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Black dwarf facts for kids

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Star Life Cycle Chart
Life cycle of stars. Black dwarf is in the lower right.

A black dwarf is a kind of star. A black dwarf is made when a white dwarf star becomes too cold. When it is cold enough, it cannot make large amounts of heat and light. The star will get darker and become black. Scientists are not certain if black dwarfs can exist because it takes longer than the age of the universe (13.8 billion years) for a white dwarf to become one.


A white dwarf is made from a medium or small-sized star (any star less than nine or ten times the size of the sun) when it uses all of its fuel. After the star uses its fuel, it is a very tight ball of gasses. Then, it gets colder and colder, until it stops making light and heat, when it becomes a black dwarf. Scientists are not sure how long this takes. Some think it takes 1,000,000 billion years, but others think it could be longer. Scientists do not believe that black dwarf stars can exist right now because the universe is only 13.8 billion years old.

Future of the Sun

In about 8 billion years, the Sun will become a white dwarf. After many more years, it will cool down and stop making light. It will be so dark that a person could not see it. Then, it will become a black dwarf.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Enana negra para niños

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