Things to look forward to.
May 8, 2006 11:39 AM   Subscribe

We have about 4 billion years left until our planet is going to be destroyed. If a meteor doesn't smash us in first, over the next 250 million years the continents will continue drifting to form another pangea. If we're all still friends having survived the climate change and each other, we'll be roasted by the expanding red giant after our sun exhausts its interior hydrogen supply. In about 5.5 billion years time the helium left in the core will get hot and dense enough to burn, flaring up in a massive helium flash engulfing what remains of the solar system. When the helium core is gone, hydrogen in the outermost layers will drift off to form a ring nebula, leaving in the middle a bright white dwarf star that will slowly cool down into a cold, dense black dwarf: a silent and forgotten fossil, floating through infinite space. In other news: cats are funny! hahahahaha!
posted by 6am (69 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Worth remembering though are the little cries of "we existed" we blasted off some years ago.
posted by 6am at 11:43 AM on May 8, 2006


OMG KITTY
posted by keswick at 11:45 AM on May 8, 2006


Wait a tic, those cats talk!
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:48 AM on May 8, 2006


oh don piano, don't you know? every atom in your body was once a part of a star.
posted by 6am at 11:50 AM on May 8, 2006


See previously 47 Ways the World Could End. You forgot zombie!
posted by blahblahblah at 11:52 AM on May 8, 2006


Is it wrong that I find the evidence of talking cats far more disturbing than my own complete and utter insignificance in the grand scope of the universe and our planets inexorable doom?
posted by Parannoyed at 11:53 AM on May 8, 2006


Is it wrong that I ignored every link except the cats?
posted by reklaw at 11:56 AM on May 8, 2006


Is it wrong that I ignored every link except the cats?

not really, I love those fucking cats.
posted by 6am at 11:56 AM on May 8, 2006


all the live long day
posted by poppo at 11:59 AM on May 8, 2006


Also, threads (and the comments in them) like the one blah^3 just linked to are why I read MeFi. I <3 mefi'ers!
posted by Parannoyed at 12:00 PM on May 8, 2006


If I say I really don't give a crap about what happens in 4 billion years will I be flamed for not thinking about the children?
posted by orange swan at 12:02 PM on May 8, 2006


If we're still here in another few thousand years, planets will be considered the obsolete domain of primitive species. We'll all be living on Culture-esque Orbitals.
posted by dopamine at 12:04 PM on May 8, 2006


Infinity is nothing. We're all going to heaven, dude, even the talking cats.

(Not really, of course.)

(All cats are going to limbo.)

('Cause they're so flexible.)

(Limber.)
posted by pracowity at 12:06 PM on May 8, 2006


We'll all be living on Culture-esque Orbitals.

the only escape is solar escape. I'd like to be in the culture, mostly because drones are cool as.

blahblah - this is ace!
posted by 6am at 12:07 PM on May 8, 2006


In the year 2525,
if man is still alive,
if woman can survive...

posted by mischief at 12:07 PM on May 8, 2006


Guess I picked the wrong week year century eon to stop sniffing glue.
posted by porpoise at 12:10 PM on May 8, 2006


Por kitay.
posted by illiad at 12:11 PM on May 8, 2006


Like it or not, those cats are going to be dead in 4 billion years.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:15 PM on May 8, 2006


Is it wrong that I ignored every link except the cats?

not really, I love those fucking cats.


not really, love fucking those cats.
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:17 PM on May 8, 2006


Like it or not, those cats are going to be dead in 4 billion years.

Really it's a crying shame they sent chuck berry recordings out into space, not the cats.
posted by 6am at 12:22 PM on May 8, 2006


.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:25 PM on May 8, 2006


Please don't frighten me with your doom-and-gloom scenario.

"We are seeing the ghost of a star that was once a lot like our sun," said Marc Kuchner of the Goddard Space Flight Center. In a statement that was edited out of the final news release he went on to say, "I cringed when I saw the data because it probably reflects the grim but very distant future of our own planets and solar system."

An e-mail message from Erica Hupp at NASA headquarters to the authors of the original release at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said, "NASA is not in the habit of frightening the public with doom and gloom scenarios."

posted by dreamsign at 12:27 PM on May 8, 2006


I just hope the end of our solar system has a funny laugh track like that cat video.
posted by wfrgms at 12:29 PM on May 8, 2006


I'll be the first to write it:

None of this matters according to the president and the fundies. The rapture is coming. Might as well cut down a tree and kill a polar bear or two.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 12:31 PM on May 8, 2006


In about 5.5 billion years time the helium left in the core will get hot and dense enough to burn,

If by "burn" you mean "undergo nuclear fusion"
posted by delmoi at 12:33 PM on May 8, 2006


(reconsiders paying visa bill)
posted by Danf at 12:39 PM on May 8, 2006


As I interpret this FPP, people, you're not supposed to be taking the destruction of the earth part seriously. It's all about the cats. Always was. Always willl be.
posted by Faze at 12:49 PM on May 8, 2006


Oh my god! Those cats talk. Like they talk. Talking cats. Oh my god. They talked! ~quite amazed
posted by 13twelve at 1:07 PM on May 8, 2006


KILL THE EVIL TALKING CAT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!
posted by PenDevil at 1:07 PM on May 8, 2006


Like it or not, those cats are going to be dead in 4 billion years.

Please, think of the kittens/cats.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:11 PM on May 8, 2006


It's worth noting that many astronomers think that the Earth will become uninhabitable and eventually sterile before that time, due to the slow increase in the sun's energy output and/or the cooling of the core and eventual stop to geological activity. We still have 1-2 billion years left though (unless we end it ourselves or something unpredictable like a close-by gamma ray burst occurs.)
posted by Mitrovarr at 1:21 PM on May 8, 2006


actually, according to a web page i just for the life of me find right now, we've only got about 1.1 billion years to go before the sun's brightness has increased by ~10%, which would cause the atmosphere to boil off.

oh, wait, i found it.
posted by joeblough at 1:28 PM on May 8, 2006


mitrovarr: jinx!
posted by joeblough at 1:29 PM on May 8, 2006


Is it wrong for me to be more concerned about the upcoming mid term elections?
posted by notreally at 1:39 PM on May 8, 2006


My goth/electro/pyscho-billy collective will be named Apocalyptic Pussy.
posted by bardic at 1:46 PM on May 8, 2006


It's worth noting that many astronomers think that the Earth will become uninhabitable and eventually sterile before that time, due to the slow increase in the sun's energy output and/or the cooling of the core and eventual stop to geological activity.

yeah, I wanted to put something like that for the pangea link...thats really what I meant by climate change - the cooling sun and changes in local weather when your favourite continent relocates to a different place of the earth.

If by "burn" you mean "undergo nuclear fusion"

Probably! I learnt about all of this from the readers digest atlas, so I'm most likely glossing over a good few things...
posted by 6am at 1:46 PM on May 8, 2006


The sun hates our freedom!
posted by elderling at 2:03 PM on May 8, 2006


I think that I'll be dead long before then... but by the time the planet as-plodes in a ball of flame, the Oakland Raiders might win another Super Bowl.

It might just happen. There's still time!
posted by drstein at 2:10 PM on May 8, 2006


"so I'm most likely glossing over a good few things..."

Sounds like Wikipedia.
posted by mischief at 2:18 PM on May 8, 2006


Speaking of cats, by the time any of that celestial stuff occurs, we'll be living on other planets, using our five robot lions to form an unstoppable force for good.
posted by ktoad at 2:37 PM on May 8, 2006


The hell is going on with that last cat? "Oh long johnson ... oh Don Piano ..." I thought it was an old Korean woman shouting at the cat from behind the video camera, but it's supposed to be the cat, is that right?

Anyway, right before the Earth gets too hot, the Great Pyramid is going to rumble and rise from the sands, and the talking cats will be seen gathering on hilltops, and the Pyramid will fly around and pick 'em all up, and they go through the Stargate to some newer planet.
posted by kenlayne at 2:37 PM on May 8, 2006


re: Talking Cat Overlords
from: I for one
message: Welcome!
posted by blue_beetle at 2:39 PM on May 8, 2006


“NASA is not in the habit of frightening the public with doom and gloom scenarios.” -posted by dreamsign

Man, that’s like when someone told me I was going to die someday. I don’t want to hear about no doom and gloom scenarios. They frighten me.

*keeps thinking will live 4-evar*

We’ll probably not get off the planet until the last minute. We’re such a Gen-X species. A billion years from now the hyperintelligent Orangutans will be giving us shit (all the Squirrels having left eons before)
Orangutans (telepathically): Mankind, you’ve got to get off the planet.

Mankind (watching holo-lunar projections): Ok. I’ll do it tomorrow.
(Earth’s rotation having been slowed - 1 day = 10,000 years)

Orangutans: Mankind. Nowww!

Mankind: We got off the Earth yesterday.

Orangutans: You just went to Saturn for accretion milk. C’mon, you have to get out of the solar system. The sun is exhausting its interior hydrogen supply.

Mankind: It’s not going nova or anything. You guys go on. We’ll be fine. *settles on couch* We’ll follow you out right after this.

Orangutans: Ok, fine. The keys to the hyperportal are on the array.

*eyes man suspiciously*
Orangutans: You’re sure you’ll be okay? You did genetically pattern us to care about you, remember?

Mankind: Huh? Yeah, yeah. *waves off big red monkeys as the sun’s corona creeps closer* No prob. ‘welcome.

Orangutans: Ok....well....we’re going....don’t leave the robots behind or you’ll have to build new ones...ok? ....ok?

Mankind: ...

*Orangutans shuffle off into infinity*
posted by Smedleyman at 2:41 PM on May 8, 2006


My cat just told me that there's no such thing as talking cats and that I shouldn't believe every damn thing I see on the internets.

Also he needs more tuna.
posted by Parannoyed at 2:46 PM on May 8, 2006


4 billion? Shit shit shit. I have to cancel my weekend plans and get started on building some bunkers!
posted by antifreez_ at 2:49 PM on May 8, 2006


M'eh, I'll ride it out.
posted by ozomatli at 3:18 PM on May 8, 2006


4 billion? Shit shit shit. I have to cancel my weekend plans and get started on building some bunkers!

damn straight. sit down and play oblivion for a bit and by the time you look at your watch: "aw fuck, I was meant to go meet my brother...I'm two bastard billion years late." by the time you've gotten ready to go out, its nearly four billion past now and you haven't even ordered any paper to start designing your spaceships. its as easy as that, you see. easy as that.
posted by 6am at 3:43 PM on May 8, 2006


ahhh! the atmosphere!!
posted by analogue at 4:25 PM on May 8, 2006


Oh my dog
Oh long John
Oh long Johnson
Oh Don Piano
Why I eyes ya
All the live long day
posted by dgaicun at 4:27 PM on May 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


"it's poetry. the poetry - of war."
posted by 6am at 4:31 PM on May 8, 2006


Thanks for the funny cat video!
posted by knave at 4:32 PM on May 8, 2006


My cats had better get on the ball and start amusing me by talking if they want to be around the next 4 billion years. All this time they've been ignoring me, and now I find out they can say Mama to get lunchmeat? They are lucky I am not going supernova on their asses right now.
posted by theredpen at 5:15 PM on May 8, 2006


man, i sure hope the aliens out there are a lot fucking smarter than me, because i can't make head nor tail of that voyager plate thing. except for the star map, which is a kind of bizarre thing to include given that it only looks that way at one particular angle (as i understand geometry, anyway). whatever, nasa!
posted by sergeant sandwich at 5:39 PM on May 8, 2006


yeah in a million years I'd never figure the instructions out either, but this has the explanation. Fortunately we have a billion-odd left.
posted by 6am at 6:03 PM on May 8, 2006


Actually, its worse than that. It's 4 billion years until the Sun's grows so large as to encompass the Earth but in 1 or 2 billion years, the amount of radiation coming off of it will destroy pretty much everything about life as we know it.
posted by jmhodges at 6:03 PM on May 8, 2006


eg:


posted by 6am at 6:15 PM on May 8, 2006


This story is incomplete without a link to Exit Mundi, the most comprehensive list of end of the world scenarios anywhere.
posted by localroger at 7:06 PM on May 8, 2006


Nice post 6am.

So, is it time to sell?
posted by geekyguy at 7:11 PM on May 8, 2006


Every time you make a star go nova, God kills billions of kittens.

Please, think of the kittens.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 7:58 PM on May 8, 2006


Sorry to be scrolling to the end so quickly but: OMFG! Cats! Talking Cats! I don't know why, but when I ran that vid, my own cats had an especially strong reaction to it, even though the cats in the vid were talking *peeple tawk* They were tawking *peeple tawk*! Wad up wid dat?
posted by mk1gti at 8:12 PM on May 8, 2006


Oh, too bad about the world ending and all dat, hope humanity's able to deal with all that and build some spaceships to escape or sumpin. But leave the religious/right-wing(of whatever nationality) zealots behind. Please. The universe needs a rest from all that naive uninformed crappola. . .
posted by mk1gti at 8:14 PM on May 8, 2006


My ma taught some of our animals talking tricks. My dog learned 'hello' and 'I love you', and one of the cats learned 'hello'. It sounded pretty good. Unfortunately, none of them ever learned the old-Korean-woman-meets-beat-poetry trick. Though Lord we did try.
posted by dgaicun at 9:31 PM on May 8, 2006


My cats have accurately predicted the end of the world. I know this because they enable me to transcend space and time with their powerful salmon breath.
posted by moonbird at 9:40 PM on May 8, 2006


Incidentally, does anyone know of any good site that might list near star approaches for the next, oh, million years or so? I've always been curious as to whether that's a potential scenario.
posted by trigonometry at 10:55 PM on May 8, 2006


Well, it's a good thing I've got 4 billion years to get that "revving our cars in tunnels" post out of my head. That's all I need as the firey inferno approaches -- to suddenly be consumed by the question "But why do they rev????"
posted by VulcanMike at 4:54 AM on May 9, 2006


If by "burn" you mean "undergo nuclear fusion."

Wait, the sun has a nuclear program and is openly planning to destabilise the region?
posted by Mr Bismarck at 6:51 AM on May 9, 2006


we've only got about 1.1 billion years to go before the sun's brightness has increased by ~10%, which would cause the atmosphere to boil off.

... and people laugh at me when I say that should be a factor in our current decision making.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:25 AM on May 9, 2006


LOVE KITIES
posted by zouhair at 10:10 AM on May 9, 2006


6am gets bonus points for the Ghost Dog reference.
posted by longbaugh at 10:12 AM on May 9, 2006


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