Our solar system will undergo a tremendous change in a few billion years from now as Sun will eventually die after running out of hydrogen. Scientists say this phenomenon may destroy human race and all forms of living beings on Earth.
An international team of astronomers are studying evolved star L2 Puppis, which is 10 billion years old and 208 light years away from Earth. They found that the star was similar to Sun as it is today with same mass five billion years ago. This has given an insight on what the solar system will be like in the future. The star has lost one third of its mass during evolution and the same will happen to Sun too.
Sun will turn into a giant star, expanding more than hundred times larger than its current size which will lead to an intense mass loss through a very strong stellar wind, according to Professor Leen Decin from the KU Leuven Institute of Astronomy. It will then turn into a tiny white dwarf star as big as Earth seven billion years from now.
This transformation will engulf Mercury and Venus, the two nearest planets to the Sun, and may wipe out all living beings on Earth even if it is not destroyed completely.
"But the fate of Earth is still uncertain," Decin said in a statement. "We already know that our Sun will be bigger and brighter, so that it will probably destroy any form of life on our planet. But will the Earth's rocky core survive the red giant phase and continue orbiting the white dwarf?" she added.
It is not sure if Earth will be destroyed by the Sun five millions years from now, but it could end up like the object that researchers have detected orbiting L2 Puppis at a distance of 300 million kilometres which is twice the distance between Sun and Earth.
However, a clearer picture on the impact of Sun's evolution on the solar system can be drawn only after learning more about L2 Puppis' impact on its planet.