Could the Earth leave the Solar System one day?

In the tale of liu cixin, the wandering landa scenario is exposed in which the leaders of the planet agree to expel it from the Solar System, in order to escape from a solar flare waiting to engulf the planets.

The Live Science portal wondered if that scenario is possible, that is, if Could the Earth leave the Solar System? Although “it is very unlikely,” Matteo Ceriotti, an aerospace engineer and professor of space systems engineering at the University of Glasgow in the UK, unlikely is not synonymous with impossibleassured.

Although the scenario proposed by Cixin responds only to a fictional story, Ceriotti assured that it is not “impossible”, and explained to livescience that if a massive interstellar object flew through space entering our Solar System and passing close to Earth, this could cause it to move away from its orbit through the action of the object.

The fact is known as overflight, and it would happen that “Earth and the object would exchange energy and momentum, and Earth’s orbit would be disrupted. If the object were fast, massive and close enough, it could project the Earth into a directed escape orbit outside the Solar System.”

Along the same lines, Timothy Davis, associate professor of physics and astronomy at the Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, He noted that while it is a feasible scenario, it is highly doubtful that it will happen, at least in the near future.

Artistic recreation of an exoplanet similar to Earth.

Davis told that agrees that theoretically the Earth itself could be expelled and has its own hypothesis of how it could happen.

“The planets, as they exist at the moment, are in stable orbits around the Sun. However, if the Sun had a close encounter with another starthen the gravitational interactions of these bodies could perturb these orbits and potentially cause Earth to be ejected from the Solar SystemDavis told the portal.

Although those stellar encounters are unusualit is known that the star Gliese 710 it will get pretty close to the Sun, but in about a million years, and even that flyby is unlikely to disturb the planets, said Davis, a professor of physics and astronomy.

It seems unlikely and a long way off that an outside force will force planet Earth out of the Solar System, at least in the foreseeable future. But if this were to happen, “Earth would fly into interstellar space until another star or black hole captured or swallowed it”Ceriotti said, and probably would result in the annihilation of much, if not all, life on the planethe added.

This is because without the Sun, the Earth’s global climate would become unbalanced, changing temperatures drastically. Davis added that “The farther the Earth moved from the Sun, the lower its temperature would be.. It would eventually freeze completely. The only natural source of heat left would be the decay of radioactive elements in the Earth’s crust left over from the formation of the Solar System.”

The academic added that some extremophiles (animals or plants that can live in extreme environments) could resist with the little remaining energy of the Earth, but complex life would end completely, since the radioactive heat could only keep the planet at a temperature around minus 230 degrees Celsius. “At these temperatures, most of the atmosphere would also freeze, leaving Earth a dead, frozen world hurtling between the stars,” Davis said.

Artist’s impression of ESA’s Solar Orbiter approaching the Sun. Credit: ESA

An investigation of the European Space Agency states that during his last years the Sun is almost 4.57 billion years oldand in about five billion years more, within its last lifetime it will devour nearby planets like Mercury, Venus and Earth.

In his last years he will lose all his vital powers. “As the hydrogen fuel runs out in its core and changes in the fusion process begin, we expect it to swell into a red giant star, lowering its surface temperature in the process,” the study explains.

The study concluded that the Sun will reach maximum temperatures about 8 billion years in the future and then decrease in surface temperature and increase in size. Becoming a red giant around 10 to 11 billion years old, swallowing nearby planets like Mercury, Venus and Earth. Finally after this phase, it will end up as a dim white dwarf.

This process is known as “planetary submergence,” and it is common in the life cycle of star systems. “Most likely, this is the end of our own Solar System and with it, of the Earth itself.” said Becky Ferreria, science journalist at The New York Times.

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