Six cosmic disasters that could destroy life on Earth

Most people, if you ask them about the biggest threat to human existence, probably, think about nuclear war, global warming, or a large-scale pandemic disease. But if we assume that we get rid of these problems, we'll be safe? Life on our blue planet seems to be safe, as long as we do not know what is hidden in the depths of space. Below you will find the cosmic cataclysms, which are included in a list of possible threats, finished strongly to harm humanity or destroy it for good. Happily read!

Six cosmic disasters that could destroy life on Earth

High-energy solar flare

Our sun is not so peaceful asterisk is used to take. It creates a powerful magnetic field, which form a spectacular sunny spot size is many times greater than the Earth. Also, it can spew a stream of particles and radiation - the solar wind. Pent Earth's magnetic field, the wind forms beautiful aurora. But when he becomes more powerful, it can interfere with radio or cause power outages.

The most powerful magnetic solar storm on Earth was in 1859. The incident in Carrington caused enormous disturbance in a relatively small-scale electronic equipment. Such events may occur in the past.

But we have only in recent years have become completely dependent on the electronic equipment. The truth is that we can be seriously affected if we underestimate the potential danger of Carrington, or even more powerful event. Although flash in the sun will not be able to destroy mankind, it will give problems. Without electricity, heating, air conditioning, GPS and the Internet to submit our lives anymore.

The fall of an asteroid

Six cosmic disasters that could destroy life on Earth

In principle, we are well aware of how dangerous may be asteroids - in the end, one of them marked the beginning of the end of the dinosaurs. Recent research suggests that we should take care: the large space rocks can pose a serious threat to us.

Today we are only at the beginning of a journey of exploration and development of systems that will protect us from small asteroids. But against the larger and more rare cosmic guests, we are completely helpless. Despite the fact that they do not necessarily destroy the Earth and make it uninhabitable, they can destroy humanity, triggering huge tsunamis, fires and other natural actions.

The expansion of the sun

If all previous cosmic dangers occur on the roll dice with a certain probability, we know exactly what our sun "commit suicide" after 7, 72 billion years. At this point, it will spit out its foreign atmosphere to form a planetary nebula, a star turning into a balance - "white dwarf."

But humanity is not destined to experience these last stages. As the aging of the Sun, it will become colder and more. One day it will become a giant star that will be large enough to reach Venus. At this point, the Earth may be safe, but the sun will create a powerful solar wind, the Earth slows down. After 7, 59 billion years, our planet simply melted in the atmosphere of our enormously bloated star.

The gamma-ray burst near

Extremely powerful bursts of energy - gamma-ray bursts - may be caused by a binary system of stars (where two stars orbit around a common center) and supernovae (exploding stars). These bursts of energy is extremely powerful, because concentrating its energy in a narrow beam, lives no longer than a few seconds or minutes. As a result, radiation is one such surge can damage and destroy our ozone layer, leaving life vulnerable to harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Astronomers have discovered a star system - WR 104 - which could accommodate such an event. WR 104 is in a 5200-7500 light-years away, far enough that, so we were safe. And we can only guess, when there will be a splash. Fortunately, there is a possibility that the energy beam does not fall on us.

Supernovas close

Supernovae, which occur when a star reaches the end of its life, occur on average once or twice every 100 years in our Milky Way. Most likely, they are born close to the dense center of the Milky Way, and we are two thirds of the way from the center - not so bad.

Six cosmic disasters that could destroy life on Earth

Can we expect a supernova nearby in the near future? Betelgeuse - red supergiant star approaching the end of his life - in the constellation of Orion is just a 460-650 light-years away. It can become a supernova, now or in the next million years. Fortunately, astronomers estimate that the supernova must be at least 50 light-years away, to damage our ozone layer. Therefore, specifically, the supernova should not create a cause for concern.

Moving Stars

Meanwhile, a wandering star, flying through the Milky Way, can come to our sun is so close, that will interact with the dense "Oort cloud" on the edge of our solar system, which contains a lot of comets. This can lead to a rain of comets, which rush to the Earth. Another throw bones.

Sun is also moving through the Milky Way, passing through more or less dense regions of interstellar gas. Currently, we are in a less dense bubble created by supernova. Wind Sun and the solar magnetic field to form bubble-area surrounding our solar system - the heliosphere - which protects us from the interaction with the interstellar medium. When we leave this area after 20 000-50 000 years (according to our current observations and models), our heliosphere will become less effective and bare earth. Maybe we will change the climate will become more problematic to stay - if not impossible. But life goes on.

The end of humanity on Earth is inevitable. But this does not mean that we have to hide under the table and shake with fear. We will not be able to change it, just as our lives have a beginning and end. It defines us and makes us think that the only thing we can do is to spend time in the world to use. Especially when we remember that the Earth must be very delicate balance to maintain humanity.

All of these failure scenarios scare and surprise at the same time. However, they point us to the future and the meaning of our existence.