This Is More Likely How The World EndsS

We can daydream about alien invasion, killer robots, and rampaging genetic mutations, but the world is more likely to go on until something like this happens: the death of a star.

Sure, we'll all be long-dead by the time it happens, but it's nice to image that our sun will look nearly as pretty as this remnant of a star that died 5,000 years ago in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This image is the result of a compositing of images from the Hubble telescope (the yellow and purple bits) and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (in blue).

For those of you who prefer the doom and gloom theory of our solar system's demise, you can imagine that this is a giant star corpse, which would directly lead to the formation of giant star zombies, heading our way any second.

Our sun's death will likely be a lot less spectacular. This particular solar demise is a core-collapse supernova, which occurs when a star at least eight times the size of Sol runs out of fuel. Without materials to power the nuclear fusion at its core, the star tries to fuse iron into heavier elements. That trick never works.

Instead, it speeds up the stars collapse, eventually resulting in an explosion so massive it can lead to the creation of neutron stars and black holes.

Our sun will probably just quietly fizzle out. Knowing humans, it'll have something to do with us figuring out how to mine it or something.

Knowing humans, tickets will be available for the show.

Beautiful Supernova Violence [Discovery News]