The Sun Would Become A Solid Crystal After Its Death

The Sun Will Turn Into a Giant Crystal Ball After It Dies

Dr Tremblay said: 'This is the first direct evidence that white dwarfs crystallise, or transition from liquid to solid.

"We could visualise crystallised white dwarfs as giant balls of solid oxygen and carbon, with only tiny amounts of other residual elements", Pier Emmanuel Tremblay, assistant professor of astronomy at Warwick who led the study, told The Telegraph.

Using a space telescope launched in 2013, astronomers at the University of Warwick in Britain have spotted evidence of the heat expected to be released as stars exhausted of their fuel and rendered into white dwarfs cool and solidify.

Years after our star's fusion has faded away and it would have cooled down, the Sun would become a solid crystal after its death, joining the billion of such space bodies, scattered all over the Universe. The crystallization of white dwarfs is similar to how water turns into ice only that the cosmic process involve higher temperatures. As a white dwarf, they continue to cool down for billions of years. The data found a "pile-up", or a rather larger number of white dwarfs with "specific colors and luminosities that do not correspond to any single mass or age".

However, the death of a red dwarf and its subsequent transformation into a white dwarf does not mark the end of its evolutionary journey. More massive stars cool down more rapidly and will reach the temperature at which crystallization happens in about one billion years.

In this study, the astronomers analysed more than 15 000 stellar remnant candidates within 300 light years of Earth as observed by Gaia and were able to see these crystallising white dwarfs as a rather distinct group. "The sun itself will become a crystal white dwarf in about 10 billion years".

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"We saw a pile-up of white dwarfs of certain colors and luminosities that were otherwise not linked together in terms of their evolution", said Tremblay.

"Not only do we have evidence of heat release upon solidification, but considerably more energy release is needed to explain the observations", added Tremblay.

"We've made a large step forward in getting accurate ages for these cooler white dwarfs and therefore old stars of the Milky Way".

The researchers analyzed a whopping 15,109 white dwarfs and mapped their luminosities and colors and saw a odd group of data points sticking out.

'This means that billions of white dwarfs in our galaxy have already completed the process and are essentially crystal spheres in the sky. "This will push the carbon upwards, and that separation will release gravitational energy".

"We realised that this was not a distinct population of white dwarfs, but the effect of the cooling and crystallisation predicted 50 years ago". "This experiment on ultra-dense matter is something that simply can not be performed in any laboratory on Earth".

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