In approximately five billion years in the future, the Sun will allegedly submerge the current orbits of Mercury and Venus and make Earth uninhabitable. However, before then, about one billion years, when it apparently stops merging hydrogen and turns into a red giant, some researchers claimed that its core would experience a massive increase in density and temperature while its exterior layers expand.
We’ve Still Got Some Five Million Years on Earth
According to those scientists, the process will make the star at the center of our Solar System shine a lot brighter, probably evaporating the water on Earth, which will lead to the need to look for another planet to host human life.
“Things tend to get more disordered; they tend to decay away. The first stars in our universe began to shine around 100 million years after the Big Bang. But it was another nine billion years before our star, the Sun, formed. But our Sun won’t live forever, which will obviously have a direct impact on all life on Earth,” Paul Cally, professor of Solar Physics at the School of Mathematical Sciences in Monash, said.
He continued: “The Sun is about halfway through the phase where it’s burning hydrogen. It’s making helium, and it’s got what’s called the solar luminosity, it’s putting out that much heat and light, but that is going to be slowly increasing. In about 1.1 billion years, it will be 10 percent brighter than it is now, that is enough to create a forced greenhouse.”
According to Cally, life on Earth will become problematic by then. About 3.5 billion years from now, the Sun will radiate 1.4 times the current luminosity, which is enough to vaporize the oceans. We’ve got about five million years to go, though.
‘Are You Guys High?’
Professor Cox spoke to Dr. DeGrasse Tyson, who has begun pushing for the colonization of Mars for some time now, after being completely against it only two years back.
The astrophysicist said: “When our Sun becomes a red giant when it begins to swell and engulf the orbit of Mercury, it’s going to start getting very hot on Earth. We’re going to need ways to terraform Mars, and then ship billions of people from Earth. Mars is cooler than Earth because it is one-and-a-half times further away.”
However, most scientists are against this concept. Bill Nye, a respected science communicator, whose opinion on the viability of Mars terraforming plans has some weight, has brought some solid arguments against it.
“It’s not reasonable because it’s so cold,” he told USA Today. “And there is hardly any water. There’s absolutely no food, and the big thing, I just remind these guys, there’s nothing to breathe.”
“This whole idea of terraforming Mars, as respectful as I can be, are you guys high?” the science educator asked in an interview. “We can’t even take care of this planet where we live, and we’re perfectly suited for it, let alone another planet.”