• Question: If its true that the earth will explode/end in 5 million years (ish) could there be a possiblity that there was other living planets with creatures that were previously destroyed?

    Asked by dawn1vac to Michael S, Martin M, Andrew M, Amy on 8 Mar 2024.
    • Photo: Andrew McDowall

      Andrew McDowall answered on 8 Mar 2024:

      It’s a possibility this could have happened around other stars, but not within the solar system. The laws of nature appear to be the same across the observable universe. Stars go through different stages in their lives, swelling and shrinking as the mix of elements that make them up change through fusion and the balance of the pressures that cause them to expand and gravity that holds them tight change. The likeliest fate of the Earth is that it will be consumed by the Sun as it swells as it ages. The natural laws that rule the Sun’s behaviour rule the other stars, so if there were Earth-like planets with life around these stars, the fate of those planets will be or already have been the same as the Earth’s will be.

    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 8 Mar 2024:

      The Sun and planets are around 5 billion years old. It is expected that in around 2 – 3 billion years, the Sun will swell up and swallow Mercury, Venus and the Earth… vaporising them. So we’ve got a bit longer than the few million years you suggest. As to what happened her before that I wouldn’t like to comment.

    • Photo: Michael Schubert

      Michael Schubert answered on 14 Mar 2024:

      Five million is a very short estimate! It’s more likely to be a few billion years before the Earth ends (probably not by exploding but, as others have said, by being engulfed by the Sun).

      There is definitely a possibility that this could have happened to other planets with life on them in the past, but we have no scientific proof of it, so right now it’s just a possibility. In science, we might call that a “hypothesis,” but a hypothesis has to be tested to see if you can prove it wrong.

    • Photo: Amy Stockwell

      Amy Stockwell answered on 15 Mar 2024:

      There is definitely a chance that there were creatures living on other planets. The universe is a big place and many stars have exploded and asteroids have hit many planets.