Since the start of recorded history, humankind has been fascinated with the Sun, and the giant balls of flame that speckle the night sky. It’s inspired man to think that, maybe, just maybe, there’s some other form of life near one of these twinkling dots of white.
Simultaneously, the $1 billion fireworks industry and the continuing success of the show MythBusters leads me to believe that, since the start of recorded history, humans have also been fascinated by extremely violent explosions.
Fortunately for us, both wonders are fulfilled upon a star’s “death” – in the event of an interstellar object like the Sun, it will expand to 250 times its current size, consuming a chunk of our solar system in its immense size. Then, after this stage of immense size, the Sun will shrink into a “tiny” white dwarf star, where it will fade to become a black dwarf star.
So, as we realize that I’m most certainly not suited for a job in astronomy, a fiery doom awaits us all. Well, that may not be true, I mean, 2012 will wipe us out first, or an undetected “black asteroid” will slam into the south pole, knocking us out of orbit, into the moon, and flying towards the Sun, but, barring that….
Anyway, stars gotta die. Once they’ve fused all they can fuse as the tame little yellow orb that they are, their expansion can devastate and prove an awesome sight. In theory.
In fact, it’s thought that perhaps many stars that we can see in our small patches of sky are already gone – their light is just only now reaching us.
The good news is that stars will continue to be born, too, thanks to the power of nebulae. I invite you to at least look at some pictures of these star-factories; they occasionally look like things and are named after their assumed shapes.
Sorry, stars, but we thank you for the magic, wonder, and spectacular potential destruction you provide.
Let Stars Die, Because You Aren’t Able To Stop Them
Photo Credits: Here