A surprising new study says that human may outlive the Earth, Sun and even the Universe! The way things have been going, it’s easy to imagine a bleak future for humankind, but according to scientists who study the future of human existence, the future could be looking remarkably bright. That glimmer of hope is due, in large part, to technological advances and the continuing evolution of our species. Oh yeah—and there’s one condition—we’re going to have to start planet-hoping.
Scientists like environmental scientists Andrew J. Rushby believe that the first major cosmic crisis will strike our planet in about 1.5 billion years when the sun sets off “super-global” warming. But we might not be around to car that point if we fulfill our goals of establishing bases on the moon and Mars within this century. A billion and a half years from now, we might have colonized the entire solar system.
Other planets in our solar system have a longer lifespan than ours. Cornell University astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger has conducted models that predict the Red Planet could stay pleasant for another 5 billion years. About 7.5 billion years from now, both Mars and Earth will be fried, but Jupiter and Saturn could become habitable. At 8 billion years, life in our solar system will be inhabitable.
That may seem daunting, but there are 200 billion other stars in the Milky Way—most of which have planets of their own. At this point, understanding what that journey will look like is incomprehensible, but it is possible. And it won’t be until 50 billion to 100 billion years from now that the last generation of sunlike stars will burn out, so we have plenty of time to worry.