Science Questions

How do we know the ultimate fate of Earth?

Fri, 24th Jun 2011

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Star Death, STEREO & South Africa’s SKA bid

Question

Kevin Krumwiede asked:

Hello Dr Chris!

 

I am thoroughly enjoying listening to the last several years' podcasts during my Ferry Commute and every other reasonable solitary moment I have in the car, during a run or on a walk.

 

Here's my question... I've heard the story that in 2 billion years, the oceans will evaporate, and in another 7 billion years the sun will swell into a red giant and swallow up the earth... Sounds like a definitive end.... as with any fortune telling, I suspect there is some level of uncertainty with this... How was this predicted and how certain is the science community that this is our ultimate demise??

 

Sincerely,

Scientist-wannabe...  Kevin Krumwiede

(pronounced "crumb-weedy"... at least by the vulgar American descendants of the family)

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