Earth's last sunset predicted
- URL to an interesting and somewhat sad article in MSNBC
First few paragraphs
""Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice," wrote the poet
Robert Frost. Astronomers, it turns out, are in the former camp.
A new calculation predicts that Earth will be _swallowed up_
(http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/death_of_earth_000224.html) by the sun in
7.6 billion years, capping off a longstanding debate over whether the sun's
gravitational pull will have weakened enough for Earth to escape final
destruction or not.
Other theorists have predicted that our planet will fry as the sun expands
in its old age. But the time estimates have varied by a couple billion years.
"Although people have looked at these problems before, we would claim this
is the best attempt that's been made to date, and probably the most reliable,"
said astronomer Robert Smith, emeritus reader at Britain's University of
Sussex, who made the new calculations with astronomer Klaus-Peter Schroeder of
the University of Guanajuato in Mexico. "What we've done is to refine existing
models and to put the best calculations we can at each point in the model."
If 7.6 billion years doesn't sound like an urgent death sentence, don't
relax yet. Regardless of whether Earth will ultimately be vaporized, as the _sun_
heats up, our planet will become too hot to live on before then.
"After a billion years or so you've got an Earth with no atmosphere, no
water and a surface temperature of hundreds of degrees, way above the boiling
point of water," Smith told Space.com. "The Earth will become dry basically. It
will become completely impossible for life of any kind to exist. It's a
pretty gloomy forecast."
(entropy always wins)
**************Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Don't they predict the same thing with greenhouse gases in much nearer
--- In email@example.com, derhexer@... wrote:
"The Earth will become dry basically. It
> will become completely impossible for life of any kind to exist.
> pretty gloomy forecast."