Earth Dies ... and Sooner Than Expected

Most astronomers and Earth scientists predict the Sun to exhaust its nuclear fuel of core Hydrogen in about 5 billion. At that time, the Sun will become a Red Giant and its outer envelope will engulf Mercury (at its minimum) up to Mars (at its maximum). There is a difference of opinion among solar physicists as to just how large the Red Giant Sun will actually be, but whether the Sun engulfs the Earth or not, any life possibilities on this planet will be zero at that time.

In the October, 2002 issue of "Sky and Telescope" an article was printed that predicts the demise of the Earth a full 4 billion years sooner than previously expected. I tried to create a link to the magazine article through the Sky and Telescope website, but this process has been made impossible by their server. Therefore, I scanned the article into this page. While this may appear as blatant copying, and it is, I am still within the "fair use" policy for internet educators. If I was in the classroom teaching, I would make copies of the article available for my students to read in class. These two permissible actions I believe allow me to photocopy this article directly into my course. The author is Mark Garlick, and he is also the illustrator. He has a website where his space-art can be seen

There are a total of 6 pages in this article, and lots of big pictures, so you will not be doing a lot of heavy reading. However, the article may make you feel a bit less secure about your future.

Forward to page 2, or back to Sun Lifecycle, Earth Introduction.


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