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  1. #21
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    Actually, while the sun is in the main sequence it would be increasing its temperature in approximately 10% per each 1000 million years, so in 1 or 2 billion years earth would not be life capable (as we know it today), still plenty of time for star gazing.

  2. #22
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    So as far as the moon goes - better star gazing. This is good
    For the sun and its expansion - bad news for Earth.
    And the moon leaving us - bad for life on Earth.

  3. #23
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    The moon will still be with us when the sun expands and turns red.
    Bob DeWoody

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cladinator View Post
    This "collision" will take place over many millions of years (maybe billions) and will probably have almost no apparent effect on the Earth. There is simply too much space between all those stars.
    If anything, it would most likely start a new burst of star formation throughout the "new" galaxy.
    This. It wouldn't be a collision so much as it would be a mixing of two galaxies over a very, very extensive period of time.

    For those interested in learning more about the approach of Andromeda towards the Milky Way, check out this link:

    HubbleSite - Cosmic Collision

    It's a great eye opener regarding galactic "evolution", so to speak.

    Quote Originally Posted by Modlerbob View Post
    The moon will still be with us when the sun expands and turns red.
    And this. There's still a whole lot of time before the sun begins its death throes. The moon won't be going anywhere far over the next 5 or so billion years.
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  5. #25
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    Further to rgervara's post, and as far as I am aware, it is believed that the Sun's total lifetime as a main sequence star and then red giant will be approx 10 billion years. So, it will actually start to expand within the next 1 or 2 billion years as it moves into its red giant phase. As this expansion increases, it will swallow up Mercury, Venus and possibly Earth as well. At the end of this expansion, it will blow off its upper layers to eventually become a white dwarf, in which phase it could last for up to 100 billion years.

    i think there was an article in Sky and Telescope or one of the other astromags a while back about this, I'll try and find it.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by hal2000 View Post
    Further to rgervara's post, and as far as I am aware, it is believed that the Sun's total lifetime as a main sequence star and then red giant will be approx 10 billion years. So, it will actually start to expand within the next 1 or 2 billion years as it moves into its red giant phase. As this expansion increases, it will swallow up Mercury, Venus and possibly Earth as well. At the end of this expansion, it will blow off its upper layers to eventually become a white dwarf, in which phase it could last for up to 100 billion years.

    i think there was an article in Sky and Telescope or one of the other astromags a while back about this, I'll try and find it.
    I'm sure this is right. But really, 1 billion years, 5 billion years...
    Even should humanity survive 1 billion years, our descendants will be even more different to us than we are to our Neanderthal forebearers.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justinmcg67 View Post
    Which will happen first: The Sun exploding/expanding, or, the Moon leaving Earth's orbit?
    The Moon isn't going to leave. It is getting farther away because the action of the tides is actually slowing the rotation of the Earth; the energy that is lost by Earth is taken by the Moon which results in the Moon taking a higher orbit (greater potential energy.)

    Eventually, the rotation of the Earth will slow until it matches the orbital period of the Moon. At that time, of course, the Earth and Moon will be tidally locked; there will be no more tides, no further energy will be lost by the Earth to the Moon and thus the Moon will stop moving farther from Earth.

    I saw a prediction somewhere about how long that will take, and as I recall we can expect the Sun to do its red giant thing and burn both Earth and Moon to cosmic cinders long before the Earth and Moon become locked together.

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  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandalf223 View Post
    The Moon isn't going to leave. It is getting farther away because the action of the tides is actually slowing the rotation of the Earth; the energy that is lost by Earth is taken by the Moon which results in the Moon taking a higher orbit (greater potential energy.)

    Eventually, the rotation of the Earth will slow until it matches the orbital period of the Moon. At that time, of course, the Earth and Moon will be tidally locked; there will be no more tides, no further energy will be lost by the Earth to the Moon and thus the Moon will stop moving farther from Earth.

    I saw a prediction somewhere about how long that will take, and as I recall we can expect the Sun to do its red giant thing and burn both Earth and Moon to cosmic cinders long before the Earth and Moon become locked together.
    Very interesting.
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  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voyager3 View Post
    Very interesting.
    +1. This begs the question: over time, this means the days will get longer, right? This will obviously take place over a lengthy period of time but I wonder how that will affect life on the planet.
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  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekazgtr1984 View Post
    ...This will obviously take place over a lengthy period of time but I wonder how that will affect life on the planet.
    As you say, the change will be very gradual, so I think this will lessen the impacts whatever these turn out to be. Life will have plenty of time to adapt.

    As the dinosaurs found out, it's the sudden shocks that can ruin your whole day.
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