We’ve been harnessing the sun’s power for as long as we can remember. Our predecessors reaped countless of benefits from the sun. In the Philippines, solar panels are becoming increasingly popular. Because of the advantages the sun constantly bestows upon us, sometimes it’s hard to remember that like all other things, the sun will also come to an end.
If you’re wondering what exactly is going to occur, then you’ve come at the right place.
What’s going to happen?
The sun is classified as a main sequence star. Main sequence stars have a lifespan of around ten billion years. We’re already halfway there—which means that in another five billion years, the sun will finally run out of fuel, expand substantially and transform into a red giant… and devour our planet.
The sun’s main source of fuel is hydrogen, which it unceasingly converts into helium. This process is called nuclear fusion. Unfortunately, the amount of hydrogen isn’t infinite.
Once the sun has depleted the hydrogen in its disposal, the sun’s core will become increasingly hot and dense. Additionally, the outer region of the sun will swell and swell—and eventually engulf Mercury, Venus, and perhaps Earth.
But hey, even if the sun doesn’t completely reach our planet, the high temperature will still be enough to completely set Earth ablaze.
By then, we’re already out of the picture.
All these sound insanely terrifying, don’t they?
However, there’s no use fretting about what’s going to happen to us. At that point, after all, we’re already goners.
Let me clarify: humans shouldn’t be worrying about the sun’s death because Earth will be doomed much earlier than that.
You’ve read it correctly.
We can only speculate about how the future will be like, but let’s hope that when the inevitable happens, technology will be so sophisticated that humans can already journey around the solar system so they can seek another dwelling.
Earth, after all, won’t be viable for life anymore.
Here’s what’s going to happen.
In a few billion years, before the sun wholly consumes its fuel, the sun will shine a lot more fiercely than it does today. Why? Because nuclear fusion reactions will occur at a much swifter rate—as a result of the imbalance between hydrogen and helium (the former is quickly running out, while the latter is beginning to accumulate).
This new situation will lead to the following:
- melting of the poles,
- boiling of our bodies of water, and
- the total loss of our planet’s atmosphere.
No existence will then be left on Earth because it will be too hot and parched for life to thrive—precisely like Venus.
We’ve been benefiting from the sun since time immemorial. In the Philippines, there’s solar panels, among other things. This is precisely why it’s easy to forget that like everything else on earth, the sun will also come to its demise. We may not be alive to witness its death, but it’s important to be aware of how the sun’s end will come about.