The European Aerospace Agency (ESA) has just released the image of a dying star, reflecting what will happen to our Sun in the next 5 billion years.
The dying star is Kohoutek 4-55, named after the Czech astronomer who discovered it – Luboš Kohoutec. This star is located 4,600 light years from Earth, in the direction of the constellation Cygnus, and has a mass roughly equivalent to that of the Sun.
The dying photo of Kohoutek 4-55 is the last “beautiful image” captured by the Hubble Space Telescope’s WFPC2 objective before “retreating” after 16 years of continuous operation. WFPC2 has taken on the role of taking many iconic photos, making the Hubble name famous around the world.
Kohoutek 4-55’s photo from the dying show is actually a composite of three separate images, with each photograph taken at a certain wavelength to isolate light from different gas atoms. The different wavelengths are color coded for easy recognition. In this document, red represents nitrogen, green represents hydrogen and blue represents oxygen.
Describing the image, ESA said: “Intricate, twisted vortices reveal our Sun’s distant future. In five billion years, our star will be in a dying state. behaves exactly as we see in this picture: peel off the outside, layers to reveal the burning core, then become a cooling “embers” that cools down, called a white dwarf.
At that time, the Earth even “died” a long time ago and was scorched when the Sun ended. However, the scene of the Dying Sun will sparkle across the universe. “
Experts further explain that as a star ages, the nuclear reactions that make it glow begin to decline. This slowed-down energy production causes the stars to fluctuate abnormally, expelling the outer layers into space. And when those outer layers of gas are removed, the super hot core will be exposed.
At this point, the rest of the star will be emitting a large amount of ultraviolet light. This radiation causes the structures of the gas shell to glow, creating the fragile beauty of the nebula.