Man-made climate change is an immediate concern, meaning a global warming apocalypse appears increasingly likely. However the planet’s long-term prognosis is even more dire, because the sun will one day run out of fuel and expand, most likely destroying the Earth in five billion years. Moving the Earth to a wider orbit to escape this fiery oblivion may seem like a far-fetched solution, but an engineer has now outlined several theories for escaping this fate. Scientists know the Sun will one day change from its current state to a white dwarf, a star far larger than its currently size.
And this expansion will eventually reach Earth’s orbit, rendering it totally uninhabitable in around five billion years.
However, in an extreme case of future planning, University of Glasgow space engineer Dr Matteo Ceriotti has proposed some radical solutions to help Earth change orbit.
The proposals have to be extreme as, for example, the Earth’s mass is so large we do not have enough power to move the planet using conventional rocket propulsion.
The radical ideas are loosely based on current technologies, although it is safe to assume any surviving humans will have significantly advanced science by then.
Dr Ceriotti said: “I have come up with a thought experiment about what we could do with our current technology in order to move the orbit of Earth father away – say towards the orbit of Mars.”
This is approximately 1.5 times the radius of Earth’s current orbit, in order to keep the Earth habitable in the future.
One such idea is targeting asteroids which pass by Earth’s vicinity and then using the space rocks’ gravitational attraction to pull the orbit of the Earth away from its current location.
Dr Ceriotti told Express.co.uk: “With this idea we would need a huge number of spacecraft to be able to fly to asteroids and then divert the asteroids into an orbit that passes within Earth’s vicinity.