Ask ARSE: How Long Until We Are Engulfed By The Sun?

Ask ARSE: How Long Until We Are Engulfed By The Sun?

In case you didn't know, the sun is the very shiny bright ball in the sky which lives in the centre of our galaxy. 

A dedicated ARSE lover has a very interesting question about our big fiery fellow and we are all for it.

So let us go ahead and: Ask ARSE.

"Hi ARSE, you recently did a blog on how big the sun is and what it burns as fuel. What I was wondering was how long until it burns through everything and collapses?

Cheers, Marc"

 Neil DeGrasse Sun quote

Great question Matt and great that you read and understood the blog. 

As we know by now, the sun is mostly hydrogen (75%) and the rest is mostly helium with trace metals.

The big burner dissolves about 600,000,000,000 tonnes of hydrogen every second and creating 4,000,000,000 tonnes of energy as a result.

This is expected to go on for another 5 billion years or so, therefore the sun at this point is just shy of halfway through its life expectancy.

When the fuel burns out entirely, as you said, the core will collapse on itself and the outer parts of the sun will expand and blast everything in its path into utter oblivion.

The death of our sun

The new form of the sun will be an estimated 200 times its current size and 2000 times as bright while stretching out to our orbit.

The sun will then calm and live the rest of its days as a much smaller white dwarf ember that will glow on until the end of perceived time. 

The life cycle of the sun

So to answer your question, 5 billion years from now as the sun is pre-middle-aged. 

Thank you for your question Matt and please share to spread ARSE far and wide as we thrust harder into the deep unknown...


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