DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Red giant Sun. Image 6 of 9. Artwork of the red giant Sun filling the sky of the Earth in billions of years from the present time. The Moon is seen in front of the disc of the Sun at upper right. The Sun will enter the red giant phase of its life as it uses up its nuclear fuel. As it expands it will engulf Mercury and Venus, the two planets nearer the Sun than Earth. At this stage, Earth has no atmosphere, and meteorite impacts blast new craters on the baked surface. For a sequence showing the death of the Earth as the Sun expands and dies over the next five billion years, see images E402/058-066.
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