Ever had that burning question about the solar system and wondered what would actually happen if the sun exploded one day?
It’s terrifying to imagine what could happen if the solar system’s only star suddenly exploded – especially as life as we know it relies upon the Sun’s glowing heat and gravitational pull.
We’ve gathered the facts and information to look further into what would happen should the solar system’s only star die.
How important is the Sun?
The Sun is our solar system’s only star and is located in the centre of all of the planet’s orbits.
Scientists have found that the Sun is 4.603 billion years old.
The hot ball of glowing gas is the largest object in the solar system and makes up 99.8% of the solar system mass.
The Sun’s gravity holds the planets in their orbit and the electric currents in the star “generate a magnetic field that is carried through the solar system by the solar wind” as explained by Nasa.
The eight main planets that orbit the sun are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Even though the Sun is 151.27 million km from Earth, it provides us with all of the different climates and seasons.
The “connection and interactions between the Sun and Earth” as explained by Nasa “drive our planet’s seasons, ocean currents, weather, climate, radiation belts and aurora”.
The Earth relies on the Sun – without the Sun and its intense energy, there would be no life on Earth.
What would happen if the sun exploded?
Scientists suggest that the Sun will last another five to seven billion years – at which point it will then expand – using up all of the Hydrogen at its core – before shrinking in size to become a dying star.
All humans and animals would die if the sun suddenly exploded, however scientists don’t believe this will happen.
Our sun is actually rather small in comparison to other stars, so it is unlikely to explode in a giant supernova – any death would happen at a much slower rate.
It’s believed that as the sun gets cooler and bigger, it will become what is known as a red giant.
Because of the expansion, there’s a great possibility it will consume Mercury, Venus, and the Earth – these planets would dissolve like a sugar cube in a cup of tea.
If Earth manages to survive the Sun’s giant phase, it will end up orbiting a hot white dwarf barely larger than our planet.
However a lot could happen over the several billion years it will take the Sun to die.
Gravity keeps the planets in orbit around the Sun, but it also attracts the planets to each other.
Scientists predict that orbits between planets could change in the coming years, pulling certain planets – or even Earth – out of orbit and leaving it ejected from the solar system.
The good news is – it would take billions of years for the Sun to die.
As human’s, we’re far more at risk of extinction from climate change, which is already irreversible.