As time goes on, inevitable processes will determine the fate of our Sun, Earth, neighboring planets, and the whole Universe itself. Let’s have a peek at a future so distant that it’s hard to comprehend and try to answer one particularly alarming question: what will happen to us in the next 5 billion years?
The radius of the Sun will be one astronomical unit, which is the distance between the Sun and the Earth. To put that in perspective, right now the Sun’s radius is only 1/215th of an astronomical unit. As is typical of all stars of such a huge size, the Sun will start to cool as it uses up all its energy. The Sun will literally be expelling its atmosphere. As a dramatic result, our Sun will go from a massive giant into a tiny white dwarf.
We’re not exactly sure if or when a volcanic apocalypse will happen, it could be anywhere from 0 to 100 million years from now.
Freezing of the Earth’s core will certainly lead to the demise of all forms of life on our planet. Scientists believe this is probably what happened to Mars.
Fortunately, we have the entire Universe with countless stars and planets that could become a new home for humanity and other earthly species. Chances are that in the next few centuries, people will develop technologies that will allow us to move on in search of new worlds suitable for Earth’s inhabitants.
Music: New Beginning
The future of the Sun 0:55
Several possible disastrous scenarios for the Earth:
Volcanic apocalypse 4:03
An asteroid collision 5:00
Freezing of the Earth’s core 5:40
Gamma-ray bursts 6:20
An intruding star 6:52
The expanding Sun 8:04
-Over its very long lifetime, the Sun is likely to lose lost a third of its mass, just like L2 Puppis, its exact copy. Before that, in about 5 billion years, our Sun will swell into a red giant, over 100 times its current size.
-In case of a volcanic apocalypse, humans and all other living creatures on Earth will have to deal with deadly space radiation that the ozone used to protect us from.
-While a collision with an asteroid, however big, probably won’t extinguish all life forms on the planet, it could come very close.
-In 3 or 4 billion years, the Earth’s molten liquid core may solidify. In this case, the planet will lose its magnetic field and, consequently, its atmosphere.
-If the Earth is within the vicinity of a gamma-ray burst, it could obliterate our ozone layer, which will lead to the end of everything on the planet.
-In the worst-case scenario, a rogue star will go supernova while passing somewhere near the edges of the solar system, and its ionizing radiation would cause unimaginable harm to us.
-We may lose our planet to the expanding Sun 3 or 4 billions years from now.
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