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The Far Future of Our Solar System 122

An anonymous reader writes "Sure, the Universe is expanding, the galaxies are accelerating away from one another, and it's looking more and more like they'll never re-collapse. The timeline of the far future looks pretty grim on large scales. But what's to come of our Solar System: of the Earth, our Moon and our Sun? This tour of the far future of the Solar System, scaling the timescales to the Big Bang being '1 Universe year' ago, puts it all in perspective."
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The Far Future of Our Solar System

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  • Starts with a bang (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Adam Colley ( 3026155 ) <mog&kupo,be> on Saturday January 04, 2014 @06:17PM (#45867223)

    Aye, his blog is pretty damn excellent. []

    Unfortunately after a billion years or so there'll be no humans left to see it, hopefully at some point we'll have moved some of our eggs elsewhere, perhaps with generation ships if Einstein was right and there's no other possibilities...

  • by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @07:21PM (#45867517) Homepage Journal
    I made an edit a while back in reference to the "4 billion year mark", because it was inaccurate, even via the cite it provides:

    "Median point by which the Andromeda Galaxy will have collided with the Milky Way, which will thereafter merge to form a galaxy dubbed "Milkomeda".[46] The Solar System is expected to be relatively unaffected by this collision.[47] "

    If you actually look at the citation (originally, the previous one had something to do with collisions of clouds and particles) at [], it DOES NOT SAY that it will be "relatively unaffected". To Quote:

    "Although the galaxies will plow into each other, stars inside each galaxy are so far apart that they will not collide with other stars during the encounter. However, the stars will be thrown into different orbits around the new galactic center. Simulations show that our solar system will probably be tossed much farther from the galactic core than it is today. To make matters more complicated, M31's small companion, the Triangulum galaxy, M33, will join in the collision and perhaps later merge with the M31/Milky Way pair. There is a small chance that M33 will hit the Milky Way first."

    While the sum contents of mass *may* be the same within our solar system, everything will be jumbled pretty good to where it won't even kind of look the same.

    Take this timeline with a grain of salt. It is pretty apparent the moderators do little in terms of verification
  • Long term (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @07:55PM (#45867671) Homepage Journal

    Cloning isn't viable over the long term, even if you made it so, that implies a stagnant society.

    Let's make some different, very likely, assumptions. Today's nascent cloning technology is unlikely to even slightly resemble that of the future; today's human (and pet) genome, with all of its flaws, is unlikely to resemble that of the future; We'll no longer be farming animals for food, perhaps not even vegetables; AI will be here, as will robotics without AI (service class machinery); planets orbiting stars will not be the only viable human environment; technology in general will be almost unrecognizable in its power and efficacy; a system of more than enough for everyone will replace a labor based economy; overall, just with those few changes, no prediction based on today's extant situation is likely to come even close. Life spans may be quite extended. And that's not even counting the unpredictable changes -- for instance, in 1900, even later, no one had any idea what silicon electronics would do for us. Near term major change tech includes ultracaps, fusion (20 years out, no doubt at all, lol), driverless vehicles, significantly better building materials, the erosion of superstition and the rise of generations focused on objective reality instead of imaginary friends.

    if you're super wealthy and going to space are you going to take all the scumbags hanging out on the street with you?

    Wealth only has meaning in an economy of scarcity. I strongly suspect that the latter is going away, which in turn will eliminate the former. It's just going to be a very rocky transition. For my part, I live far better than my parents did, expect to live longer, am healthier, and have far more cool stuff. And that's within a wealth-based economy. And the funny thing? My parents had considerably more money. :)

    As for "scumbags", if people have enough resources, and the genome is cleaned up to eliminate stupidity, ugliness, weak critical thinking skills and greed, why would there be any?

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @08:34PM (#45867823) Homepage Journal

    There have been hominids for 5m years, proper humans for only 200k years, civilization for just 20k years, and in 100 years we invented a lot of things (from nukes to biological agents) that could end mankind any day, while going rampant sabotaging the earth ecosystem... and things keeps accelerating. What make you think that will be humans around in not in 1 billon nor 1 millon, but only 10k years in the future being very generous?

    Yes, laying eggs somewhere else could improve the chances, self-sustaining space colonies is the way to try it more than generation ships, if any of them is ever possible. But that don't have a chance to happen with current culture where profit in the present is more important than having a future.

    To put an example, an asteroid impacted earth 2 days ago that wasn't detected till that moment [], how much you think is "invested" on mapping any potential space threats compared with, i.e. spying on ourselves, bailing out banks or even denying climate change []? When the federal government had budget problems one of the first victims was the NASA program to detect space debris [] (a good example of a surveillance system that worth it), while the pentagon wasted 5.5billons the night before the shutdown [] (if we are talking about our survival, that was a waste), And always will be an "emergency" that will divert efforts and attention to something else, even if we have to create it. Unless we figure out a practical, safe way to travel (far) into the future (yes, we could done it doing a relativistic speed trip, or some suspended animation process could be developed, but nothing practical and for masses yet) we should not worry about what will happen in a millon years, is just too out of the reach of mankind.

  • Hawking radiation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Max Threshold ( 540114 ) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @08:36PM (#45867831)
    Hasn't it been shown that only the least massive black holes will evaporate from Hawking radiation? The radiation emitted by larger ones is less than the mass/energy they absorb from the CMB, so they will continue growing...
  • by BringsApples ( 3418089 ) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @10:32PM (#45868291)
    I think you're right on, but I think saying that man will be around for another 10k years is not generous, but silly. No other species that we know of has ever been as selfish, and foolish as mankind. Hell, crocodiles have been here for 200 million years, and they never bothered to invent a lay-z-boy recliner, a blender, or even TV! And if you look around the planet at the humans that are here and happy, they have learned to live with Nature, and not against it, as mankind has for the last 200 years or so.

    It does seem that Nature has some intelligent design to it, that sort of self-repairs when things get out of whack, and when species try to play god, they self-destruct. There does seem to be a small push toward a more Natural living these days, despite being laughed at by the masses. An interesting book that I found on this subject is called "Darwin's Unfinished Business" by Simon G. Powell. He also has some interesting youtube videos. Here's one based on the book that I just mentioned: []

    I'm not trying to advertize, but bring to light a new way to approach Nature - with respect. And you seem like a fit personality.
  • by l0n3s0m3phr34k ( 2613107 ) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @05:42AM (#45869485)
    That's a answer we don't know, and might never. The actual "edge" is probably beyond our light cone, which means it's further away than the light can get to us. As for your question below, during the beginning of the universe it expanded faster than light, so the information from the "edge" is beyond our line.

    Some theories have our universe is just one of many, along interconnecting "branches" or something. So our spacetime, with it's physical laws, is expanding into the greater multiverse space, along with other universes with other sets of laws of physics. Just like our blood viens resemble tree branches in a fractal way, and how the galaxies connect together in a fractal way, some think the rest of the universe might be the same.

    Of course, beyond our universe lies madness, incomprehensible physics our bodies couldn't survive in and our minds can never understand without snapping. You could always take a boat down to a particular island in the South Pacific, if you are allowed to you might find "someone" who can explain the Outerverse to a land of non-Euclid geometry and negative-energy warped spacetime.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan