• Question: If the Sun was going to destroy Earth in 10,000,000 (10 million) years is there a way to prevent this from happening?

    Asked by 925xygg26 to Mark on 17 Nov 2016.
    • Photo: Mark Kennedy

      Mark Kennedy answered on 17 Nov 2016:

      Funny you should mention that – the Sun will destroy the Earth in about 4.6 billion years!!!

      The Sun currently works by fusing hydrogen together, which is what generates all of the light and heat that is essential for us here on Earth.

      However, in about 4.6 billion years, the Sun is going to run out of hydrogen in its core, and it will move in to fusing helium. The problem for us is that, for the Sun to fuse helium, it has to get a lot hotter in the core and it will produce a lot more energy – meaning the Sun will expand and swallow us up!!

      Here’s what the solar system currently looks like (you can see the Earth just to the right and up from the Sun) https://letstalkphysics.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/solar-system-now.png

      And here’s what the solar system will look like when the Sun has expanded https://letstalkphysics.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/solar-system-later.png As you can see, the Earth is now inside the Sun.

      And unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to stop this! So we have 4.6 billion years to build a space ship to take us to another solar system. Let’s get started!