Should We Worry That the Sun Will Incinerate Earth?
Question of the week: What do you think about the fact that in 5 billion years our Sun will be so big that it will end life on Earth?
My answer: The Sun is getting progressively brighter. Within just 10 million years it will either be too bright for global human civilization to be sustained or Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide level will need to be lowered below that what is needed to sustain adequate photosynthesis.
Within 50 million years Earth will begin to lose its water. The reason why is that Earth’s atmosphere will approach the moist greenhouse threshold.1
In 2.8 billion years, Earth will not possess any water at all. In 4 billion years the Sun will be big enough and bright enough to incinerate Earth.
In 4.5 billion years, our Milky Way Galaxy will merge with both the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Andromeda Galaxy. These mergers will so enlarge the supermassive black hole in our galaxy’s core as to shower our solar system with advanced-life-terminating radiation. In a minimum of 22 billion years, the Big Rip could destroy all the molecules and atoms in the universe.2
Before anyone gets too depressed about the future of their investment portfolio, I have good news. God will take those of us who have received Jesus Christ as our Creator, Lord, and Savior to the new creation long before these events unfold. In the new creation there will be different laws of physics and different dimensions. The new creation is a place where evil, suffering, death, decay, and bad things like natural disasters will never happen. It is a place of rewards, pleasure, and love far beyond what any of us can imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9). God will take us there as soon as his disciples complete the task of taking the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to all the people groups of the world. As I demonstrated in Improbable Planet, chapter 16, that task could be completed—if God’s people become sufficiently motivated—in as little as one decade from now.3
- Hugh Ross, “Moist Greenhouse Threshold Doomsday,” Today’s New Reason to Believe (March 11, 2019).
- Hugh Ross, “Giving a Rip about the Big Rip,” Today’s New Reason to Believe (November 30, 2016).
- Hugh Ross, Improbable Planet (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2016), 220–230.