The sun has been burning for 5 billion years. When it goes out, what will be the fate of the earth?

This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.

The earth is the home of human survival, and the solar system is the home of the earth. The core of the solar system is the star sun. It is with the super mass of the sun that there will be the existence of the solar system and the movement of eight planets around it. More importantly, due to the great gravity of the sun, the solar system has created a very stable space environment.

With the stable space environment of the solar system, and the distance between the earth and the sun is just right, so the light and heat generated by the sun will arrive at the earth just in time, so that the earth will have a good suitable ecological environment. With a suitable ecological environment, there will be the birth of life behind and the birth of human beings. Therefore, the prosperity and development of life on earth is closely related to the sun.

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Before human beings walked out of the earth, our knowledge of the sun was limited. However, when humans come out of the earth and have more advanced detection equipment, our understanding of the sun is also constantly improving. Now we know the structure of the sun and its burning mode is nuclear fusion.

It is precisely because we have more knowledge of the sun that we also understand that the sun has a life span. Its life span is determined by the amount of hydrogen combustion required by its internal nuclear fusion. When its internal hydrogen combustion is exhausted, the life of the sun also enters the final stage. According to the observation and research of scientists, the solar system has been burning for 5 billion years. In another 5 billion years or so, its life will come to an end. What’s the fate of the earth when it goes out?

To know the fate of the earth at the moment when the sun goes out, we need to have a simple understanding of the nuclear fusion process inside the sun. The nuclear fusion mode inside the sun is hydrogen helium fusion, which consumes hydrogen to fuse into helium. This transformation process can last another 4 billion years, that is, the hydrogen element can burn for another 4 billion years.

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The depletion of hydrogen in the sun does not mean that the sun will go out immediately. At this time, although the hydrogen helium fusion reaction inside the sun stopped, another fusion process began, that is, the fusion of helium to carbon. When hydrogen fusion stops inside the sun, its core will shrink, causing the temperature to rise continuously. Meanwhile, the outer layer of the sun will expand continuously. At this time, the sun becomes a red giant.

When the core temperature rises to 100 million degrees, it will ignite helium, and then fuse to produce carbon. This combustion and transformation process will last about 1 billion years. Finally, when all the helium in the sun is converted into carbon, the sun will throw out its shell and form a planetary nebula. At the same time, the core collapses and finally forms a white dwarf with a density of 10 tons per cubic centimeter. The mass of the sun is medium, so it can not form a neutron star or a black hole, but a white dwarf, which is the final destination of the sun.

Many people may think that the sun has a life span of 5 billion years, so the time left to the earth and human beings is 5 billion years. But in fact, the time left by the sun to the earth and human beings is far less than this number. There are also many people who believe that only when the sun changes to a red giant will it seriously threaten the survival of the earth and human beings, and the time for the sun to expand may still need to wait for 4 billion years, that is, when the internal hydrogen fusion reaction stops.

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But in fact, before the sun expands, it can seriously threaten the survival of the earth and human beings. This is because, before the hydrogen element in the sun is nearly exhausted, although the sun has not expanded to the red giant, the brightness and temperature of the sun will show a rapid upward trend. At this time, the earth’s atmosphere may also be stripped by the super strong solar wind.

Without the protection of the atmosphere, the water on the earth’s surface will gradually evaporate. Without the atmosphere and surface liquid water, can life and human beings survive on earth? The answer is No. At that time, if humans wanted to survive, they could only leave the earth and go to Mars for a temporary life. The time of this situation is about 1.9 billion years.

Therefore, the life of the sun seems to be 5 billion years away, but the time left for the earth and mankind is less than 2 billion years. It will be two billion years before the meeting of the earth and mankind will really open. What kind of destiny will it be?

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If the earth is a planet without intelligent life or a planet with underdeveloped science and technology, we will have no choice but to accept the destruction passively in the face of the disaster caused by the great changes of the sun. Not only will the earth be destroyed, but all life on the earth will disappear with it.

However, according to the current development speed of human science and technology, two billion years is enough time for human science and technology to achieve several qualitative leaps. At least there is no problem to realize the initial interstellar migration. The earth and solar system can’t stay any longer. We can also travel to other galaxies and live on other planets by spaceship.

In addition to the migration of extrasolar planets, there is another way to avoid leaving the solar system, that is, to intervene the sun artificially through powerful scientific and technological forces, so as to prolong its life indefinitely. The reason why the sun has the end of its life is that it needs less and less hydrogen for nuclear fusion, and it will eventually consume up.

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If we can inject enough hydrogen into the sun through technology, can we save the sun? Theoretically, it can be determined, but in the actual operation process, it has to face many problems. When the hydrogen inside the sun is burned out, it may not be enough to fill the inside with a lot of hydrogen to revive the sun. It may also need other technologies, such as extracting a lot of helium from the inside,

In any case, the fate of the sun in the future is closely linked with the fate of the earth and human beings. We can only strive to develop science and technology. When science and technology are powerful to a certain extent, we can have more advanced technology to change the fate of the sun and the fate of the earth and human beings. Science and technology is the most powerful force in the universe, which is not totally unreasonable.

Guys, what do you think of this? Welcome to leave a message below to discuss and express your opinions.

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