Imagine the Chaos if the Sun Disappeared
Imagine what would happen if our local star the Sun just disappeared.
Our nearest star we call the Sun lies at the centre of the solar system and holds almost all the mass: Every celestial body, large and small orbits around it.
The Sun started shining about 4.6 billion years ago and will continue that process for another 5 billion years or more. The Sun is a ball of hot plasma heated by nuclear reactions in its core.
The Sun is the most important source of energy for most of the life on Earth, I say most because there is life in the ocean depths that don't depend on the Sun.
Around hydrothermal vents, microbes eat nutrient chemicals that form the base of the food chain for more complex communities of organisms.
If you can use your imagination then you might find the next few paragraphs interesting.
OK, so the Sun just instantly disappeared, we would have no idea until just over 8 minutes later when it fell dark, really dark. That 8 minutes is the time it takes for light to travel the 149 million kilometres between the Sun and our planet.
No more bright Moon, we are accustomed to seeing the moon shining in the night sky but of course, the moon has no light of its own, moonlight is just reflected sunlight.
Imagine a dark sky with only the distant stars, that is how it would be all the time.
As you know the Sun is by far the most massive object in the solar system, its gravitation force is the reason all the planets, dwarf planets, moons and all the other celestial objects orbit around it in organised paths.
Gravity waves travel at the same speed as light, and now it gets interesting. Without the Sun its gravitational force will also have ceased. Gravity waves also take just over 8 minutes to reach our planet, this is when planet Earth is released from the Sun's gravitational grip and speeds away in a straight line at 107,000 kilometres per hour.
Mercury and Venus are closer to the Sun so they will have gone on their straight paths before the Earth escaped. The other 5 planets will continue to orbit the position where the Sun was for a little while longer.
Can you imagine the chaos throughout the solar system?
As the Earth cooled down and the surface of our oceans froze over, life would eventually come to an end. But remember the communities of life around hydrothermal vents deep on the ocean floor, they may survive for a while longer.
As the Earth travels aimlessly through space there could be a slight chance that in the distant future it could be captured by another star and thaw out. What would be the chances of life starting again?
Back to reality. Primitive life on our world can be traced back at least 3.5 billion years, that is how long evolution has taken for the human species to arrived.
The Universe is estimated to hold two trillion galaxies, each one containing millions or billions of stars and unimaginable amounts of planets. Surely there must be other life in that vast area, or could we be so unique that we are indeed alone?
We may never get a definite answer to one of the most profound questions we ask. “Are we alone in the Universe”
One trillion is 1 followed by 12 zeros.
End of article.
We can only imagine what our early ancestors were thinking as they gazed up at the night sky, were they curious as to what the heavens had to hide?
Now it is very different as we have developed sophisticated telescopes and other specialised scientific instruments that are helping to reveal some of the secrets the Universe holds.
You might find my story interesting and educational.
About the Creator
A B Forbes
I hope you find some of my articles interesting.
Our highly developed brain has given us intelligence and curiosity, now with the help of sophisticated scientific instruments, we can try and make sense of the Universe and our existence.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Great article! I love reading about space, light, celestial bodies, and the science behind them. :)
This was great! I never knew that light from the moon was reflected sunlight.