• Question: If we were still alive when the sun explodes, and we built some kind of building to stand the cold and live in, we would have eight minutes to get there but will we survive?

    Asked by 534erbb42 to Hephzi, Imogen, Jen, Jennifer, Tom on 16 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Thomas Barrett

      Thomas Barrett answered on 16 Mar 2015:

      Haha I like the Idea. Have you seen the Dr. Who episode where they go to a spaceship which is watching the destruction of the Earth?

      We would indeed have 8 minutes to arrive at any shelter we gave ourselves. But sadly that would already be far far to late. Several billion years before the Sun dies (about 1.1 billion years from now at our best guess so the Sun has between 2.8 and 5 billion years left) the Sun will enter what is called the Red Giant Phase where it grows in size to the point when Earths orbit with be INSIDE (or very very close depending on who you talk to) the Sun!

      We wont really be able to protect ourselves from this so our best bet for survival is getting to another planet! Mars is theorized to be far enough away from the Red Giant phase to not be completely destroyed. But it still could be too hot to live there.

      My hopes are we are in other solar systems by then and we won’t have to worry about what happens on Earth. We will have evacuated long before to safer planets.

    • Photo: Hephzi Tagoe

      Hephzi Tagoe answered on 16 Mar 2015:

      Ha! Unfortunately haven’t seen that Dr Who episode. Now I know.

    • Photo: Imogen Napper

      Imogen Napper answered on 17 Mar 2015:

      I think before finding a building to stand the cold you would first have to find a building to stand the intense heat from the explosion!
      Great question, and excellent knowing you would have 8 minutes, that is because we are extremely far away from the sun.

      I think we could in fact stand the cold, but not for very long as the oceans would freeze over and then we would have no water which is the basis of life. Especially as we couldn’t use water for Hydroelectricty anymore either and we’d be reliant on fossil fuels.
      The hardest thing next would be the lack of vegetation as plants, vegetables and fruits are reliant on photosynthesis which occurs with the sun.
      So unless we only ate animals which we bred in the dark then, but that wouldn’t be a very good diet for us!
      We would still have a light source from the Milky Way galaxy, which wouldn’t be that strong.
      So for now, fear not as the sun is keeping us happily alive 🙂