Save the earth … asteroid

Let's talk about our sun, called a yellow dwarf. It sustains life on Earth, determines the climate. But it also threatens mankind with certain death. "And what is a yellow dwarf?" — Asks the inquisitive, but not too advanced in astronomy reader. Yellow dwarf — type stars with masses from 0.8 to 1.2 solar masses, and the surface temperature of 5000-6000 ° C. Yellow dwarf live an average of 10 billion years, and then increases in size and becomes a red giant. The latter, in turn, clears the outer layers of gas, and its core becomes a white dwarf.

"Excuse me, but what will happen with the Earth?" — Alarmed that same inquisitive reader. Astrophysics, Robert Smith of the University of Sussex (UK), and Klaus Peter Schroeder of the University of Guanajuato (Mexico) believe that our planet is first heated, and then fall on the Sun, in the fiery depths of which will disappear. And there is, in space standards, soon — just seven with some billion years.

So really everything is predetermined, and humanity awaits grim prospect of death in sunny hell? It turns out that there is an optimistic scenario. Our Sun is at the stage of becoming a red giant quickly lose some weight. As a result of the gravitational pull of sharply reduced. Hence the orbits of all the planets in the solar system will increase and they will be at a significant distance from the sun.

Delays in a billion years

However, the article by Smith and Schroeder, published in the British journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, presented calculations, is not encouraging. Scientists argue that the red giant phase the Sun will slow down the speed of rotation around its axis. As a result of the gravitational influence of the Earth back to the light increases. And, according to Smith and Schroeder, "on the surface of the star will be seen an effect like the tides of our seas and oceans, which are influenced by the gravitational force of the Sun and Moon's gravity. As a result of this effect on the planet closest to the side of the sun occurs huge tidal bulge — a bulge, which will soon bulge towards the Earth. " This hump will slow the rate of expansion of Earth's orbit. And it will be more important than the positive impact of a counter simultaneous loss of the solar mass. It turns out that the orbit of the Earth will begin to decline after the increase, and the planet still fall on the Sun. Consoles just what will happen after more than seven billion years. But it seems that even this postponement does not suit everybody.

A ferry — BETTER!

Don Korikanski, Greg Laughlin and Fred Adamc — Scientists from the University of Santa Cruz (California) — offered a clever option of saving the planet.

Moreover, this option, in the opinion of most of the scientific community, would be more appropriate in the science-fiction novel, rather than in the pages of a scientific journal. Scientists offer slightly adjust the trajectory of the Earth by … any large asteroid periodically passing near the planet. We just have to lasso it and pull on the desired trajectory. This will not only avoid the fall of the Earth to the Sun, but also for people to maintain their traditional climate. Make such adjustments offered once in six thousand years.

Smith and Schroeder said that "This looks quite feasible both technologically and energetically. Of course, now our technological capabilities are far from the level that would ensure the successful implementation of the project, but the big rush on this issue and is not required. "

However, you should make a mistake in the calculations astrophysicists, and the asteroid hits the Earth much earlier than it falls on the Sun. A better solution astrophysicists believe the creation of "rescue ferries", which towed the Earth from the Sun.

Elena Gatchina

Category: Scientists, experts, science

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