Stars turning into crystals? It sounds absurd and impossible, but it has happened billions of times in our galaxy alone and in about 10 billion years turning into a solid ball of crystal is the expected fate of our own sun. I look into my crystal ball and far in the future I see… a crystal ball.
The first direct evidence of white dwarf stars solidifying into crystals has been discovered by astronomers, and our skies are filled with them. …
Observations have revealed that dead remnants of stars like our Sun, called white dwarfs, have a core of solid oxygen and carbon due to a phase transition during their lifecycle similar to water turning into ice but at much higher temperatures. …
“All white dwarfs will crystallise at some point in their evolution, although more massive white dwarfs go through the process sooner. This means that billions of white dwarfs in our galaxy have already completed the process and are essentially crystal spheres in the sky. The Sun itself will become a crystal white dwarf in about 10 billion years.”
Crystallisation is the process of a material becoming a solid state, in which its atoms form an ordered structure. Under the extreme pressures in white dwarf cores, atoms are packed so densely that their electrons become unbound, leaving a conducting electron gas governed by quantum physics, and positively charged nuclei in a fluid form. When the core cools down to about 10 million degrees, enough energy has been released that the fluid begins to solidify, forming a metallic core at its heart with a mantle enhanced in carbon. …
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In a study of more than 15,000 known white dwarfs around the Milky Way, a team of astronomers from the University of Warwick in the U.K. concluded that dying stars don’t just fizzle out of existence — they first turn into luminous crystal orbs.
The sky is filled with diamonds. We’ve heard it from the poets for years. Now astronomers are on board.