The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. shutterstock 418202662

    Our Sun Won’t Die Without a Show

    Better to burn out than to fade away. Astronomers previously calculated that the brightest planetary nebulae, the luminous leftovers after a star disperses its surrounding gases, were reserved for stars with relatively large mass. But that contradicted observations of low-mass stars emitting their own bright and beautiful swan songs. Now, a new model explains how smaller stars, like our sun, could heat up three times faster than previously estimated as they die — enough to produce a glowing nebula when the sun ultimately sets billions of years from now.

This story is part of The Presidential Daily Brief

view full edition