Timeline for Earth after our sun begins to die?
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11-04-2016, 04:31 AM
Timeline for Earth after our sun begins to die?
My google fu sucks and i can´t find the answer to this anywhere.

When the sun burns through the last of it´s fuel it will start to expand and burn away the inner planets.
Though before that happens it will have gotten hot enough so that all life on earth more or less will have died out.

Well let´s say there are still living organisms on planet earth when the sun burns down the last of it´s fuel what would they see?

I can imagine the sun might get brighter then it currently is.
But what about the heat? How quickly from when the sun starts expanding would we start to feel it and see it in the form of climate changes and at what point would it become deadly to human life?
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11-04-2016, 05:02 AM
RE: Timeline for Earth after our sun begins to die?
(11-04-2016 04:31 AM)Erikjust Wrote:  My google fu sucks and i can´t find the answer to this anywhere.

When the sun burns through the last of it´s fuel it will start to expand and burn away the inner planets.
Though before that happens it will have gotten hot enough so that all life on earth more or less will have died out.

Well let´s say there are still living organisms on planet earth when the sun burns down the last of it´s fuel what would they see?

I can imagine the sun might get brighter then it currently is.
But what about the heat? How quickly from when the sun starts expanding would we start to feel it and see it in the form of climate changes and at what point would it become deadly to human life?

Well, if I remember correctly, our sun should burn for trillions of years given it's size and composition. It is too small to cause a super nova, so after it expands during it's red giant stage ans it start to fuse heavier elements, that upper lay will eventually be blown off and will leave behind a much smaller and dimmer core (a white dwarf I believe). That core will continue to smolder for quite some time.

But if you need a rough idea as to what to expect, just look at Mercury. All life on the surface would be destroyed long before the planet is engulfed, and when the planet is subsumed by the outer corona, anything else still potentially alive under the surface would be done for.

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11-04-2016, 05:13 AM
RE: Timeline for Earth after our sun begins to die?
(11-04-2016 05:02 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Well, if I remember correctly, our sun should burn for trillions of years given it's size and composition. It is too small to cause a super nova, so after it expands during it's red giant stage ans it start to fuse heavier elements, that upper lay will eventually be blown off and will leave behind a much smaller and dimmer core (a white dwarf I believe). That core will continue to smolder for quite some time.

But if you need a rough idea as to what to expect, just look at Mercury. All life on the surface would be destroyed long before the planet is engulfed, and when the planet is subsumed by the outer corona, anything else still potentially alive under the surface would be done for.

I am looking for a more precise timeline of what happens when the sun burns out the last of its fuel.
What would any person on the planet see?
Would the sun start to get brighter and what of the heat how fast would it rise.
Are we talking 50 years after the sun burns through it´s fuel the polar icecaps melt and then in a 100 years it will be too hot for any life on the surface.

Or just what kind of timeline are we talking about and what kind of weather changes (if any) would we start to see on Earth?
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11-04-2016, 05:57 AM
RE: Timeline for Earth after our sun begins to die?
(11-04-2016 05:13 AM)Erikjust Wrote:  
(11-04-2016 05:02 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Well, if I remember correctly, our sun should burn for trillions of years given it's size and composition. It is too small to cause a super nova, so after it expands during it's red giant stage ans it start to fuse heavier elements, that upper lay will eventually be blown off and will leave behind a much smaller and dimmer core (a white dwarf I believe). That core will continue to smolder for quite some time.

But if you need a rough idea as to what to expect, just look at Mercury. All life on the surface would be destroyed long before the planet is engulfed, and when the planet is subsumed by the outer corona, anything else still potentially alive under the surface would be done for.

I am looking for a more precise timeline of what happens when the sun burns out the last of its fuel.
What would any person on the planet see?
Would the sun start to get brighter and what of the heat how fast would it rise.
Are we talking 50 years after the sun burns through it´s fuel the polar icecaps melt and then in a 100 years it will be too hot for any life on the surface.

Or just what kind of timeline are we talking about and what kind of weather changes (if any) would we start to see on Earth?

The sun will become a red giant that will encompass Earth's orbit. I don't think this is a lengthy process, we would be fried within a week when it does this.

Red Giant Stars: Facts, Definition & the Future of the Sun

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11-04-2016, 07:24 AM
RE: Timeline for Earth after our sun begins to die?
(11-04-2016 04:31 AM)Erikjust Wrote:  My google fu sucks and i can´t find the answer to this anywhere.

When the sun burns through the last of it´s fuel it will start to expand and burn away the inner planets.
Though before that happens it will have gotten hot enough so that all life on earth more or less will have died out.

Well let´s say there are still living organisms on planet earth when the sun burns down the last of it´s fuel what would they see?

I can imagine the sun might get brighter then it currently is.
But what about the heat? How quickly from when the sun starts expanding would we start to feel it and see it in the form of climate changes and at what point would it become deadly to human life?

I Googled it and found this in a few secs.

[Image: far-future-timeline-v2.png]

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11-04-2016, 07:56 AM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2016 08:04 AM by Deesse23.)
RE: Timeline for Earth after our sun begins to die?
(11-04-2016 05:13 AM)Erikjust Wrote:  
(11-04-2016 05:02 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Well, if I remember correctly, our sun should burn for trillions of years given it's size and composition. It is too small to cause a super nova, so after it expands during it's red giant stage ans it start to fuse heavier elements, that upper lay will eventually be blown off and will leave behind a much smaller and dimmer core (a white dwarf I believe). That core will continue to smolder for quite some time.

But if you need a rough idea as to what to expect, just look at Mercury. All life on the surface would be destroyed long before the planet is engulfed, and when the planet is subsumed by the outer corona, anything else still potentially alive under the surface would be done for.

I am looking for a more precise timeline of what happens when the sun burns out the last of its fuel.
What would any person on the planet see?
Would the sun start to get brighter and what of the heat how fast would it rise.
Are we talking 50 years after the sun burns through it´s fuel the polar icecaps melt and then in a 100 years it will be too hot for any life on the surface.

Or just what kind of timeline are we talking about and what kind of weather changes (if any) would we start to see on Earth?

It doesnt matter if its 50 or 100 or 1000 years, and ill telly you why:

The scales on which the sun will start to become hotter or even alter its size will be too vast. 100 years is gonna be WAY too small to be significant in this equation.

In ca. 6 billion years the Sun will end as a white dwarf (maybe 6bio +100 years, maybe less Tongue ).

The last stages while developing (into a red giant) will last millions, probably tens or hundeds of million years, some say maybe 1bio years.

Even before it will even change its size (in probably 5bio years), it will heat up (it has, ever since it started! We have archeological evidence for this! ), ca. 1bio years before it will start to become a red giant, and then life will be fried because the habitable zone for life will be shifted to Mars or even farhter outward. Possibly its flares will start to grow bigger or some instability will lead to temperature changes that eill terminate life.
Maybe this is the kind of answer you were looking for.

So what do 50 or 100 years matter exactly for the sun melting thrugh the polar caps or whatever? Big Grin

So looking forward from now, what will we see in ca.5bio years?
The Sun will become hotter (while it will keep its size still at first!) and a bit brighter. Possibly with oscillations/changes or increasing flares. Probably we wont even notice much, because the additional energy needed to completely turn over Earths weather and eco system are smaller than the sensitivity of the human eye to changes in brightness of an object you cant look at directly without damaging your retina anyway.

I seriously doubt you would notice much at all. You will see that its getting hotter and hotter, much like the current climate change, but more drastic and neverending. The Sun will "look" the same to us while we get fried. Only after were gone the real dramatic changes will happen, but Earth will be looking like Mercury by that time, hot and dry.

Always remember: the changes on a cosmic scale usually are happening SEVERAL orders of magnitude slower than our lifes last.

Oh, ok, i just see the chart above give a similar timeline. Blush

Talking about weather specifically: Earth will receive more energy from the Sun, and so all events will be more Energetic. Stronger hurricanes, more heat and draught in general, stronger rainfalls. More water will evaporate in general (the absorbed heat has to be stored somewhere in the atmosphere) and saturate the atmosphere finally. Water vapor will provide an excellent greenhouse effect for the surface and the oceans will be dried out. Finally the atmpsphere will evaporate into space. ankind will be gone in the very early stages of all of this. 10 years, 100, 1000, who cares or knows.

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11-04-2016, 08:09 AM
RE: Timeline for Earth after our sun begins to die?
If our species still exists, they will have moved on to some nearby carefully selected digs. No worries.
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11-04-2016, 09:35 AM
RE: Timeline for Earth after our sun begins to die?
I have meditated over your question a bit, and frankly....it doesnt make a lot of sense actually. Drinking Beverage Huh

You were asking how long it takes (10, 20, 100 years) and what exactly will happen on earth once the sun starts to grow bigger, or heat up respectively.

Well, there is no given "point in time" where the sun starts growing. The exact "moment" the sun starts growing will actually be something like the course of tens or even hundreds of thousands of years. During this period (its a period for us, but a tiny moment in the lifespan of the Sun) the Sun will gradually evolve into something bigger. Yet, it is a time where the sun is instable, thats why it cant keep its size and temperature anymore. The equilibrium is broken and now, although the trend is towards a bigger, cooler red giant, its entirely possible that this is accompanied by variations, oscillations in the ballpark that completely will sterilize earth (because earths climate and life particulary is very sensitive to changes in energy input from the sun). So its entirely possible that before the sun will swell, it will dip first for a "very short period of time" due to instability (thousands of years!) and earth will freeze all over ("snowball earth") before it will be fried again. And im not even talking now about possible flares with increased radiation etc. pp..

So in the end we absolutely dont know what in fact will kill life on earth and how the scenario will look like, but as a long time trend over millions of years, Earth will be fried and so will any life if it manages to survive the first stages of change to the Sun, whatever those stages will look like.

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11-04-2016, 03:25 PM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2016 03:29 PM by Erikjust.)
RE: Timeline for Earth after our sun begins to die?
(11-04-2016 07:56 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  It doesnt matter if its 50 or 100 or 1000 years, and ill telly you why:

The scales on which the sun will start to become hotter or even alter its size will be too vast. 100 years is gonna be WAY too small to be significant in this equation.

In ca. 6 billion years the Sun will end as a white dwarf (maybe 6bio +100 years, maybe less Tongue ).

The last stages while developing (into a red giant) will last millions, probably tens or hundeds of million years, some say maybe 1bio years.

Even before it will even change its size (in probably 5bio years), it will heat up (it has, ever since it started! We have archeological evidence for this! ), ca. 1bio years before it will start to become a red giant, and then life will be fried because the habitable zone for life will be shifted to Mars or even farhter outward. Possibly its flares will start to grow bigger or some instability will lead to temperature changes that eill terminate life.
Maybe this is the kind of answer you were looking for.

So what do 50 or 100 years matter exactly for the sun melting thrugh the polar caps or whatever? Big Grin

So looking forward from now, what will we see in ca.5bio years?
The Sun will become hotter (while it will keep its size still at first!) and a bit brighter. Possibly with oscillations/changes or increasing flares. Probably we wont even notice much, because the additional energy needed to completely turn over Earths weather and eco system are smaller than the sensitivity of the human eye to changes in brightness of an object you cant look at directly without damaging your retina anyway.

I seriously doubt you would notice much at all. You will see that its getting hotter and hotter, much like the current climate change, but more drastic and neverending. The Sun will "look" the same to us while we get fried. Only after were gone the real dramatic changes will happen, but Earth will be looking like Mercury by that time, hot and dry.

Always remember: the changes on a cosmic scale usually are happening SEVERAL orders of magnitude slower than our lifes last.

Oh, ok, i just see the chart above give a similar timeline. Blush

Talking about weather specifically: Earth will receive more energy from the Sun, and so all events will be more Energetic. Stronger hurricanes, more heat and draught in general, stronger rainfalls. More water will evaporate in general (the absorbed heat has to be stored somewhere in the atmosphere) and saturate the atmosphere finally. Water vapor will provide an excellent greenhouse effect for the surface and the oceans will be dried out. Finally the atmpsphere will evaporate into space. ankind will be gone in the very early stages of all of this. 10 years, 100, 1000, who cares or knows.

Thanks for the information that was really all i wanted to know the timescale of what happens after the sun burns through it´s fuel.
I was under the misconception that the moment the sun burned through it´s fuel, it would start growing and it would the the closeness to the ever growing sun that would fry the Earth turning it into Mercury 2.0.
But that´s what great about this forum it´s a place to correct those misconceptions.

Another questions let´s say there´s still life on earth and technology isn´t that different from what it is now, what will be the warning signs that astronomers will be able to observe that the sun is starting to die and the Goldilocks zone will shift?
I could imagine an increase in solar flares or maybe an increase in sun spots?
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11-04-2016, 04:09 PM
RE: Timeline for Earth after our sun begins to die?
Quote:I was under the misconception that the moment the sun burned through it´s fuel, it would start growing and it would the the closeness to the ever growing sun that would fry the Earth turning it into Mercury 2.0.

Well thats what you can see in every history channel-like documentary. Although its a bit of an (over)simplification, it isnt far from the truth.

We didnt monitor the universe long enough to have sufficient data on how stars evolve in such details, especially given the very violent nature of those objects, and i doubt our models are accurate enough or our computers have the power required to calculate such details.

What are the indicators of the sun starting its runaway red giant phase (or the preceding increase in energy output)?
  • helium lines in the sprectrum becoming more and more prominent
  • surface temperature rising
  • observable change in size

Another pretty easy (and practical!) indicator would be the irradiance at the top of the atmosphere or down here. It is particularly useful, since it is the key indicator for earths climate to undeniably change into a runaway greenhouse.
At the moment we have (out of my memory) ca. 1400W/m^2 on top of the atmosphere and 700 (800?) below. If we would monitor this for a longer time and filter etc. then a trend should be fairly easy to identify. Climate models on the other hand should give us a good idea where the threshold should be at which point Earth will turn into a greenhouse and then a desert.

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