I noticed an article on the BBC news about Scientist’s studying 3 Red Giant stars and what struck me as fascinating was the image which put our sun alongside as a comparison.
Anyone familar with the life cycle of star like our sun, will know that for millions or billions of years it will happily spew out its heat and light. However, when its fuel supply is nearly spent it swells up to 100 times its former size and ejects its remaining material out into space destroying any planets within close orbit.
Star’s come in all colours, sizes, lifecycles; but what makes these 3 studied stars particularly interesting is that they are similar in make up to our own Sun. Which brings me back to the image in question, it gives you a sense of how large our Star may get as its life enters the final violent phase. It also shows the size of the coronal ejection taking place.
Once the Sun goes nova, our inner rocky worlds of Mercury and Venus are doomed for sure and the the atmosphere’s of Earth and Mars are definitely gone bye-bye.
Still, its nothing we need to immediately worry about; as this isn’t going to happen for a half a billion years. One suspects though, we might be long gone from Earth, not for any romantic notion of spacefaring due to it being our ultimate destiny; but we will probably have ruined the Earth beyond repair by that point and will need somewhere else to destroy.