Life's Little Mysteries

Will Earth Always Be Here?

The image of Earth in space like a blue marble highlighted the planets fragility and the beauty of Earth.
Earth science researchers are focused on our planet and beyond. (Image credit: NASA)

Just as the Earth wasn't always around, it isn't scheduled to stay around forever, either.

The sun, like other stars, has a finite life span. It will grow up to be a red giant and descend into old age as a white dwarf.

And when the Sun does balloon up and become a red giant, which experts say will likely happen in a few billion years, its super-sized mass will be bloated enough to vaporize our world.

There's a chance, however, that the changing mass of the sun will cause Earth to move into a more distant and pleasant orbit. One mathematical calculation shows it would be theoretically possible for humans — if any are around long enough — to engineer such a move before it's too late.

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Live Science Staff
For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.