Scientist have been able to make the calculation about the Sun’s demise thanks to a greater understanding of nuclear reactions and fusion over the last century or so
Scientists have discovered that the Sun is about halfway through its life and using complicated calculations they have figured out when it will finally burn up.
It provides the light in the day, the heat in summer, and without it, we’d be in quite an uncomfortable situation – so it’s bad news that one day the Sun will be no more.
Scientists have discovered that the star is currently ‘middle-aged’, and has just five billion years left to go until it will shine no more, as the Daily Star reports.
According to Paola Testa, one of the extremely intelligent people working on the project, these calculations can be made thanks to a new understanding of nuclear reactions and fusion.
Paola said: “A lot of the science is relatively new, like in the last century, because an integral part of understanding how a star works comes from understanding nuclear reactions and fusion.
“Before the 1930s, one of the main ideas of how stars worked was that energy was coming just from gravitational energy.
“By putting together lots of different information from lots of different stars, astronomers and astrophysicists could build a model for how stars evolve
“This gives us a rather precise guess of how old the Sun is.”
According to Nasa, even though the Sun is the centre of our solar system and essential to our survival, it’s only an average star in terms of its size.
Stars up to 100 times larger have been found, and many solar systems have more than one star.
By studying our Sun, scientists can better understand the workings of distant stars.
It currently sits around 93 million miles away from Earth, and should it still be around by the time the Sun decides to disappear, then it will also render our planet unstable – possibly ending it, too, as almost everything on the planet depends on the Sun being there to survive.