Tuesday, April 3, 2012

User Question: Why won't our sun super nova or become a black hole

Answer in short....

A supernova is only created when a massive star runs out of fusion fuel. It has to be so massive that when it runs out of fuel, the core collapses beyond white dwarf status and becomes a neutron star or black hole. When this happens, so much energy is released that the remainder of the star explodes outward violently. This is a supernova.

This requires a star of about 8 solar masses. If a star weighs less than this, it will eventually lose a large part of its outer mass and what is left will become a white dwarf. This is what will happen to the Sun someday.

As far as a black hole goes, a black hole is what happens when a neutron star is so massive it just keeps collapsing. As a result, only the very heaviest stars can become black holes.

So what will our sun do you ask??

near the end of its life it will expand great distances.  It has been estimated the sun may even expand as far as Jupiter, gobbling up everything else in its path.  After it swells so big over 2 billion year span it will zap itself down to a white dwarf. The end of our sun will look somewhat like this.


  1. Interesting. However, this is more astronomy than astrology. Similar terms but not the same.

    I like them both, so whatever. I didn't know this.

    1. I thought the same thing when I saw this here, but like you said, it's still interesting.