This interesting story certainly puts things in a gloomy perspective. From the New York Times:
Kissing the Earth Goodbye in About 7.59 Billion Years
“If nature is left to its own devices, about 7.59 billion years from now Earth will be dragged from its orbit by an engorged red Sun and spiral to a rapid vaporous death. That is the forecast according to new calculations by a pair of astronomers, Klaus-Peter Schroeder of the University of Guanajuato in Mexico and Robert Connon Smith of the University of Sussex in England.”
Later in the story:
“About a billion years from now, the Sun will be 10 percent brighter. Oceans on Earth will boil away. The Sun will run out of hydrogen fuel in its core about 5.5 billion years from now and start burning hydrogen in the surrounding layers. As a result, the core will shrink and the outer layers will rapidly expand as the Sun transforms itself into a red giant.”
I know it’s a billion years away, but I can’t help feel a little verklempt for the good old earth, and for those poor winged cockroach/human/alien hybrids who are unfortunate enough to still be hanging around to for that big boil at the beach.
They probably will have already jumped earth for better digs. I hope they don’t go back to unplug the iron or turn off the coffee pot, only to die a rapid, vaporous death. But with the advances in wrinkle-free fabrics, and the expansion of Starbucks across the known universe, that’s very unlikely.