What Would Happen If the Sun Died?


Quick Answer

The majority of life on Earth could not survive if the sun died, according to Popular Science. However, some micro-organisms could survive and thrive in a post-sun existence. With no sun, the Earth may fly off into space with nothing to keep it in orbit.

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Full Answer

Although the world is likely to become extremely cold after the sun dies, it's not likely to happen all at once. The planet cannot immediately turn cold as soon as the sun goes out. Millions of years may pass by before the Earth's core reaches a stable temperature of -400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Within the first week of the sun dying, the average global temperature could fall to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Within a year, this temperature could dip to -100 degrees Fahrenheit. These cold temperatures are expected to freeze the top layer of the oceans. The top layer of frozen water may prevent the oceans from fully freezing for thousands of years because the ice would hold in the remaining heat radiating out of the Earth's core.

Since photosynthesis is likely to stop almost immediately, most plants are expected to die in a matter of weeks. However, some large trees may go into hibernation to slow their metabolisms. This might allow some large trees to live for many decades, surviving off of stored sugar. With plants all but wiped out, most animals are likely to die quickly. Scavenger animals may fare slightly better by picking off the remains of dead animals until the cold finally becomes too great for them as well.

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