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Evidence found that the Earth can survive the death of the Sun: but those who survive will envy the dead

Dmytro IvancheskulNews
Earth may be saved when the Sun becomes a red giant

The Earth will probably have a chance of not dying in 5 billion years, when the Sun begins its journey to inevitable death and turns into a red giant. This theory is supported by the distant planet 8 Ursae Minoris b, or Galla, which was discovered in 2015 when it should not have existed.

According to New Scientist, if we are not as lucky as the distant planet, there are two other scenarios that will give humanity (if it still exists) hope for the future. However, this future may turn out to be even more terrible than dying in the fire of the Sun.

It is known that in about 5 billion years, our Sun will burn up all the hydrogen reserves that support its life and expand by about 200 times, turning into a red giant and swallowing Mercury, Venus, and the Earth.

Over the next billion years, the Sun will shrink again and become a stellar corpse called a white dwarf.

During the red dwarf phase, the Sun will not only expand, but also become hotter as nuclear reactions in its core leak outward in search of fresh sources of hydrogen fuel closer to the solar surface. This will eventually lead to the temperature of the Earth's surface, even before absorption, becoming high enough to evaporate all the oceans. This will cover the planet with salt flats and dunes. The disappearance of water will also cause plate tectonics to stop, and at some point it will become hot enough to melt rocks.

That is, even if the Sun does not swallow the Earth, it will fry it and make it unfit for life forms. At least, life forms like humans.

But there is good news. If the situation on Earth becomes truly critical, we may not need to run for our lives.

Scientists assume that the expansion of the Sun will cause the inner part of the system to turn into hell, but the currently cold outer part will become habitable.

"When the Sun becomes a red giant, the habitable zone will expand. We know that there is a lot of water on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, so a second generation of habitable planets may appear within our solar system," said University of Chicago astronomer Rafael Luque.

Scientists have evidence that gas giants like Jupiter can survive the death of their parent star. Astronomers observed one such planet in 2021 in orbit around a white dwarf near the center of our Milky Way galaxy. A study at the time found that the star and this planet formed around the same time. That is, this world experienced not only the red giant phase, but also the death of the star when it became a white dwarf.

But, as scientists suggest, there is also a possibility that we won't even have to flee the Earth. Shreyas Wissanapragada of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Massachusetts suggests that the Earth may survive the Sun's transformation into a red giant, due to the fact that the increased solar wind will push the planet out of its existing orbit and "blow it away" to a safe distance.

But even without the solar wind, we may have hope, as evidenced by the discovery of a planet known as 8 Ursae Minoris b, or Galla.

According to Mark Hong of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, this world was discovered in 2015 and everything pointed to the fact that it should not have existed, as its parent star, Peculiar, had passed the red giant stage and should have absorbed, burned, or vaporized the planet.

However, there is a silver lining. If the Earth ends up in the orbit of a white dwarf, it will still be in danger.

In November 2022, Abigail Elms from the University of Warwick in the UK and her colleagues discovered a white dwarf system 90 light-years away, which was littered with the remains of dead planets.

It turned out that white dwarfs have extremely strong surface gravity, which creates extreme tidal forces on the nearest surviving planets that can literally tear them apart. The orbiting material then spirals down on the white dwarf. If this fate befalls the Earth, it will mean that it has managed to avoid death by fire, but is now being torn apart.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA told about what will happen when the Milky Way crashes into Andromeda and whether humanity will have a chance to survive.

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