life after the death of our sun

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Even since humans tear through the fabric of the blue sky they have longed to explore the unknown elements of space, in the words of Jean Luc Picard (a fictional character from Gene rodnberry' works Star Trek: The Next Generation) our goal has become seeking "out new life forms, new civilization," and "to boldly go where no one has gone before." Indeed, one of the ultimate-if not awe-inspiring-quests in relation to space exploration has been to discover and colonize space. Yet another, even more compelling, reason for delving out into the darkness of space has been our star, the sun. Glowing for about 4.4 billion years, it not only provided energy for the plants and animals to grow but it also kept the earth from becoming a cold, lifeless chunk of rock. Slowly yet eventually, as all the countless stars in our galaxy, our sun is closing a chapter of its history.

It is evolving and drawing closer to the end of its life, and the giving us all the more reasons to venture into space exploration and the possibilities life outside the realm of earth.

What will happen after half a billion years from now? The same warmth of the sun that once fostered our birth will be threatening our very existence. Sun will be running out of its Hydrogen fuel, and starting to burn its Helium ash (a byproduct of Hydrogen burning). The rate of energy generation during this phase of stellar evolution will be much greater than the radiation during hydrogen core burning. As a result, the sun will be getting brighter and warmer. This extra heat of the sun will make life on earth increasingly difficult. Since the radiation would be too strong and the ozone too thin, most of the damaging UV rays from...