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What If the Sun Suddenly Disappeared?

What If the Sun Suddenly Disappeared?

By Steven Romano

It’s a forgone conclusion that once our sun goes kaput, the weather’s going to get real cold real fast and—as if the world becoming more frigid than an air-conditioned movie theater in July isn’t discouraging enough—we’ll evolve into blind, pale mole people assuming we even survive the frost. That much we know, but what if the sun, instead of being snuffed out like a candle, inexplicably disappeared from the sky entirely? As long as society doesn’t collapse into Mad Max-style anarchy, Vsauce’s Michael Stevens explains that, despite the slight adaptation curve in the first few years following the event, the human race has a pretty good shot at survival, even without that big ball of fire in the sky.

According to Michael, the sun’s sudden departure to parts unknown wouldn’t mean instantaneous darkness. In fact, light from the sun takes approximately eight minutes to reach our planet, so we’d have a bit of illuminating warmth for a few moments before realizing, upon further inspection, something is a tad off about the sky. Afterward, well, hope you enjoy cracking glow sticks because we would soon enter into perpetual night, eventually exhausting the fuel needed to power lights and electronics. Mind you, this is all on top of Earth careening out of its established orbit, now that the sun’s gravitational influence is no longer with us.

Though Earth will essentially be akin to the planet Hoth, albeit one that travels freely throughout the cosmos and sans Wampas, humanity still has a chance to eke out a decent living. Traveling to and settling around areas replete with hot springs and other forms of geothermal energy would provide the necessary warmth we need to endure the bitter cold. And in an additional piece of welcome news, there’s the possibility that Earth could find itself being drawn to the gravitational pull belonging to another solar system’s sun, re-establishing orbit once again. Alas, we shouldn’t get too excited. Who’s to say that we wouldn’t have the misfortune of ending up in an orbit far outside the habitable zone? Answer that one, Vsauce experts!

What would you do if the sun disappeared?

Tags: science, life, the sun, astronomy, planets, the solar system

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About the Author
Steven Romano

Like Captain America, Steven Romano is just a boy from Brooklyn. When he isn't contributing to The MindHut and other geeky websites, Steven's hard at work writing his first novel and comic book scripts. Follow him on Twitter @Steven_Romano, and swing by his blog: stevenromano.tumblr.com

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.