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Late stages in the life of our Solar System

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  • jefftibb
    Here is a great link to a piece written at the Space Telescope Institute (the people who run the Hubble Space Telescope). Its about the final drama of our Sun
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 23, 2002
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      Here is a great link to a piece written at the Space Telescope
      Institute (the people who run the Hubble Space Telescope).

      Its about the final drama of our Sun and the planets in the Solar
      System as the Sun finally runs out of Hydrogen in about 5,000,000,000
      years.

      The first two paragraphs:

      "Now is a good time to buy real estate on Titan, the largest of
      Saturn's moons. Land there is dirt cheap. But wait 5 billion years
      when the sun begins its journey into retirement. As the sun swells
      and becomes a red giant, life on Earth might get a little
      uncomfortable: The average temperature on our planet could catapult
      to a sizzling several thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Then it is time to
      reach for sunscreen with an S.P.F. of 2,000, or pack up your
      belongings and take the next space shuttle to a place with a more
      hospitable climate. That could be Titan, a moon larger than the
      planet Mercury and about half the size of Earth. Titan is one of the
      safest bets to colonize because it is far enough from the sun's death
      rattles, and it has an atmosphere to trap heat.

      For those who find searing heat appealing, stick around. Earth will
      be the place for you. The weather will be fairly predictable. No
      snowstorms or ice storms. Just extremely hot and dry. The only
      question is how large will the sun get once it consumes its
      thermonuclear fuel - hydrogen - and begins expanding. Will the sun
      swell so much that it engulfs Earth? Or will Earth just barely escape
      the sun's grasp, only to be scorched by the dying star's prodigious
      increase in energy output as it fights off death? Scientists
      speculate about these two possible scenarios. "

      The rest of the article:
      http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/PR/97/38/astrofile2.html
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