The Fate of the Solar System
Scientists believe that stars do not always remain the same. We believe our Sun and our solar system was formed by the collapse of a cloud of gas and dust in space 4.6 billion years ago. The Sun is now a middle aged star, with 9 planets and many other bodies near it in the solar system. In another 5 billion years, scientists think that the Sun will become much larger as energy from within makes the outer layers of the Sun expand, eventually becoming red giant. As this happens, most of the inner planets will be destroyed (including Earth). Eventually, after another 100 million years, the Sun will no longer be able to make energy, and will become a white dwarf, the size of a small planet.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist
, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store
You might also be interested in:
Scientists believe that the solar system was formed when a cloud of gas and dust in space was disturbed, maybe by the explosion of a nearby star (called a supernova). This explosion made waves in space...more
The solar system is made up of the Sun, the // Call the planets count function defined in the document head print_planet_count('planets'); planets and // Call the planets count function defined in the...more
Eris is a dwarf planet in our Solar System. Eris was one of the first three objects classified as a dwarf planet, along with Pluto and Ceres. Eris was first spotted in January 2005. Eris is a large sphere...more
Do you know what a planet is? If so, you are doing better than professional astronomers! Right now astronomers aren't quite sure how to define a planet. Maybe you've heard that some astronomers think Pluto...more
The Orionid meteor shower happens every year in October. Meteor showers are times when you can see many meteors or "shooting stars" in one night. There are several meteor showers each year. Most meteor...more
The Leonid meteor shower is one of several major meteor showers that occur on roughly the same date each year. The Leonids typically "peak" (are at their greatest level of activity) in mid to late November....more
A meteor shower is an astronomical event during which many meteors can be seen in a short period of time. Most meteor showers have a peak activity period that lasts between several hours and a couple of...more