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Infinity & Beyond — Episode 6: Life Cycle of the Sun

Join host Abigail Bollenbach as she walks you through the life cycle of our Sun, from its dusty birth to its beautiful death.
RELATED TOPICS: THE SUN | THE SOLAR SYSTEM


The Sun, like every other star, started its life as a giant cloud of mostly hydrogen gas. This cloud slowly condensed and collapsed under the force of gravity until there was enough pressure at the core to commence nuclear fusion, and the Sun turned on.

Compared to other stars, our Sun is quite average. Given its age of 4.5 billion years, the Sun is roughly halfway through its main sequence lifetime, the period when it converts hydrogen in its core to helium. Once it runs out of this fuel, it will start to expand into its red giant phase, and fuse helium instead. Our Sun will get brighter and puffier until it casts off its outer layers, leaving behind a hot, glowing core called a white dwarf, surrounded by a beautiful planetary nebula.

Join host Abigail Bollenbach as she walks you through our Sun's life cycle, from its dusty birth to its beautiful death. You can also watch past episodes of Infinity & Beyond at astronomy.com/videos.


Stay up-to-date on the latest space news at astronomy.com/news, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram (astronomy.magazine), and Twitter (@AstronomyMag).

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