Skip to main content

Will Earth Always Be Here?

The image of Earth in space like a blue marble highlighted the planets fragility and the beauty of Earth.
(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.

Follow Life's Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries. We're also on Facebook & Google+.