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Is the world ever going to end?
Question Date: 2014-03-16
Answer 1:

My name is Michael, and I am a graduate student who studies physics and engineering. Thank you for your question, “Is the world ever going to end?” This is quite a powerful and philosophical question, and I applaud your inquisitive mind.

Is the world ever going to end? The answer, from the view of science is: Yes. One day, the world is definitely going to end. But the world will not end because of some ancient Mayan prophesy, or because a giant asteroid hits it, and the world will not end for a very long time. Just like everything that inhabits our world, the earth has its own lifetime.

How long is the earth’s lifetime? About 7.5 billion years— a very, very, very long time. The universe that our world inhabits is about 13.8 billion years old, and the earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old, just to give you an idea of how long the earth has left.

In one billion years, the sun is going to start getting hotter and hotter. The sun is going to run out of its hydrogen fuel source in its core, and instead it will start burning hydrogen around the shell of the sun. This will cause the sun to expand larger and larger, until finally, in about 7.5 billion years, the hot sun will consume the earth.

But the inevitable and fiery fate of the world should not sadden you! There are no good stories that I know of that do not have endings. Instead of dwelling on the very, very distant fate of the world, you should appreciate the delicate balance of life that exists on our planet, and appreciate those people and things around you that make life that much more beautiful. Marvel at how science can explain the awe-inspiring intricacies of our universe, from the lovely smell of a flower to the cosmic expanses of the universe. So go outside and play defiantly in the face of the sun!

For tomorrow, when you wake up, the sun, the moon, and the earth will all still be here, waiting to be conquered.

P.S. If you would like to learn more specifics about what will happen to the earth in the coming eons, you can look through this Wikipedia page on “The future of the Earth.”

the future of the Earth

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