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Studenterkollokvium - Marcelo Aron Fetzner Keniger: Will we be engulfed by the Sun? The fate of the Solar System

2020.11.12 | Emma Hillgaard

Date Thu 26 Nov
Time 14:15 15:00
Location Fys.Aud/Zoom
Artist’s impression of the Earth scorched as the Sun becomes a red giant. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Fsgregs.

Artist’s impression of the Earth scorched as the Sun becomes a red giant. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Fsgregs.

Supervisor: Frank Grundahl

The Sun is necessary for mostly all life on Earth. As such, it is crucial that we understand its structure and evolution. What will happen to the Sun in the future may seriously affect the conditions here on Earth. In the same way that the Sun brings life to our planet, it can be the one to take it away.

During its evolution, the Sun will undergo drastic changes in its luminosity, temperature, mass and radius. A radius growth of two orders of magnitude as the Sun becomes a red giant will put the Earth and the other rocky planets on the risk of being engulfed. Fortunately, we have a few billion years before this happens. However, the slow changes in luminosity the Sun is undergoing as a Main Sequence star may prove to be our downfall much earlier than that.

 

In this colloquium, I’ll go through the possible evolution of the Sun, and analyse how its mass loss might affect the orbit of the Earth. I’ll also briefly discuss the effects the change in solar luminosity can have on the future of our planet. 

Student colloquium, Department of Physics, Public / media, Students