Our sun's next phase

  1. The Sun about 4.5 billion years old and in about another billion years will have used up the hydrogen particles in its core and will have to use the ones closer to its surface which will make the sun's surface hotter and possibly make Earth impossible to sustain life. When the sun reaches its next phase, a Red Giant, life on Earth should be extinct, for the sun will have completely engulfed the Earth. I think using gravity from big bodies in space, such as passing meteoroids, to launch us further away from the sun every few million years or so to avoid the effects of its growth and increased combustion is a good idea. Any other ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    To move the Earth you would need an object of comparable mass. More than one actually, if we want to control what happens to our orbit. There are no objects with sufficient mass except for the other planets, so you'd have to move them to move us, in which case you'd be better off just applying whatever technology to move the Earth in the first place.

    Of course, a far more likely scenario is that if we still exist as a species we will have colonized other star systems by then, so it is unlikely to be that big of a problem.
  4. Chronos

    Chronos 9,872
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The sun will continue to brighten for the next billion years, which will probably away the oceans and render earth inhospitable. It is not expected to undergo any noteworthy changes for ~ 3 billion years. It will then begin to exhaust its core fuel supply and enter the red giant phase. Earth will definitely become a hostile environment when that occurs.
  5. If you're interested in the details of the future evolution of the sun, the MESA stellar modeling web site has a very nice movie simulating the sun's evolution. The simulations say that the sun will brighten by about 12% in the next billion years. So the changes will be very slow for a while.
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