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Friday, 01 July 2016 - 8:32
Sun Has Entered Middle Age; Likely a New Evolutionary Phase, Say Astronomers
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The Sun—at about 4.5 billion years old—is now entering its middle-age phase.

Astronomers believe the Sun has entered a new phase in its evolution as a hydrogen-burning star, according to a new paper submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The new phase leads to believe that the star's sunspot cycles are likely to slowly disappear over the next hundred million years.

"The Sun's 11-year sunspot cycle is likely to disappear entirely, not just get less pronounced; since other start with similar rotation rates show no sunspot cycles," Travis Metcalfe, the paper's lead author, has told Forbes magazine.

The full transition into "middle-age" will take a few million years, but once it's evolved, the Sun will remain magnetically inactive for the rest of its life.

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