Sun as a Red Giant

Sun as a Red Giant

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Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The Sun as a red giant. Illustration showing the Sun at its maximum extent as a red giant; some 7 billion years from now. The present-day orbits of the inner three planets are shown for comparison. As the sun runs out of nuclear fuel at the end of the main sequence, it will expand into a red giant and begin to shed mass. The inner two planets will be engulfed. Earth might escape, as it moves to a more distant orbit as the Sun's gravity reduces as a result of mass loss.

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Keywords: art, artwork, boiling, earth, expanding, heat, hot, illustration, inner planet, melting, mercury, orbits, red giant, solar system, space art, sun, surface, swelling, venus

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