Will Sun Vaporize Earth?

The Sun is a Star that warms our planet and provides the light by which we see and is essential for the life on Earth, is what we know from all our years of education.

According to astronomers at the University of Sussex, things are slowly changing and this gigantic nuclear reactor will probably destroy the earth by vaporizing it in about 7.6 billion years, according to their calculations. They believe that the slow expansion of the sun will make the temperature on the Earth to rise.

They say this can be avoided if the Earth’s orbit is changed. Earlier, in their previous studies, it was said that the Earth may escape the final destruction, although it will be burnt to cinder. But then, at that point of time, astronomers did not take into account the drag caused by the outer atmosphere of the dying sun.

Dr. Robert Smith, the lead astronomer said, “We showed previously that, as the Sun expanded, it would lose mass in the form of a strong wind, much more powerful than the current solar wind. This would reduce the gravitational pull of the Sun on the Earth, allowing the Earth’s orbit to move outwards, ahead of the expanding Sun. If that were the only effect the Earth would indeed escape final destruction. However, the tenuous outer atmosphere of the Sun extends a long way beyond its visible surface, and it turns out the Earth would actually be orbiting within these very low density outer layers. The drag caused by the low-density gas is enough to cause the Earth to drift inwards and finally to be captured and vaporized by the Sun.”

Dr. Smith believes that this can be prevented by altering the orbit of Earth. He said, the astronomers at Santa Cruz University came up with a remarkable scheme, which is to harness the gravitational effects of a close passage by a large asteroid to nudge the Earth’s orbit gradually outwards and away from the approaching Sun.

They say that a passage for about every 6000 years should be sufficient to keep Earth out of trouble and ensure life survival for five billion years or so, and may be totally survive the red giant phase of the Sun.

Experts are of the opinion that this proposition is a high-risk strategy and a small miscalculation could make sure the asteroid hits the Earth, which can be catastrophical.

Dr. Smith also said that, “a better solution would be to build a fleet of interplanetary life rafts that could maneuver themselves always out of reach of the Sun, but close enough to use the Sun’s energy.”

Although, these predictions are for a barren land once called Earth, as eventually, the oceans will boil and evaporate and the water vapor will escape into space. In a billion years from now, there will be no life on Earth and it will become inhabitable.

All this sounds like science fiction and is a little scary to say the least, especially after having read in books that a tiny change to the Earth’s orbit can wipe out life. However, we will not live to see Earth’s destiny, whether it is going to be a fiery end or a beginning of yet another beautiful chapter for our mother Earth, and we can only hope the latter is true.

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