London, March 25 (ANI): If you ever wondered how the Sun will look like when it dies, then be sure that it will got out in a blaze of glory.
Planetary nebulae are the final butterfly-like state that heralds the end of a Sun-like star's energy-generating life.
They form when stars up to eight times the mass of the Sun begin to die, bloating into red giants before shedding as much as half their mass as gas and dust nebulae.
According to a report in New Scientist, the Sun itself will begin its death throes in about 5 billion years, when it starts to swell into a red giant star.
It's not clear exactly what its planetary nebula will look like, as its shape will likely be sculpted by factors such as the Sun's future magnetic field.
But, observations of the 1600 or so known planetary nebulae suggest our star will go out in a blaze of glory.
Lasting no more than a few tens of thousands of years, planetary nebulae help seed space with heavier chemical elements that can be incorporated into the next generation of stars. (ANI)