Sun that will destroy the Earth : when the planet is predicted to become uninhabitable

(ORDO NEWS) — The European Space Agency compared data from the Gaia satellite and made a forecast about the future fate of the Sun and, accordingly, the Earth.

So our star is reportedly 4.5 billion years old. Considering that the Universe itself is about 13 billion years old, the Sun can be considered a long-liver.

And it’s still in its prime. It must be said that not all stars generally live up to such years: in general, the trend is that the more massive the star, the faster it “burns out”.

Supergiants, for example, can last only a few tens of millions of years and explode in a supernova. Recall that a supernova explosion is a spectacular, noticeable throughout the galaxy, the ejection of the outer shell of a “dying” star.

By the way, astronomers suspect that this is about to happen to the red supergiant Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion.

This star is 17 times (if not more) more massive than the Sun. And she is just about ten million years old – by astronomical standards, this is very small.

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The constellation of Orion with the star Betelgeuse in its normal state (left) and during an unusually strong fall in apparent stellar magnitude in early 2020 (right)

But our Sun is a modest yellow dwarf. And it will happily last for many more billions of years. Someday it will also take off its relatively small mantle, but without such a fantastic show as Betelgeuse promises, but quietly and calmly, and leave behind a white dwarf.

But before that, it will swell to the size of a red giant, and all the nearest planets will burn in its belly: Mercury, Venus and, most likely, Earth and Mars too.

Of course, this is not soon – in about five billion years. But the fact is that upon a detailed examination of this forecast, it turns out that the end of the world will come long before our planet is physically destroyed by the Sun.

Life on Earth rests on a delicate, perfect balance of everything. For example, it is located just in such an orbit, in which the oceans do not evaporate completely, and do not freeze completely. Foreign astronomers call our location in the solar system the “Goldilocks zone”.

So, now everything is perfect, based on the current temperature of the sun. Recall that on its surface – 5500 degrees Celsius.

It is worth the star to become a little cooler or, conversely, hotter – and we are gone. That is, we will only have to move to another planet – either closer or farther than the Earth, depending on where the new “Goldilocks zone” will be.

Recently, specialists from the European Space Agency tried to make a forecast of the further evolution of the Sun.

They relied on the remarkable accuracy of data from the Gaia space telescope, which was launched in 2013 at the so-called Lagrange point L2 – this is a place 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth, where the Earth and the Sun balance each other’s attraction, that is, a stable location, in which the spacecraft can safely fly for a very long time. By the way, Spektr-RG, for example, is located at the same point.

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Gaia space observatory

The Gaia space observatory studies the distribution of stars in the galaxy, helps to search for new exoplanets, but the main thing is that it very well determines the brightness of stars, their spectral class, that is, in other words, color, and on this basis allows you to get an idea of ​​their age and what and when it happens to them.

Astronomers have compared data on almost six thousand stars similar to the Sun (and yellow dwarfs after red ones are the most common type in the Universe) and got a picture of the further situation with our own star.

For clarity, they even showed her future in animation. She looks like a graph. The vertical line is the luminosity of the Sun, the higher it rises along this line, the brighter it is.

The horizontal line is the temperature, but here you need to pay attention: as you move to the right, the temperature DECREASES, to the left, accordingly, it rises.

And the data from the Gaia telescope tells us that the luminosity of the Sun over the next billion years will increase by about 10%, and with it the temperature. In principle, this is quite enough for life in the form in which we are now observing it to become unbearable.

Or maybe just impossible. By the time our star is already eight billion years old, it will heat up to the maximum, and then the process of its aging will begin: thermonuclear fuel (which is hydrogen) will run out, the Sun will cool down and at the same time increase in size.

Then the hour of Mercury will strike, and after it the rest of the planets up to Jupiter itself. But there are suspicions that for the inhabitants of the Earth this will no longer matter for the simple reason that they will no longer exist as such for a long time.

A lifeless Earth in a billion years… Will there be any traces of human civilization left on it? Will there be a memory of how we aimed for the stars? However, for whom to keep this memory, it is still unclear. Maybe there is no one else in the entire universe.


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