As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

SPACE: The Crystal Sun

In a process not unlike human aging, most stars entering the final chapter of their lives tend to shrink, shrivel and slowly turn white. Astronomers call these cold, dense husks of once-mighty stars white dwarfs and, unlike humans, their dotage can last for billions of years.

In that time, stars with masses between about a tenth and eight times the mass of our sun burn up the last of their nuclear energy, shed their fiery outer layers and dwindle into ultracompact cores that pack about a sun’s-worth of mass into a planet-size package. While this might sound like an unglamorous ending for a star, a new study published today (Jan. 9) in the journal Nature posits that white dwarfhood may be just the start of a beautiful new metamorphosis.

In a study of more than 15,000 known white dwarfs around the Milky Way, a team of astronomers from the University of Warwick in the U.K. concluded that dying stars don’t just fizzle out of existence — they first turn into luminous crystal orbs.

By Brandon Specktor, Live Science


Join Our Newsletter List, Get 4 Free Books

To view our privacy and other policies, Click Here
Please consider also subscribing to the newsletters of the authors who are providing these free eBooks to you. We are only able to offer them through the generosity of these QSF authors. You can always unsubscribe at a later date if you don't find anything of interest to you.
Once you submit this form, check your inbox to confirm this addition if you joined our newsletter list.

Leave a Comment