Birth and sunset of the solar system

Science | Astronomy

There will come a time when the sun will increase in size until it becomes a red giant star and swallows Mercury, Venus and possibly the Earth

The solar system is made up of the sun, planets, satellites, and some other smaller objects revolving around it. Current theoretical models, with gaps, predict that the birth of the solar system occurred about 5 billion years ago and is now in the middle of its life. In addition, the sun, for years, lives its most stable period. In it the appropriate conditions were given for the emergence and evolution of life on Earth. Due to the fact that the end of the sun will occur with a long agony, to the terrestrials, if we do not do atrocities with our planet, we have a little less than the .5000 million years that the sun has left to live.

The sun formed, like most stars, from a cold cloud of hydrogen, helium, and some heavier materials, mostly from the explosion of a supernova (massive star). From this cloud, the planets were also born. A disturbance, probably from another supernova, caused the cloud to begin to contract and spin. As its contraction increased, its rate of spin increased, until it formed a disk, the thickness of which grew further away from its center of spin.

In the disk, the dust particles collided with each other, coming to produce small groups, due to the gravitational force. These clumps, by continuing to attract particles, grew in size and gave rise to the planets. The so-called inner planets took hundreds of thousands of years to form, and the outer ones, between 10 and 20 million years. It is thought that, within a million years of its formation, a solar wind swept from the disk all the material that had not accumulated on the planets. The strength of that wind decreased with distance, so the inner planets are rockier and the outer ones more gaseous.

The sun was also born by the contraction of a volume of cold cloud particles. As that volume contracted, its temperature increased, until it reached 12 million degrees Celsius. At that moment, the nuclear fusion reaction that unites two hydrogen nuclei to form one helium began. Thus, a time came when the expansion from the heat produced by nuclear fusion energy equaled the contraction force generated by gravitational attraction. At that moment, the sun reached an equilibrium situation.

Since its birth, the sun has consumed half of the hydrogen, and the helium formed in the fusion reaction accumulates in its center. There will come a time when the hydrogen will be only in a superficial layer. The sun will then grow to become a red giant star, swallowing Mercury, Venus, and possibly Earth. Its center will reach 100 million degrees and helium fusion will begin, giving rise to oxygen and carbon. Eventually, our star will spew a lot of material into space, cool down, and become an Earth-sized white dwarf.