Could Earth ever leave our solar system

(ORDO NEWS) — Sooner or later, our Sun will reach the Red Giant phase, and then burst out altogether. All life on the planet will not survive this moment, and the authors of science fiction have long found a way out of this situation. In their works, people take the Earth out of the solar system to head towards a new star.

Can our planet really leave the solar system and what will happen to it after that? To this question, Matteo Ceriotti, an aerospace engineer and professor of space systems engineering at the University of Glasgow in the UK, told that such a scenario is extremely “unlikely.”

However, as Ceriotti explained, “unlikely” does not mean “impossible”, and proposed a way in which this could theoretically be implemented.

The Earth could be dislodged from its orbit by a massive interstellar object that would fly through interstellar space, enter the solar system, and pass close to Earth, he said.

Under what conditions can the Earth leave orbit

As a result of such an approach and collision, the Earth and the object would exchange energy and momentum, and the Earth’s orbit would be disturbed.

If the object were fast, massive, and close enough, it could project the Earth into an “escape” orbit directed out of the solar system.

Timothy Davies, senior lecturer in physics and astronomy at Cardiff University in the UK, agreed that the Earth could theoretically be pushed out of the solar system and has his own hypothesis as to how this might happen.

The planets, as they are now, are in stable orbits around the sun. However, if the Sun were to collide closely with another star, then the gravitational interaction of these bodies could disrupt these orbits and potentially push the Earth out of the solar system.

However, he noted that while such a scenario is possible, it is incredibly doubtful that it will happen – at least in the foreseeable future, since such stellar encounters are quite rare.

For example, we know that the star Gliese 710 is expected to come close enough, in astronomical terms, to the Sun in about a million years – but even that flyby is unlikely to disturb the planets.

Is it possible to use the Earth as a ship and fly out of the solar system?

While it’s unlikely that external forces will force the Earth to leave the solar system anytime soon, it’s theoretically interesting if humanity could build a technique capable of displacing a planet to the point where it left the solar system?

Davis has an answer to this question as well.

The energy required to dislodge the Earth from its orbit and throw it out of the solar system is so massive – it is equivalent to detonating sextillions (1 followed by 21 zeros) of megaton nuclear bombs at the same time.

It seems incredible. At a minimum, this requires energy sources that are still unknown to mankind.

What will happen to the Earth if it leaves the solar system

In this case, the Earth will fly away into interstellar space until it is captured or swallowed up by another star or a black hole. If the Earth were to leave the solar system, it would likely wipe out much, if not all, of life on the planet.

It is unlikely that an atmosphere would have remained: Earth’s global climate is very delicate due to the delicate balance of incoming radiation from the Sun and energy dissipating into deep space. If it were to change, the temperature would immediately and abruptly change.

Nearly all of the energy used by living organisms on Earth comes from the Sun, either directly (eg, photosynthetic plants) or indirectly (eg, herbivores that eat plants and meat eaters that eat herbivores).

According to this scenario, the farther the Earth would move away from the Sun, the lower its temperature. Eventually, she would freeze completely. The only natural source of heat was the decay of radioactive elements in the earth’s crust, left over from the formation of the solar system.

Some life may survive but will eventually be doomed. Some “extremophiles” (animals/plants that can live in extreme conditions) may survive on this residual energy, but complex life is likely to disappear entirely.

This radioactive heat allowed the Earth to maintain a temperature of only about minus 230 degrees Celsius. At these temperatures, much of the atmosphere would freeze as well, leaving Earth as a dead, icy world rushing between the stars.

The solar system is doomed to collide

Eventually, in the far, far future, the solar system will be disrupted so badly that the Earth will either be knocked out of it or completely destroyed.

Scientists predict that our galaxy is on its way to colliding with Andromeda in about 4.5 billion years. Such a large-scale collision of millions of stars is likely to cause serious disruption to the solar system. It is also assumed that the Sun over the next 5 billion years or so will expand and engulf the Earth.


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