The sun is basically a giant nuclear reactor functioning on atoms of hydrogen that have been burning up constantly for approximately 45 billion years and will continue to do so long after we die. However, scientists have some reasons to worry that, at some point, the heat it projects towards our planet will become unbearable, eventually making Earth inhabitable.
How Does The Sun Work?
The hydrogen atoms become compressed, fusing with one another, which causes the release of an immense amount of energy in the form of heat, which we perceive in various types of light: UV light, X rays, infrared, microwaves, radio waves, and visible light. The combined atoms of hydrogen result in helium, which is stored in the sun’s core.
The sun’s surface burns at a temperature of over 5000 degrees Celsius, while its core can reach 15 million degrees Celsius. Being incredibly large, our sun makes up 99.8 percent of our entire solar system’s mass.
Will The Sun Run Out Of Fuel At Some Point?
Eventually, the number of hydrogen atoms that make up the mass of our host star is going to decrease dramatically. This will trigger the process of shedding the outer layers of the sun, causing it to expand and heat up even more. As the sun’s mass will decrease, its volume will increase. This phenomenon is called nuclear fusion.
Consequently, the sun will reach such a significant volume that it will scorch Earth, boiling up our oceans and evaporating the water, which will kill every living creature. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that, as it will take a few billion years more before this happens. According to experts, Earth has gone through a quarter of its habitable period.
Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys. Erin is also an active beekeeper.