The Sun, the source of all life on our planet, is a big, beautiful star. Without it, we will perish, and even with that said, the fact remains that scientifically, it has been proven that one day it will destroy itself and die.
To better understand what will happen, when the Sun does inevitably bite the dust and begin devouring the planets closest to it, some researchers carried out a study that they later submitted to the Astrophysical Journal. Through their research, the scientists were able to get a glimpse 5 million years into the future, and what they saw was pretty crazy.
To do this, they performed three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations to see what the range of the Sun would be when it begins to envelop the planets nearest.
A major theory, not just from the researchers of this study, but also in previous research, is that when the Sun becomes a red giant, it will swallow Mercury, Venus, and possibly Earth.
“For the case of the Earth, I think it’s rather unclear whether it’s going to be engulfed or not, but it’s certainly going to become impossible to live on,” explained Ricardo Yarza, a graduate student in astronomy from the University of California discussed with the New York Times.
Directly after the red giant phase has begun, the Sun will begin to lose hydrogen, causing the border of the Sun to expand over 100 times. In their research, they were able to come up with other possible outcomes. One of those was that the planet that has been engulfed could be pushed into a new and much higher orbit, and others to create a new world.
“Drag forces transfer energy from the planet to the star when the planet moves inside the star,” Ricardo explained.
And while the notion of being swallowed up by the Sun does sound pretty scary, most scientists believe that by then most civilizations would have vanished from our planet, permanently and others say there’s a likelihood that we will be extinct. I guess here’s to hope for that.