The Red Sun We Will Never See


Ollie Scott-Hansen, Staff Writer

Some people say that the world will end with a killer asteroid…or by pollution of our brisk atmosphere…or possibly by aliens that dwell from interstellar space that are obsessed with invasion. The truth is, that the big, yellow ball that you see in our sky, will eventually be our planet’s doom. In 6 Billion years, that is!

Red Giant

Red Giants are dying stars. No, they don’t physically die. Stars burn Hydrogen, and within the star, there is also Helium, which is a big part of the star’s stability. But when stars run out of Hydrogen, they start burning what they have to burn what they have left: Helium. That’s when they start to, quote-on-quote die. Red Giants are very common in our Galaxy, and are possibly the most common type of star, the least, most likely being either Blue Stars or Neutron Stars. When stars burn their fuel, they expand. And our star will do that one thing. And when it does, our planet will say a farewell to a close neighbor…


Mercury will go first. When our sun becomes as large to reach the small planet’s orbit, it’ll be swallowed up by the growing star. Next will be Venus, facing the same fate as Mercury. There is a possibility that Earth and Mars, the last two terrestrial planets, will not have their orbits terminated, but if that happens, then they will become barren wastelands. Earth will suffer the most, as long before, its oceans have boiled away. And due to its close proximity to its parent star, the surface temperature will likely be higher than present-day Venus, which already has an average surface temperature of 896 Degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to melt led. It’s beautiful H2O oceans will have a chance of being replaced by Lava, as the extremes will be too high for some surface rock. The atmosphere will most likely escape Earth’s gravity and drift off because the sun is many times larger than the present day, and will swallow up the gases that surround that surround the new first planet of our solar system. Mars won’t be as bad as Earth, because it is further away, but it’ll still be pretty hot and will not be habitable whatsoever.

The Outer Planets: A Haven?

Scientists suggest that if humans still populate our star system, their best chance of survival on a celestial body is in the regions of what used to be called the Outer Planets. In case you didn’t know, the Outer Planets are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. In the present day, some moons of these gas giants already have chances of supporting life now. But when our star gets bigger, they might become even more Earth-like. Europa, moon of Jupiter, is now an ice moon with a subsurface ocean that likely supports life now. But when our sun becomes a lot bigger, the surface temperature will rise by a lot. The temperature can melt the ice, and create a global ocean, and maybe a thin atmosphere made of Steam. Or Titan, moon of Saturn. It already had surface liquid, but it isn’t water. It’s a mix of Methane and Ethane. There are ices on its surface that contain water and ammonia. So if it melts, it could make more bodies of liquid and add to its already thick atmosphere. Humans could escape to these places if they’re still here.


When our eventually star collapses from a Red Giant into a White or Brown dwarf star, all the remaining planets will either lose their orbits completely, or just move out further. Earth will be destroyed by the new star, which will completely evaporate soon. Our Solar System from afar looks like a star with a ring. Just an empty place. A place that used to be dominated by our once proud sun. If humans survive in the system until the Red Giant times, they will have to find a way to survive even throughout the total death of the entire system, possibly going to others. But we as humans are concerned about the future, so our species will most likely abandon planet Earth and go interstellar into the far reaches of our Galaxy to seek refuge in other systems. The death or our star is inevitable, even with superior, Multi-Billion year evolved technology. It will become too big, and will have journeyed too far towards its death. It will become the Red Sun, that we will most likely, never see…