BBC Horizon documentary “The End of the Solar System” explores theories about when our back yard in the cosmic ocean will cease to exist. The end of the solar system is essentially dependent on when the Sun has aged and used all of it’s fuel. Once the Sun has ran out of hydrogen fuel in it’s core in an estimated 8 billion years from today it will begin to turn into a red giant star which will happen over the course of a couple of million years. As the name suggests a red giant is massive and it has been predicted that at least the planets; Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars will be swallowed up in the process.
Why will our sun turn into a red giant? It is all down to mass. The sun has a mass of around 1.989 × 10^30 kg or in other words 99.86% of the entire mass of the solar system, however big this is when the sun’s stabilising core stops pushing energy out the collapsing mass would not be forceful enough to produce a supernova and subsequently neither a black hole or neutron star.
In the BBC Horizon documentary The End of Solar System we listen to interviews from experts in various fields who discuss the future of both the human race and the solar system.