If you are a “man” or woman” who lives under the sun, you are most likely quite concerned about the future of the Sun, because it is in your mass eye. You see, the Sun is a dying star, and within the next 4.5 billion years it is going to burn out. This is all according to sun, and it has been confirmed by observation. But how will our sun go?
Spoilers: It’s gonna get ugly. Our sun’s death is a few billion years away — about 4.5 billion years, — but someday it’s going to happen.
In around 4.5 billion years the Sun will run out of it’s core element, hydrogen, and start expanding as it burns the next dangerous gas, helium. It will swap from being an orange giant to a red giant, expanding beyond the orbit of Mars and vaporizing Earth—including the basic building blocks that make-up you. Ouch, too hot to live, right?
Stars like our precious sun form when an enormous cloud of gas (mostly helium and hydrogen) grows so large that it ultimately collapses under its own heavy weight. The pressure is remarkably so high in the center of that collapsing mass of gas that the heat reaches unimaginable levels, with temperatures so hot that hydrogen atoms lose their electrons. Those naked fundamental hydrogen atoms then blend together into helium molecules, and that reaction releases enough energy to counter the intense pressure of gravity collapsing the cloud of gas. The battle between energy and the gravity from fusion reactions fuels our sun and billions of other large stars in our galaxy and beyond.
When a star dies, it ejects a mass of dust and gas — known as its envelope — into everlasting space. The envelope can be as much as half the large star’s mass. This reveals the star’s core, which by this point in the star’s life is running out of fuel, eventually turning off and before finally dying.
If you take a closer look at how well our sun die, you will find that the majority of scientists agree that sun will indeed run out of hydrogen.
Some astronomers estimate that our beloved sun has about 7 billion to 8 billion years left before it swells out and dies. Humanity may be long gone by then, or maybe we’ll have already colonised another planet.