In the coming 10 billion years, the sun of our solar system will possibly turn into a white dwarf star. This will make the sun an extremely dense and a shrunken star, having its nuclear core burned out, which are nothing but its outer layers.
According to new research published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, unveils the first sign that white dwarf stars are capable of forming a solid crystal core which has carbon and metallic oxygen. As per the researchers, the oldest white dwarfs are possibly fully consisted of crystals.
Crystallization is a process which is similar to turn water into ice. The same process, when occurs at far higher temperatures which can be around 10 million degrees Celsius, slows the cooling process of these stars. This thus makes the stars billions of years older than what researchers have thought. Researchers use these white dwarf stars as a reference to time. These dwarfs help scientists to figure out the age of neighboring stars and planets.
Astronomers have used the observations of the Gaia satellite, belongs to the European Space Agency to inspect the lights and colors from roughly 15,000 white dwarf candidates that are present within around 300 light-years of our planet. The astronomers are from the University of Warwick in the U.K. The researchers have found many stars that have luminosities and colors which are matching the stage in a star’s growth when it’s liberating large amounts of latent heat. This is resulting in a slower cooling process.
As per the press release, these observed stars possibly have decelerated their aging by as many as 2 billion years and this means that many of these white dwarfs present in our Milky Way have already finished the process and they are now fundamentally crystal spheres in the sky.