Past, Present, and Future
Having recounted the history of Sirius in human terms it is natural to inquire into its physical and evolutionary history as a system of two stars. At the same time it is also revealing to look into the future and view the fate of the Sirian system and contrast this with the fate of our own sun and solar system. When considering the future of Sirius and the sun, all time scales of any importance are very long, compared with human history. Nevertheless, the important factors that govern the significant events are very similar and fairly well established in both cases. For the evolution of both Sirius and the sun, most of the margins of uncertainty are relatively small. In essence, there is really little room for dramatic unforeseen changes of the type represented by the idea of a “Red Sirius”. It is much easier for us to predict the fate of the stars than to use the stars to predict the fate of our lives or that of our civilization.
KeywordsWhite Dwarf Planetary Nebula Bright Star East African Rift Gravitational Lens
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