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In any case, when the Sun dies, it will transform into a huge crystal ball, as per a new study.

The substances that make out the crystal spheres are oxygen and carbon which under such a high density make the stars look like metal.

It's what happens next that fascinates Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay, a physicist at the University of Warwick in England, whose paper, published this week in the journal Nature, examines what happens to these star corpses, or "stellar embers".

White dwarf stars are among the oldest objects in the universe, and represent one of the final life phases of stars like the sun.

At the point when stars die, they, in the long run, become white dwarfs and new evidence has discovered that white dwarfs eventually crystallize after some time, however, bigger stars turn to crystals sooner than smaller ones.

The heat released during this crystallization process, which lasts several billion years, seemingly slows down the evolution of the white dwarfs: the stars stop dimming and, as a result, appear up to two billion years younger than they actually are. White dwarfs with lower masses, closer to the expected end stage of the Sun, cool in a slower fashion, requiring up to six billion years to turn into dead solid spheres.

'It was predicted fifty years ago that we should observe a pile-up in the number of white dwarfs at certain luminosities and colours due to crystallisation and only now this has been observed.

'The sun itself will become a crystal white dwarf in about 10 billion years'.

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Crystallisation is the process of a material becoming a solid state, in which its atoms form an ordered structure. The process really kicks into gear when a white-dwarf interior cools down to about 18 million degrees Fahrenheit (10 million degrees Celsius), the researchers said.

"Not only do we have evidence of heat release upon solidification, but considerably more energy release is needed to explain the observations", Tremblay said.

Further study and analysis suggested that the odd "pile-up" is because of the crystallization procedure.

After this contraction the star can still create energy by fusing helium to create carbon and oxygen, Tremblay said.

Scientists have now been able to verify the theory, thanks to observations recorded by the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite. These data revealed an odd "pileup" - an overabundance of white dwarfs with certain colors and brightnesses that can not be explained by the objects' ages or masses.

But just as the water in your freezer continues to cool after it releases all its latent energy, white dwarfs eventually resume their cooling as well.

"It's exciting how scanning stars across the sky and measuring their properties can lead to evidence of plasma phenomena in matter so dense that cannot be tested in the laboratory".


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