Astronomy

When and how the Sun will go out



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"When and how the Sun will go out"
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We look up into the night sky at twinkling stars that shine like jewels. Little do we know about the dramatic and destructive life cycle of these happy twinkling jewels in space. They seem so far removed from us. But there is one star whose life and death will affect all life on earth in the future and that's our sun.

The sun is our sustainer and light-giver. It has fulfilled that role for as long as life had existed on the earth. 1 million earths can fit inside of the sun and we see it rise and set everyday. But according to scientists this won't always be so. They say that in about 5 billion years if we stay on earth we will all die if we don't explore and travel to other planets. In 5 billion years the sun will destroy itself.

It is assumed that far into the future that humans will be living on other planets and star systems throughout the galaxy and no longer will we be dependent upon the earth. At this time the sun will swell far beyond its current radius and become a red giant. It will eventually incinerate and swallow the inner planets. The outer planets will become warmer. Perhaps worlds like Io or Titan will become truly habitable for life by then?

So what will happen to the earth during this slow death phase of the sun? It will happen over time but it will be dramatic. At first, the sun's heat will gradually increase until the oceans, seas and rivers heat up and evaporate over time. The forests and jungles will wither way and die off. During this time if there are humans left on earth, they will have to live underground. As the plant life dies off oxygen will disappear. Most of the animals will die off first as they have no way of protecting themselves from such conditions. Eventually, the sun, in its death throes, expands towards the earth and all water sources and plant life and clouds will burn away. The rock and mountains on the earth will melt and all life will be extinguished. During these last stages the earth along with Mercury and Venus will become cinder blocks, their atmospheres burned away into space. That, scientists say, is the fate of our beautiful earth by the sun - a thing humans once worshiped as a god and life-giver. hopefully by then humans will have created the technology to inhabit other worlds in the galaxy.

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More about this author: Victoria Jeffrey

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