We need to find a new home

2016-01-20 06:00

THE sun, our star, is essential for life on Earth. Should the sun’s energy vary by even a small amount, life on Earth may vanish.

It is estimated that the sun dumps 45 tons of energy on Earth every 24 hours. We get nearly all our energy from the sun - oil and coal are merely stored sunlight. The sun’s atmosphere of very thin gas reaches past the Earth’s orbit and any change in the sun’s atmosphere might have severe consequences for life on Earth.

Like all stars, the sun has a limited lifespan depending on its mass. A middle-mass star like the sun’s lifespan is 12 billion years. The sun is 5½ billion years old and humans will have to find another home before the sun dies. At the end of its life, the sun will become a red giant, the outer parts of its atmosphere will reach the Earth and the Earth will be burnt to ashes. The energy output of the sun will weaken long before it dies and it is vital for human survival to find a new home well before the time.

Research projects in this regard are under way and should be supported. The biggest problem, however, will be acceptance that humans will have to leave Earth in order to survive.

FRIKKIE DE BRUYN

Director: Cosmology,
Astronomical Society of SA

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.