Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 1 decade ago

why isn't anyone concerned about the sun?

ok, so the sun is a star, and a lifecycle of a star dictates that the star will eventally supernova and become a giant, or a dwarf. My question, is when our sun supernova's the earth as we know it will be destroyed, engulfed in a fiery doom! why aren't we trying to get off this mudball and try developing a biodome on the moon or something as practice, so that way when we do have to leave this planet, we are prepared, and have some basic knowlege of what things can go wrong if we tried to create another biodome on another planet far enough away from the sun so when it supernova's we as a human race can survive.

Does anyone know anything about what steps are being done in this area? Yeah, i'll be dead before that hapens, but i just want to know.

32 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In summary, people have thought about the sun becoming hostile to life on Earth, however in practical terms there are far more immediate astronomical threats.

    First off, the sun won't supernova, it is too low mass. A star needs to be about 8 solar masses or larger to supernova. It will red giant and eventually lose its outer envelope to a high rate solar wind during a "helium flash" event in its core (essentially all the helium fusing to carbon over a period of just a few days) leaving a naked white dwarf. Apart from that it will cook the Earth free of its oceans long before then, as a solar mass star's luminosity goes from about 0.7 of what it is now at the beginning of its life to about 2.2 times as bright as it is now at the end of its main sequence lifetime (just before it goes red giant.) Somewhere before then, it will be warm enough on the earth to keep most of water in the atmosphere, subjecting it to ultraviolet photolysis (UV breaking the hydrogens off of the oxygen). Hydrogen escapes the Earth's atmosphere into space pretty quickly so over a few 100M years after this starts, the Earth will lose all its water.

    You can read more about the future of the sun and its impact on the earth at the following links.

    Our Sun. III. Present and Future

    Moving the Earth as the Sun Brightens

  • 1 decade ago

    Our sun has been within existence for a good 4.5 billion years, and will continue to exist for another 4.5 billion. Now before that 4.5 billion is up, however, the earth as we know it would be destroyed, as would all the other rocky planets before us. Knowing this, perhaps each one of us also senses deep within that the prognosis of our race isn't very good and won't last nearly that long. Even if we were capable of sustaining that long of an existence, the hydrogen fuel our sun relies on to remain in the state its in would deplete by that time, and it would grow into a red giant. Basically, a red giant is just an oversized main-sequence star(the classification for our sun as of today), named for its reddish color which comes form the fact that its slightly cooler. Its size alone would be enough to engulf us, but yet again, all of this would take place so incomprehensibly far into the future that worrying would be insignificant and even more, a waste of time. There are current problems in the world we've yet to solve without worrying about preparing ourselfs as an entire race for something that'll happen billions of years into the future.

  • extton
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Yes, yes, someday the sun will explode (or, rather, expand dramatically...same basic result, though). But that's billions of years from now.

    Think of it this way: if people are procrastinating on doing something about global warming, which will have very bad consequences within a century, why would they even consider doing something about an event that won't happen for billions of years?

    There probably won't even be a "human species" as we know it by then. Humans will have died out or evolved into something else. Maybe a few somethings else.

    It's so far into the future that any kind of planning is just moot; there are too many variables to contend with, and too many issues that need addressing right now.

  • 1 decade ago

    The sun is too small a star to be able to go supernova. In 4 billion years, it will become a red giant, and swell up to the point of engulfing earth, which is equally apt at ruining your picknick.

    Are we doing something? Yes. We are developing those rockets, aren't we? And eventually perhaps we'll have starships and be able to get away and find a new star system.

    It is only baby steps, because money is hard to find, and lots of people are more concerned by celebrity gossip than science.

    But we have time.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Long dead. The sun's estimated lifetime is about 10 billion years, and its estimated age is about 4.5, which means it has about five and a half billion years left before it goes. That is such a long time from now, not only will you be dead, but whether or not the human race even exists at that time is uncertain, and quite unlikely. In fact, by then it's possible, even likely that the human race will have died off or mutated into an even higher form of life, or another, lower animal will have evolved to become far superior to us.

    We don't worry about it because it's so astronomically far away, there's no point.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes!! I agree!! It frustrates me when people give the same crappy line "that's billions of years from now". Yeah, well that time will fly by... and just because YOU won't be here, doesn't mean your descendants won't. What about other people who will be living then? What if you are reincarnated and come back to live through this ordeal?? Anyway, it's selfish to not worry about that just cause we won't be around then. Well, at least NASA is somewhat concerned about it and is well aware of the situation. This is why they are continuing to explore space. This is also why we are trying to move on to Mars so that one day we may live there or somewhere else outside our solar system. However, we must take baby steps to get there in the mean time. I hope for the sake of mankind we can move on to deep space exploration. And this crap that we haven't explored the ocean... who cares about the ocean. We could never live there so what's the point??? I'd rather the government spend money on exploring something that has the potential for future habitation.

  • 1 decade ago

    The sun will die in about 50 million years. Look around ya read the news. Do ya really think man will last much longer on this planet. People have worshiped the sun forever and that is what keeps us alive here on earth. The moon wouldn't be far enough away when the sun dies. We will need to be near another sun.

    Source(s): E.W.A.G.
  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    What do you think NASA's been doing all these decades as they increase their range of human pioneering in space, first just into outer space, and then into orbits around planet Earth, and then trips to the Moon and satellites to Jupiter, etc., and co-ordinated efforts with U.S.'s number 1 enemy for decades, Russia, to improve long distance travel in outer space. Realize what they've been doing with all this and their Space Shuttle program, and you won't worry any more, or have to ask this question. Oh, yeah, and you'll be dead for so long when our sun "Supernovas", as you put it, that even your ashes from your skeleton won't be identifiable from the other elements of dirt of planet Earth, so, go do something relaxing, and don't get too wound up about it. Oh, and if you were to be alive when our sun "supernovas", it will be so extremely quick of a "SuperNuclear" explosion that you won't ever know any pain at all. But then, as I said earlier, it won't happen for so long that even your ashes from your skeleton will be indistinguishable from the dirt of the earth, so, go relax, and enjoy the beautiful days and wonderful nights. NASA's doing it's all to protect your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great . . . .. . . grandchildren in the case of such a Supernova. God Bless you.

  • 1 decade ago

    In the larger scheme of things- worrying about the death of our Sun- is the least of our concerns. Humankind will be lucky if it survives another couple of hundred years- never mind another 5 or 6 BILLION! If global warming doesn't cook us, maybe a pandemic will knock us off. If we don't blow ourselves up in a nuclear war- maybe a passing asteroid will do the trick. Heck, if the Sun's blowout was the ONLY thing we had to worry about, we'd have NOTHING to worry about- for another 4 billion years (give or take 500 million)! So give it a rest. I've got bills to pay.

  • 1 decade ago

    By the time that happens in a few billion years, there will either be no life left on planet earth or humans will have learned so much that they will have no problems dealing with it. Asking current humans to do something about it is like asking a caveman about quantum physics.

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