If the sun blows up tomorrow?
The star in the center of the solar system, the super hot plasma ball that gives us heat and energy, and the amazing skin color Well, it’s a time bomb.
The sun is already 4.5 billion years old, but it is predicted to exist for about 5 billion years. After that, the sun will expand into a red giant, and then shrink into a white dwarf, a dying star, and cool down in the next few billion years.
Of course, we had been away a long time before all this happened, but can you imagine what it’s like to see the sun explode in front of your eyes?
With the name “supernova,” you would think that the solar explosion would be the most spectacular fireworks show in the history of the world. But in fact, you may not see anything!
The sun is 150 million kilometers (93 million miles) away from the earth. It takes eight minutes for the light from the sun to reach the earth. Although it seems very far from the supernova point of view, we have no chance to make the earth completely unaffected by the supernova. We should be at least 50 to 100 light years away.
But the good news is that if the sun explodes tomorrow, the shock wave will not be enough to destroy the whole earth. Only the side facing the sun will evaporate immediately. The lucky half will experience a temperature rise 15 times higher than the surface temperature of the sun, and permanent darkness.
Without the mass of the sun to keep us in orbit, the earth would probably float into space, while the rest of the earth’s population would struggle to survive.
Our planet could be locked in orbit around another star. The star may provide the same light and heat as the sun. But by that time, we were all far away.
If we know in advance when the sun will explode, then we can fight for 1000 years for ourselves, provided we have enough resources to last for such a long time. We can keep the temperature of the earth around 17 ℃ a few meters below your feet.
So if we have enough time to prepare, civilization can survive by moving to a huge underground castle.
One week after the explosion, the temperature of the earth’s surface will drop to minus 18 degrees Celsius, and within a year, it will drop to minus 73 degrees Celsius.
After that, the ocean will begin to freeze from top to bottom. Within 1000 years, the earth’s atmosphere will freeze and collapse, exposing everything on the earth’s surface to cosmic radiation and meteor impact. Hopefully, by then, mankind will have found a new home.
The good news is that if the sun explodes, it won’t happen overnight. When the sun dies, it will be a long, slow and arduous process. It will take billions of years for the sun to get hotter and brighter, and it will start to expand.
In the process, its outer layer will be engulfed by the universe, leading to the birth of other stars and planets, just as the earth was created by the violent impact of the big bang.
Who knows? Maybe new life will come into being. Can you imagine another earth? A new human species. It’s hard to predict what our galaxy will look like in billions of years, and it’s even harder to imagine that our solar system doesn’t have this huge gold anchor to hold it together.
But one day, in the very distant future, the sun will expand and then contract, leaving room for a new star to take its place. If miracles happen and human beings still exist, where can we live? Can you imagine your offspring being born in the space station?
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