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This Is What It Will Look Like When Our Sun Explodes

Outer space planet Earth Mars launch astrology solar system galaxy universe. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. (Shutterstock/NikoNomad)Outer space planet Earth Mars launch astrology solar system galaxy universe. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. (Shutterstock/NikoNomad)

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) recently published a picture of the death of a star very similar to our sun.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope photographed the death of a sun-like star occurring roughly 5,000 light years away in what is called the Rotten Egg Nebula. The nebula received that name because it contains a lot of sulphur, an element that smells like a rotten egg.

Image from NASA and the ESA
Image credit: (ESA/Hubble & NASA)

Like the star in the image, our sun is rather ordinary. The image is a lot like what scientists think will happen in 5 billion years when our sun swells outward, swallowing Mercury, Venus and potentially even Earth. When it finally reaches the end of its lifespan and exhausts its supply of hydrogen and helium, it will swell into a red giant and blow its outer layer of gas and dust outward.

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Andrew Follett
the authorAndrew Follett
I hold a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in Science and Technology Policy from George Mason University, as well as a Bachelor of Science from the College of William & Mary, where I double-majored in Government and Geology and authored two theses. I have done research for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. I have also worked as an analyst providing research and analytical support for the Department of Energy, the Office of Petroleum Reserves, NOAA, and FEMA.

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