So Earth Navigating the solar system, the wind never comes behind us. Each time, a torrent of hot charged particles called the solar wind flows out of the sun and collides with our planet at about 1 million mph (1.6 million km / h).
Fortunately for us Earth’s magnetic shield It diverts and dismantles these toughest winds, allowing warm breeze to penetrate the planet’s atmosphere. Because of our worries, we can even see a colorful light show — Aurora And Australia shimmers in the sky as the runaway solar particles dance toward the Earth’s magnetic poles.
For now, that’s a good situation.But a new study is that our planet Magnetic shield It may not always be that strong — and the solar wind will become stronger as our local stars approach their ultimate demise.
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In a study published on July 21 in the journal Monthly Notification of the Royal Astronomical Society, A team of astronomers have calculated how the strength of the solar wind of the Sun will evolve over the next 5 billion years or so when our stars are gone. hydrogen The fuel and balloons to burn become a tremendous red giant. By that time, researchers have discovered that the sun’s winds will be so strong that they will completely erode the Earth’s magnetic shield. From there, much of the planet’s atmosphere is blown into space — and so everything leaves protection from harsh stellar radiation.
Life on Earth that could survive that long would be quickly eradicated, the authors said.
“We know that the solar wind of the past has eroded. Martian atmosphere“Unlike Earth, it doesn’t have a large magnetosphere,” Aline Vidotto, an astrophysicist and research co-author at Trinity College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland, said in a statement. In the future, planets protected by magnetic fields could be damaged as well. “
The last breath of the sun
Billions of years from now, our Sun (like all the stars in the universe) will eventually run out of hydrogen, which drives the nuclear reaction in its nucleus.Without this fuel, the solar core would begin to contract under itself gravity, While the outer layer of the star begins to expand. Eventually, the sun will become a red giant. This is a giant red giant with a radius of millions of miles beyond its current boundaries.
As the sun’s outside air expands, it burns all the planets in its path. Mercury and Venus will almost certainly disappear — and Earth may also disappear, According to NASA..
After a billion years of expansion, the Sun collapses into a wrinkled white dwarf, smoldering for billions more years before the lights flash completely.
If the Earth manages to survive the drastic changes of the Sun to red giants, our planet will be left in a very different solar system than it is today. According to NASA, as the Sun’s core contracts, its gravitational pull on the planet weakens, causing undeveloped planets to drift about twice as far as the current Sun. The radiation that oozes from the red giant is also much stronger than it is today.
The author of the new study wanted to know: how strong the radiation is, and can the Earth’s magnetosphere withstand onslaught? In their study, researchers modeled winds from 11 different stars with masses that vary from 1 to 7 times the mass of the Sun. Researchers have found that as the diameter of the Sun expands towards the end of its life, the velocity and density of the solar wind fluctuates wildly, alternating between expanding and contracting the magnetic fields of nearby planets.
But in the end, the authors write in their study that in the model, the magnetosphere of each planet was always “crushed” by the strength of the wind. According to researchers, the only way a planet maintains a magnetic field throughout its evolution is whether it has a magnetic field 100 times that of Jupiter today, or 1,000 times that of Earth.
Dimitri Veras, an astrophysicist at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, said in a statement, “This study makes it difficult for planets to maintain their protective magnetosphere throughout the huge divergence of stellar evolution. It shows that. “
This study not only reminds us of the fate of life on Earth, but also influences the search for extraterrestrial life.Some astronomers believe that white dwarfs are potentially possible Host a habitable planet There is also a reason why these “dead” stars do not create the solar wind. Therefore, researchers write that if life exists on a planet like the Earth around a white dwarf, that life must have evolved after the stage of the star’s fierce red giant.
In other words, life on any planet is very unlikely to survive the death of its sun, but as the sun shrinks and extinguishes the fierce winds, old ashes can give birth to new life. So the wind may be against us now, but someday it will disappear. Hopefully for some worlds in space, it means new life and smooth voyages.
Originally published in Live Science.
No life survives the death of the sun — but new research suggests that new life may be born later.
Source link No life survives the death of the sun — but new research suggests that new life may be born later.