Sun Unexpectedly Swells to Red Giant

The Sun unexpectedly has swollen to a red-orange on April 1, 2016 as seen over southern California.

The Sun unexpectedly has swollen to a red-orange on April 1, 2016 as seen over southern California.

In a development that has shocked astrophysicists around the world, the Sun has unexpectedly run out of hydrogen fuel in its core. As gravity squeezed the collapsing core, the dense plasma increased in temperature and ignited helium burning, causing the outer layers to swell into a red giant. Reports suggest the two inner planets, Mercury and Venus, have been swallowed by the expanding star. On Earth, students in the northern hemisphere have been released from school to start summer break early. While astronomers are perplexed, health professionals strongly recommend a thick layer of sunscreen for anyone venturing outside, at least until someone can figure out how to restock the supply of hydrogen gas in the Sun’s core.

In a media report, Professor Cedric Doppleganger, of the California Institute of Astrophysics, said that although the Sun’s sudden expansion violates all known laws of physics, that researchers are undeterred. “It just goes to show that the science of solar physics isn’t so settled after all.”

(On April 2nd and beyond, the above image will be of the setting of a calm main sequence G-type star on a windy evening at Santa Monica Beach, California.)

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