Have you ever wondered if the sun which is in the center of our solar system could actually explode? If not, hold on because things are about to get a little wild. The sun, which gives us energy and heat to sustain life could explode and end up in a catastrophe, to say the least. let’s dive in to know more!
The sun is about 4.603 billion years old. But it has around 5 more billion years to go before it runs out of fuel and faces death. After those billions of years have passed the sun will expand. The expanded ball of hot plasma will then shrink. It will start to become a ‘dwarf’ cooling for the next billion years or so. But this is the slow death we expect our sun to have, unlike a supernova explosion.
Image source: Tenor
Currently, our sun is 150 million km away from Earth. It seems like we are very far away but unfortunately, it’s not that distant when it comes to an explosion or a supernova. Our Earth needs to be at least 50 to 100 light-years away to safeguard ourselves from a supernova! Not much of a chance to survive this isn’t it?
The shock wave released from a supernova hopefully not destroy the entire earth. But the side facing the sun will not stand a chance. It will melt away immediately. The other half, facing away from the sun will experience a tremendous rise in heat. The heat will be around 15 times hotter than the Sun’s current surface temperature. The earth will also experience permanent darkness. Not quite the best thing to go through but it’s not over yet.
Image source: The New Yorker
The Earth will likely float away in space without the sun’s huge mass keeping us rotating in orbit. It will take a very long time for our earth to find another sun that can sustain life. Earth’s temperature will drop to -18°C (0°F), around a week or so after the supernova. Not in less than a year, it will decline to a temperature of –73°C (-100°F). By this time, anything and everything, even the massive oceans will freeze.
In 1000 years’ time, the atmosphere of the earth will freeze and collapse. The earth will then get exposed to cosmic radiations, meteors, and whatnot. But there is not much to worry about since the death of the sun is not expected to happen all of a sudden. We will notice the changes before it gets to the point of no return.