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Astronomers name a solar threat that could turn Earth into a “lifeless rock”! Today, Tuesday, January 19, 2021 5:08 pm
The sun may be the beating heart of our solar system, overwhelming us with energy over the past 4.5 billion years, but it will also be the source of our destruction.
And when the sun burns non-stop, it goes through a continuous cycle of nuclear fusion, combining together smaller hydrogen atoms to form atoms larger than helium. This process releases massive amounts of energy that reach our planet in the form of light and heat.
According to the US Space Agency, the warmth of the sun made life on Earth possible and an important source of energy for many organisms such as plants.
But the sun, which is about 4.6 billion years old, is already in the middle of its life cycle. And when burned with its fuel reserves, it will one day run out, and undergo a process that will likely render our world unfit for life.
Astronomers expect that the sun will someday turn into what is called a red giant or a dying star in the late stage of its stellar evolution.
At this point, the Sun will have run out of hydrogen and the internal gravitational forces inside the star will overcome the external pressures on the star. Consequently, the sun will begin to expand and cool like an inflating balloon.
NASA estimates that the red giant will be about 2,000 times brighter than the sun now. Even more disturbing, however, is that an expanding star may envelop the two planets, Mercury and Venus.
And while Earth might still be out of reach of the red giant, it would be hot enough to burn the planet.
“Our planet’s water and atmosphere will boil, leaving only a lifeless charred rock behind,” said Kelly Witt of EarthSky.org. Exteriors – like Jupiter and Saturn – are the only places left in our solar system for human colonies. ”
But even this would only be a temporary solution, as the force of the red giant’s gravitational pull on the Solar System would be much weaker than the Sun’s.
As a result, the orbits of the planets specific to the star could be disrupted. This phase can last for a billion years until the sun secretes a layer of gas and forms what is called a planetary nebula.
And even this stage will end, as the interstellar gas dissipates in space, leaving behind a stellar core or a white dwarf. However, the good news is that none of this is expected to happen in our lifetime. Since the sun is only halfway through, it will not enter the pains of death for another five billion years or so.
“Stars like our sun burn for about nine or 10 billion years. So our sun is only at its middle age. But don’t worry. It still has about five billion years left,” NASA said.
There is also no guarantee that humans will stay here far in the future. The planet appears to be going through a periodic mass extinction phase, including the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, and possibly some other cosmic threats that will wipe out life on Earth millions of years from now.