Doomsday: 10 Ways the World Will End – Sucked into a supermassive black hole

Supermassive black hole
A computer simulation of a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. Credits: NASA, ESA

Tonight on Doomsday: 10 Ways the World Will End – what would happen if the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy swallowed the Earth?

At the center of the Milky Way is a supermassive black hole which could one day swallow the entire galaxy, the Sun and Earth along with it. There are also rogue black holes that wander the galaxy, sort of celestial ronin! One of these could theoretically stumble into our planetary system.

However, more pressing is the collision with the nearby Andromeda galaxy. It and the Milky Way due to collide in about 4 billion years.

Happily this is about the same time the sun will run out of its main fuel and expand to become a red giant. Possibly making the Earth lifeless in the process and even swallowing it.

It all depends how much mass the expanded sun loses and how that impacts Earth’s orbit, though either way the type of life currently on the planet would not be possible.

So happy days, but if you are about in about 4 billion years there is a bunch of bad stuff lined up.

Each week the show examines a different cataclysmic event and looks at what would happen if they occurred right now.

Watch Doomsday: 10 Ways the World Will End – Black Hole tonight at 10 PM on History.

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