What happens if the sun goes out: in a week, a year, 1000 years

Written By G Max

Stars of the same size as the Sun “live” on average about 10 billion years, of which ~ 4.5 billion have now passed – so it still has a very long time to shine. Due to the Sun, our planet receives light, heat and attraction, which prevents the Earth from flying into outer space. All the conditions that ensure our life are created thanks to the Sun. And if it disappears or somehow changes the “mode” of work, this balance will collapse.

The Sun cannot go out in an instant, but scientists know exactly what will happen if this suddenly (in theory) happens.

In a week

So: The sun is no longer working. On Earth, they will be able to find out about this in about 8 minutes – this is how long it takes for the last photons of light to reach us. After that, an eternal night will come, including the Moon will not be visible – because it itself does not emit light, but only reflects it from the Sun. But it will be possible to make out Jupiter.

The position of the planet in space : deprived of the solar attraction, the Earth will begin to fly freely in the direction where it was moving at the moment of the disappearance of the star. A simple comparison: if a person ties a stone to a rope, untwists the rope over his head and lets go, he will fly to the side he was “looking” at when released. The planet can move in this way indefinitely until it collides with another cosmic body, or falls into the gravitational field of another star or black hole. Ideally, if the Earth flies in the right direction, then in 43,000 years it can enter the orbit of the nearest star: Alpha Centauri.

What will happen to people, animals and plants : Due to the lack of ultraviolet radiation, photosynthesis will completely stop, and all plants will die in the first few weeks. Thick trees with a diameter of 50 cm or more will last the longest, due to reserves of sucrose. There will be no one to generate new oxygen, but we will be able to breathe – reserves, even with the current population, will be enough for about 1000 years.

How the temperature and weather will change : the planet will start to cool down. In the first 3 days, the average temperature will drop to 0, by the end of the week – to -17… -20 º . Warm countries that are not adapted to the cold will be abandoned. The ebb and flow will stop, the wind will not blow, the rains will stop, “green” energy sources will stop working, but electricity can still be obtained from the combustion of organic fuels.

During a year

Weather and nature: the temperature will drop, and in a year it will drop to about -73… -100º. Within a few months (or rather earlier), all insects and animals will die out – both due to the cold and due to the death of plants and disruption of the food chain. By the end of the year, the oceans will be covered with a 10 m layer of ice.

Humanity: the production of electricity will stop – even the most modern nuclear power plants cannot operate at temperatures of -100º. Therefore, the centralized power supply will disappear. For some more time, it will be possible to receive energy from generators, until the reserves of produced gasoline run out. Life will last the longest in Iceland (due to its small size and infrastructure, sharpened in cold weather) and Yellowstone (due to the supervolcano, which will keep warm longer). But going out into the open air without special equipment, even for a few minutes, will be fatal: the lungs will simply freeze.

Farther

During the second year, there will be continuous rain – due to moisture condensation from the atmosphere, liquefaction of oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. Moving soil layers will completely collapse due to the movement of lava below the surface. If in Yellowstone and Iceland (or somewhere else) they do not have time to quickly equip shelters with life support, all of humanity will die out.

Temperature : by the end of the third year, the average temperature on the planet will drop to -160º, eventually stabilize in the region of -400º, and will stop falling further.

Will life disappear on the planet at all?

No: there will still be liquid water under the ice. And in it, in places where heat escapes from the core of the Earth, primitive bacteria will live. In this state, “life” on the planet can exist for millions of years, and, possibly, in the distant future, falling under the rays of another star, it will be reborn again.

 

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