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Red Giant Star – Astronomy Essay

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Updated: Mar 30th, 2020

During the transition of the Sun to a giant red star, its radius will increase more than 100 times due to the factor of 100. This increase will cause the Sun to occupy the Earth’s orbit, as well as its habitable area and in the process will consume the orbits of Mercury and Venus during the transition.

Furthermore, as the Sun gets redder than the radiation transmitted to Earth’s surface increases, it will lead to the presence of excess ultraviolet rays in the atmosphere, which will cause mutations and death to its inhabitants, which include humans as well as animals (Cohen 46).

More so, as the Sun’s surface becomes bigger and larger due to an increase in its radius, the temperatures on the Earth’s surface will increase leading to desertification making the planet inhabitable for living beings. Water will also evaporate due to the reduced distance between the Earth and the Sun.

This will occur only if the Sun does not occupy the Earth’s orbit already as it will be huge, and although if the temperature of the Sun’s surface does not increase, this effect will be due to the solar radiation from the Sun. More so, the Iceland surface on our planet will melt (Leverington 57).

There is nothing that humans can do to reduce the pace at which the Sun consumes its hydrogen supply from its core. The process takes place over time, and thus it is predicted that it will take approximately 6 billion years before it can completely burn the hydrogen and helium through a proton-proton chain reaction making its timespan definite. However, humans can apply some remedies so as to be prepared by the time the Sun exhausts its hydrogen (Zirker 14).

Scientists argue that with the advancement of technology, humans will have the ability to use it to speed the process by which the Earth’s spirals outward on its orbit. Thus, if this can be achieved, then the Earth and its inhabitants will be lucky that the Sun will not occupy its new orbit. Hence, there is a slight chance for survival, although very minimal (Zirker 23).

Presently, there are no habitable bodies in the Milky Way Galaxy, although experiments are still carried out on Mars to find out if it has the capability to support life. However, its habitability cannot save the human race as the Sun blows up more than 100 times larger (Zeilik & Stephan 31).

The only remaining solution is that as time progresses scientists and researchers will use advanced technology and machine to explore planets as far as Eris, which is a dwarf planet with a mass more than Pluto and is speculated that it can support life. Although its far distance from Earth has made it harder to prove the theories, it will be possible with the advancement of technology.

More so, the far distance of Eris from the Sun ensures that it will not even be affected by the Sun increasing its radius and thus occupying the orbit of some of the planets ahead of Eris. Furthermore, there may be other habitable bodies in the universe apart from our galaxy. We should hope that the technology that will be available before the 6 billion years will have helped scientists to discover other habitable bodies in the universe apart from our Earth.

Works Cited

Cohen, Richard. Chasing the Sun: the Epic Story of the Star that Gives us Life. London, UK: McGraw Hill, 2010. Print.

Leverington, David. Babylon to Voyager and beyond: A History of Planetary Astronomy. London, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Print.

Zeilik, Michael & Gregory, Stephan. Introductory Astronomy & Astrophysics. New York, NY: Saunders College Publishing, 2011. Print.

Zirker, Jack. Journey from the Center of the Sun. New York, NY: Princeton, 2008. Print.

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