The evolution of a solar twin
This image tracks the life of a Sun-like star, from its birth on the left side of the frame to its evolution into a red giant star on the right. On the left the star is seen as a protostar, embedded within a dusty disc of material as it forms. It later becomes a star like our Sun. After spending the majority of its life in this stage, the star's core begins to gradually heat up, the star expands and becomes redder until it transforms into a red giant.
Following this stage, the star will push its outer layers into the surrounding space to form an object known as a planetary nebula, while the core of the star itself will cool into a small, dense remnant called a white dwarf star.
This image is illustrative; the ages, sizes, and colours are approximate (not to scale). The protostar stage, on the far left of this image, can be some 2000 times larger than our Sun. The red giant stage, on the far right of this image, can be some 100 times larger than the Sun.
About the Image
|Release date:||28 August 2013, 15:30|
|Size:||3800 x 2250 px|