When the Sun Dies, This is What It Will Look Like

by Brandon Russell | April 14, 2013

The Earth won’t be around forever, but you and I won’t be alive to see the end. It sounds ominous, and a bit insane. But scientists believe that the sun will go through some incredible changes in about 1.1 billion years, culminating in a pretty hellish apocalypse.

Io9 has a detailed description, along with some impressively horrifying concept art, on how it’ll all go down. Basically, the sun’s chemical make up will cause it to grow twice as bright and twice as big as it is now, thus increasing Earth’s temperature from a mean of 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 167 degrees Fahrenheit and completely obliterating our planet’s oceans. That’s just the start.

Eventually, the sun will increase to a size 166 times larger than it is now, and literally melt Earth’s mountains, creating a planet dominated by flowing lava. As the sun grows bigger, its atmosphere will be shot off into space, pushing everything around it further away. Once that period ends, and once the sun basically runs out of fuel, it’ll approach the end of its cycle, and actually increase even more to 180 times the size it is now while also becoming thousands of times brighter.

By then, surrounding planets, ours included will be nothing but charred vestiges, sitting in space as a forgotten memory. So many years into the future, you’d think we as humans will have found a way off this rock by then. But who knows? Check out io9 for a fascinating explanation about how why/how the sun will eventually destroy Earth as we know it, and be thankful the mean temperature isn’t 167 degrees Fahrenheit right now.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...