Rotating Question Curious About Astronomy? Ask an Astronomer

Will the Sun become a black hole one day?

I read that when stars burst it becomes a black hole. Now will the sun burst one day? If it bursts what will happen to life on earth?

The Sun will never burst and will not become a black hole. Stars end their lives in two different ways: those will mass around the mass of the Sun will end their lives in a gentle way, becoming a planetary nebula and leaving behind a remnant called "white dwarf". Stars much more massive than the Sun explode as a supernova leaving behind either a "neutron star" or a "black hole". So, do not worry about the Sun becoming a black hole.

Now, to answer your second question: If hypothetically the Sun suddenly becomes a black hole (which will not happen), then nothing will happen to the Earth. Black holes do not go about scooping up people and planets. However, as there will be no longer any sunlight, we will have trouble keeping warm.

However, note that we are not safe on Earth forever. In another 4.5 billion years (that is a long time), the Sun will expand into a "red giant" star and will come very close to the Earth's orbit. At that point, Earth will become so hot that there will no longer be any oceans and will probably be the end of life as we know it. However, that is way into the future and right now, there is more danger that we will cause our own destruction (by wars and pollution) than anything happening due to the Sun.

March 2002, Jagadheep D. Pandian (more by Jagadheep D. Pandian) (Like this Answer)

Still Curious?

Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:

Related questions:

More questions about The Sun: Previous | Next

How to ask a question:

If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.

Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist

This page has been accessed 76392 times since August 23, 2002.
Last modified: September 27, 2002 4:12:02 PM

Legal questions? See our copyright, disclaimer and privacy policy.
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.

Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)