Solar Life Cycle

Solar Life Cycle

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Caption: Stages in the birth and death of the Sun. (1) A supernova encourages a passing gas cloud to begin gravitational collapse. (2) The gas cloud contracts and flattens into a protoplanetary disc called the solar nebula. (3) A bipolar outflow of charged particles may also be visible. (4) The Sun begins to shine as a fully fledged star on the Main Sequence. (5) Present day – Sun still shining at an age of 4.6 billion years. (6) Hydrogen runs low, and the Sun expands slightly into a subgiant, growing cooler and redder but more luminous. (7) With hydrogen now totally depleted, the subgiant expands into a huge red giant, around 200 times the size of the original Sun (not to scale). (8) The star pulsates, puffing off its outermost layers to form a glowing planetary nebula. (9). All that is left is the core of the original Sun, now a white dwarf.

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Keywords: accretion, art, artwork, astronomy, birth, cycle, death, formation, globule, illustration, life, nebula, outflow, planetary nebula, planets, protoplanetary disc, protoplanets, red giant, schematic, space, star, sun, white dwarf

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