The sun is an essential star for there to be life on planet Earth. The sunlight that reaches us every day can heat the earth, as well as the ocean and the atmosphere and this creates the ideal conditions for life to be possible . Thanks to the sun we have light, which allows us to see day and night —through the reflection of the moon—, but not only that, sunlight provides the Earth with the energy it needs. In addition, the gravity of this star helps to keep the planets in a stable orbit around it.
Is the energy of the sun inexhaustible?
If it weren’t for him, they wouldn’t turn and would follow a straight path. Now, is the sun’s energy inexhaustible? What would happen if the sun went out? We answer these questions so you can get rid of doubts.
Why is the sun’s energy inexhaustible?
The energy of the sun is inexhaustible, of that there is no doubt. The sun, as researchers have pointed out on numerous occasions, is like a continuous canister of nuclear fusion . Basically, this means that said star is made up of several nuclei that fuse together, forming a heavier one and triggering a reaction that releases a high amount of nuclear energy. Today this is the most important source of energy that exists and numerous studies are being carried out to recreate it at a minuscule level in laboratories – although there is still a long way to go. In any case, what these nuclear fusion reactions of the sun do is enhance its effects, so to date with about 5 billion years of life left before it burns out . That is, half of its life so far (according to theorists the sun will go extinct when it has completed 10,000 million years).
As you can see, there is still a long time before the sun disappears, and many other factors can come into play that affect both the life of the sun and that of the planet. It is for this reason that this star is considered an inexhaustible source of energy or a renewable energy source. In addition, according to the definition of a renewable energy source, inexhaustible solar energy does not generate waste. Its use is carried out generating a very low effect on the environment.
What would happen if the sun went out?
Much has been said about why the sun’s energy is inexhaustible and how many years of life it has left, now, what would happen if the sun went out permanently. What would happen to planet Earth and the rest of the planets that rotate in its orbit? According to the theory most widely accepted by the scientific community —or one of the most widely accepted— at the moment of approaching the end of the sun’s life, when all the hydrogen and helium of which it is composed have been consumed (71% hydrogen and 27 % helium, approximately), there would be a big explosion. As the scholars claim, the sun would first become a red giant star and rapidly begin to contract, causing its temperature to rise even more. At that precise moment, the great explosion would occur, which would also cause several of the layers that are part of the planetary nebula to detach. Afterward, the sun would become a tiny, white-sized star and continue to shine for an indeterminate amount of time before finally becoming a black dwarf star— or a dead star.
As the sun gradually fades, this would affect human beings and possible living beings on other planets that revolve around its orbit. All of them would end up dying due to the high temperatures of the earth, in addition the expansive wave would end up completely consuming Mercury, as well as Venus and the Earth itself. Other scientific theories consider, however, that the sudden and devastating explosion of the sun is unlikely. They add that this is so because this star is not a giant supernova that can explode from one day to the next, but a dwarf star that is dying little by little.
Advantages of inexhaustible solar energy: How can it be used?
As we have explained in this article, solar energy is inexhaustible, at least until some 5,000 million years have passed. This gives us the possibility of continuing to take advantage of it for a long time. And it is that solar energy has a large number of advantages, mainly because it can be used by any user who has a photovoltaic solar installation.
Solar panels offer the possibility of transforming solar radiation into electricity , so that it can be used exclusively for the installation of the house or combined with the energy of the general electrical network. This considerably lowers costs. These are the main advantages of solar energy:
- Reduces dependence on the general electrical network : As we said, thanks to photovoltaic solar panels it is possible to generate electricity and not depend on the general network. In addition, thermal panels can also be used for home heating and domestic hot water without the need to use other energy sources.
- It is inexhaustible : In addition, it is renewable and free. Nor does it emit toxic substances and pollutants into the atmosphere.
- Reduces pollution : Solar energy used to generate electricity reduces pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels for the same purpose.
- It is subsidized : Many administrations offer aid for obtaining solar panels or carrying out the installation at home. In addition, the corresponding discounts on taxes. On the other hand, there are economic compensations —although very small— for the surplus electricity that is discharged into the general electricity network in the form of a discount on the bill or directly.