.

    Mine's the one with the Thrawn trilogy in the pocket.

  8. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Alien

    crystal

    I wonder how many facets they have. Would it be a simple 12 *sided or a gazillion sides?

    *<starts playing the Blue Danube>

    1. Mooseman Bronze badge

      Re: crystal

      Sadly, I can only upvote you once, you deserve more ! Happy days scorning docking computers....

  9. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    One things for certail...

    One thing for certain, none of us will be around to see it...

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: One things for certail...

      No, that's not right. You can't claim certainty there. After all, the AI Singularity is just around the corner, not more than 30 years away now. Honest.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: One things for certail...

        the AI Singularity is just around the corner, not more than 30 years away now

        Is that before or after commercial fusion power?

  10. keith_w

    Chrystal Stars

    Would the continued existence qualify as "Shine on you crazy Diamond"?

  11. GX5000

    Simpsons did it

    We've already found huge space diamonds right?

    SO what are the chances those are remnants of suns like ours?

    Set phasers to High and have a nice week end.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019