Trees are falling, eco-systems are collapsing, and our infrastructure is crumbling. Crops are failing, and water is scarce.
Earth is becoming a dead planet. On the plus side, there’s never been a better time to buy property!
But who can think about real estate when they can’t leave their own home, let alone get out of bed, let alone breathe?
Everyone knows the Sun is big. I mean, look at it! And that’s just how big it looks from about 150,000,000 km (93,000,000 mi) away!
Just imagine what it would be like if you were standing next to it! Never mind.
The Sun accounts for 98% of the mass of our entire solar system. And compared to the densest planet, which is our very own planet Earth, the Sun is more than a million times more massive!
In fact, it would take roughly 1,300,000 planet Earths to fill the entire Sun! But what if it only took one?
Earth would be a very different place if it were the same size as the Sun. Just imagine our whole planet’s topography being stretched out.
Continents would expand, providing much needed relief in places where overpopulation inhibits the quality of life. And owning a nice plot of land might actually be more affordable than it is on today’s planet Earth.
But now we’d also have to consider that every body of water on our planet would have more area to cover. This means that lakes, rivers, and even the oceans would be shallower, making them more susceptible to evaporation, and potentially drying out. Marine life would undoubtedly suffer, since shallower water would gain more heat from the Sun, jeopardizing sea creatures that need colder water to survive.
With other smaller water sources beginning to dry up, wildlife on land might have to relocate, or travel much farther for fresh water, which would also put them at risk. Us humans would be in an equally precarious position.
Not only would we probably start fighting over the limited fresh water that’s available, our food crop yields would also start shrinking. Food crops need a certain amount of soil to grow in, and to absorb the nutrients they need.
If our world was as big as the Sun, then, like the water, our soil would have to be spread out to cover a much larger space. Less soil would mean less food, while the demand for food would stay the same.
There is also another issue that we haven’t considered, which, when we factor it in, makes life on Earth pretty much impossible. Earth being the same size as the Sun is hard enough to imagine, but when you consider a Sun-sized Earth having the same mass as the Sun, it doesn’t only jeopardize our survival, it disrupts our entire Solar System.
Think about it. With the Earth as big as the Sun, you’d pretty much lose the Moon either way. But if a planet has more mass, it will also have a stronger gravitational pull.
In this case, gravity on Earth would be 28 times as strong as it is now. We’ll get to how this affects you in a moment, but first, let’s look at the bigger picture.
The reason why our Solar System moves the way it does now is because the Sun’s mass is so great, its gravitational pull forces other planets into its orbit. The Sun currently has 98% of the mass of our entire Solar System, but now, they’d each have 49% of the mass of our Solar System.
Would this result in some sort of binary system, in which the Sun and the Earth orbited each other? How would this new rivalry affect the orbits of the other planets in our Solar System? Would a significantly higher gravitational pull mean that Earth would get hit by a lot more asteroids?
There’d be a lot more to worry about then just asteroids. Our satellites would also probably crash down to Earth, while buildings and bridges would crumble and collapse under the increased gravitational pressure.
Only thick trees that were low to the ground would remain standing, but it’s unlikely that much else could shoulder the added weight. You would be significantly heavier, and you probably wouldn’t be able to walk anywhere!
Think about it. If you weigh 50 kg (110 lb) on Earth right now, it would feel like you weighed 1,400 kg (almost 3,100 lbs) on a Sun-sized Earth.
The cruel twist is that as gravity increases, time would slow down. So you might be able live longer, but it would probably be a long life spent lying in bed with aches and pains.
Luckily, we can wake up from this nightmare, because the Earth will never be as big as the Sun. In fact, our planet is actually getting smaller!
Our atmosphere leaks, and so we end up losing several hundred tons of mass to space every day. So take a nice, deep breath, and be glad it’s that easy! It’s not always a good idea to mess with proportions, and bigger definitely doesn’t always mean better.
- “What Is Solar Mass?”. Woo, Marcus. 2018. space.com. Accessed January 17 2020.
- “The Sun Is Losing Mass, And Getting Larger At The Same Time“. Brian Koberlein. 2020. forbes.com. Accessed January 17 2020.
- “How Big is the Sun Compared to the Earth?”. Rocheleau, Jake. 2011. Planet Facts. Accessed January 17 2020.
- “What Is the Sun’s Corona?”. 2020. spaceplace.nasa.gov. Accessed January 17 2020.
- “Earth Fact Sheet”. 2020. nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. Accessed January 17 2020.
- “Gravity of the Sun“. Rocheleau, Jake. 2011. Planet Facts. Accessed January 17 2020.
- “What if Earth Were Twice as Big?“. Hadhazy, Adam. 2011. livescience.com. Accessed January 17 2020.
- “GP-B — Einstein’s Spacetime”. 2020. einstein.stanford.edu. Accessed January 17 2020.
- “How the moon’s gravity influences Earth”. KRISTEN BOBST, 2020. MNN – Mother Nature Network. Accessed January 17 2020.