|If the sun were to explode, what is the
probability that human life forms would survive?
Is there a possibility of a "Counter Earth."
|Question Date: 2000-02-14|
It is predicted that the sun may explode, but not
for millions of years. We have seen that other
stars that are similar to our sun have a common
life history. As the sun gets older, it will run
out of hydrogen and helium to burn. It will
eventually grow much larger, so that the surface
of the sun will be as close to Earth as it is
currently to Mercury. This phase of stellar
evolution is called a 'red giant'. The earth will
be very hot then, and there will be no liquid
water left. No humans could survive on earth
through the red-giant phase. In the very end, the
sun might explode, but there won't be any humans
left on earth then to see it. However, there are
two things to think about - will all humans be
confined to Earth in one million years, and will
there still be
humans in one million years, or
will humans evolve into a new species?
If the sun exploded, the probability of anything
in the solar system surviving would be just about
zero.Fortunately, there is no reason to believe
that the sun will ever explode. More worrysome is
that in about 5 billion years the sun will run out
of hydrogen fuel. When that happens, the sun will
enter the red giant stage and become
large and luminous. This will cause all sorts of
problems, especially if the sun becomes bigger in
radius than the earth's orbit.
Even if the Earth somehow miraculously survived
such an explosion, we could not survive the
aftermath. Almost all of the energy which allows
things to happen on Earth can ultimately be traced
back to the Sun. If there were no Sun, the Earth
would be much too cold for most life to survive.
There would be no rain or weather, and all the
water would freeze. All of the plants would die,
so there would be no food and no source of
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