Once, after about five billion yearsThe sun will destroy our planet. When the life cycle of this celestial body comes to an end, the number of hydrogen and helium atoms in the star’s core will decrease, which will make the Sun shine brighter and brighter, incinerating nearby planets and the Earth as well. In the end, the Sun will turn into a red dwarf - a small and relatively cold star that emits little light. However, you and I should not worry about events that will happen to our planet in billions of years. Most likely, human civilization will disappear much earlier.
Why do you need to look for other planets?
Since in the Universe nothing lasts forever, in somethe moment from our planet will not remain a trace. And this is normal. As the astronomer and chairman of the astronomical faculty of Harvard University, Avi Loeb, writes in his author’s column in Scientific American, it’s very important that our species move to other parts of the Universe that are not so close to the fluctuating brightness of the Sun. According to Leb, we should not remain chained to existing planets and moons. After successfully colonizing nearby and interstellar space, we can create genetically identical copies of ourselves, as well as flora and fauna, to sow life on other planets. Note that Avi Loeb has no doubt that extraterrestrial life in the universe exists or has existed before.
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Reflecting on the future of humanity, Loeb notesthat as soon as we solve the main problems associated with space flights, which will be very, very difficult, humanity should focus on copying ourselves and other species before we are all destroyed by the blinding brightness of our own star. According to the astronomer, we should also focus on finding exoplanets. Recall that in September, scientists announced the discovery of water vapor on a potentially inhabited planet K2-18b. This exoplanet is a super-Earth that revolves around a star at a distance of 110 light-years. K2-18b is the only known planet outside the solar system that has water, atmosphere and a temperature range that allows water to not freeze on the surface. Nevertheless, Loeb ends his column rather gloomily, believing that our civilization will not exist very long:
I am inclined to believe that our civilization will disappearas a result of self-inflicted wounds long before the sun begins to pose a threat. Why do I think so? Because a huge number of potentially inhabited exoplanets were discovered, however, no traces of intelligent life have yet been discovered. This may indicate that advanced civilizations have a much shorter life than their stars.
What threats do our civilization face?
Oxford University scientists saythat 99% of the ever existing species on our planet are extinct. All the more surprising is our desire to consider ourselves invincible. According to scientists, our existence is as fragile as everything else on this planet, and the chances that human civilization will disappear at any moment are frighteningly high. Analyzing man-made disasters such as nuclear war, and associating it with natural disasters, such as a volcanic eruption or an asteroid impact, a team of researchers from Oxford University found that in 2020 the likelihood of the death of our civilization is 200 times higher than the chance of winning the lottery. The work was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Moreover, according to some scientists directlynow we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, caused by human activity. Given the number of threats facing humanity today, the death of life on Earth as a result of the growing brightness of the Sun after billions of years looks the least frightening.