Researchers predict sun will destroy solar system’s asteroid belt in 6 billion years

A new study from the Monthly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society predicts that when the sun turns into a white dwarf, the sun’s radiation will be strong enough to spin asteroids in our solar system at high speed. The final rotation rate will become extremely fast, causing the asteroid to split into small pieces. Media reported that the asteroids would continue to split into smaller pieces until the rocks became too small to be affected.

Researchers predict sun will destroy solar system's asteroid belt in 6 billion years

The sun will become a white dwarf after entering what scientists call a “branch phase”, a period of branching that refers to a perpetual burning of all its hydrogen fuel. During the branching period, the star becomes hundreds of times larger and thousands of times brighter than before, and the radiation generated during this period starts the process.

Scientists call it the YORP effect and are named after four scientists who helped develop the concept.

Researchers predict sun will destroy solar system's asteroid belt in 6 billion years