European Space Agency astronomers have mapped the life of the Sun as part of the Gaia Milky Way project.
The main mission of Gaia is to map the Milky Way. Astronomers track the position and movement of stars in the sky while making detailed observations of each star’s brightness and spectral classification. These values can be used to determine factors such as the chemical composition and temperature of stars, which can be used to estimate the age of a star. The mass of a star remains the same with age, but the temperature changes. This value depends on the nuclear fusion taking place in the stellar core, and increases as the star approaches death.
The Sun is classified as a yellow dwarf, about 4.57 billion years old and has a surface temperature of 5772 Kelvin. Astronomers have studied similar stars with low temperatures between 3,000 and 10,000 kelvins. Such stars tend to be smaller and live longer.
Having determined the stars most similar to the Sun, astronomers calculated the time of his death. The temperature of the Sun will peak at about 8 billion years old, after which it will turn into a red giant star at an age of 10 to 11 billion years. Eventually, the star will run out of hydrogen needed for core fusion and die.
According to astronomers, the brightness of the Sun increases by about 10% every billion years. It also increases the temperature of the star and, consequently, the Earth – such changes will make our planet uninhabitable.