(ORDO NEWS) — Man has long guessed that nothing lasts forever under the Sun. In the middle of the last century, it turned out that our luminary is not eternal either. After 5.5 billion years, it will begin to slowly expand, and its surface will cool down…
The coming cataclysms do not bode well for our planet. Calculations show that in several billion years, in the phase of maximum expansion of the Sun, the current orbit of the Earth will be inside its plasma ocean. The fate of the Earth itself is not so clear, but tragic nonetheless.
Since the Sun will lose about a third of its mass during the transformation into a red giant, its gravity will be greatly weakened. It can be expected that the radius of the Earth’s orbit will lengthen by about 60 million kilometers because of this, and the Earth, most likely, will not fall into the solar furnace.
However, its surface will heat up to at least 2000 degrees – with all the obvious consequences. According to another model, later the Earth will be slowed down by tidal forces and it will dive into the atmosphere of the Sun.
It seems that these forecasts should not bother us – there are dangers closer. Since the birth of the Sun, its luminosity has been steadily increasing. Already in 1-2 billion years, the oceans will evaporate and the surface of the planet will be unsuitable for life (in fact, serious troubles will begin much earlier).
But, let’s say our distant descendants will somehow cope with this threat. The question arises, will they sooner or later have to build space squadrons to get away from their home planet, or will they be able to save it from burning in a solar furnace?
It turns out that such possibilities exist and are even being discussed. One of them was proposed in 1982 by M. Taube, a specialist in nuclear technology from the Zurich Polytechnic Institute.
He recommends turning our planet into a gigantic spaceship and, without waiting for a catastrophe, go on a long journey beyond Pluto’s orbit. Taube believes that this can be done by maintaining the daily rhythm of the Earth’s rotation, the change of which would entail global geological cataclysms.
The planet is like a ship
In what way? Taube proposes to put on the equator at the same distance from each other 24 gigantic bundles, including hundreds of rockets with 30-kilometer nozzles. Each missile system must be turned on once a day, half an hour before noon local time, and it must work for an hour.
As a result, a reactive force will continuously act on the Earth, directed along its radius vector in the direction opposite to the Sun.
This will allow the Earth to move away from the Sun (of course, without parting with the Moon) along a slowly unwinding spiral trajectory, which will gradually take it beyond the orbit of Pluto.
Taube thought of every detail. The energy for such a flight will be provided by thermonuclear reactors – nothing better is yet in sight. Each rocket during operation will eject 100 tons of superhot hydrogen into space every second, flying out of its nozzle at a speed of 300 km / s.
Calculations showed that not so much time would pass from the beginning of the journey to its finish, only a few tens of thousands of years. Naturally, it will not work to maneuver the Earth in space, and therefore it will be necessary ahead of time to destroy or move asteroids that may be in its path.
Will mankind have enough resources to realize such a grandiose task? The required amount of hydrogen is 10% of the mass of the Earth.
Where can we get it if the total amount of this element in the composition of our planet is much less than one percent? Taube proposes to extract hydrogen either on Jupiter or on another giant planet, where it is in abundance.
The Zurich prophet also took care of meeting the energy needs of earthlings at the end of the journey. At first, the bloated Sun will heat them, but what will happen when only a freezing white dwarf remains of it?
One possible solution is to mine deuterium on Jupiter and transport it to the surface of the dwarf to keep the fusion reactions going with energy release.
Taube calculated that such an artificial star would provide our descendants with heat and light for a hundred billion years. And what will happen in the future, while you can not worry.
In 2008, Taube modified this plan somewhat. In particular, he proposed to stretch the Earth’s journey to the Kuiper belt for 10 million years and then put it into orbit around an artificial Sun created by the merger of a couple of dozen gas giants confiscated from other stars. So there are many opportunities for our descendants. But will there be a desire?
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