# In the absence of the sun, how long would it take for earth freeze solid

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Alan McDougall, Jul 21, 2010.

1. ### Alan McDougallAlan McDougallRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
410
Imagine everything in the universe is totally void there except the earth

In the absence of the sun, how long would it take for earth freeze solid.?

My wild guess a trillion years give or take a billion or so

Alan

3. ### machiaventaRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
96
We would all starve or die because without sunlight we cannot process or make vitamins essential to life, and that process would begin real soon, really soon.

5. ### Dr MabusePercipient ThaumaturgistRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
714
Why not just guess a quintillion, or even a decillion years?

7. ### IamJosephBannedBanned

Messages:
1,289
Such a sum is easily derived from the period before the sun's luminosity was focused on the earth. The sun did not emit light till it reached a certain critical point, yet this planet existed without this light - in a frozen state. That is the ratio how long it would take for the earth to freeze again. The advent of the sun's light on the earth is measured by the first appearence of life on earth.

8. ### Alan McDougallAlan McDougallRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
410
The question has nothing to do with human survival, the question again stated, if everything in the universe was removed leaving the earth within the abysmal cold of absolute zero how long would it take for the earth to dissipate all its stored energy into the dark cold void of an empty universe?.

I am not talking about how long it would take the oceans to freeze, I am talking about the earth losing all its heat right down to its core until it became an infinitely cold orb

I am sure this question could be addressed or even solved using one of our great supercomputers

9. ### EmilValued Senior Member

Messages:
2,801

23,436,874 years and six months, I guess

10. ### atheistRegistered Member

Messages:
33
do you mean absolute zero temperature or bose einstein condensate. my guess is it will take infinity to get absolute zero.

11. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

Messages:
22,910
And are you talking crust only? The core will not be affected as much because of it is generating its own heat.

12. ### Alan McDougallAlan McDougallRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
410
Wrong more like 10^35 years

Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
13. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

Messages:
33,264
If you look at other planets as well as moons that are very far away from the sun already, receiving little warmth from it, there are still some with hot molten cores spewing volcanic lava and ash everywhere. So the earth may never actually cool down until its demise.

Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
14. ### MaikaRegistered Member

Messages:
86
a nanosecond.

15. ### Green DestinyBannedBanned

Messages:
1,211
It would freeze very fast. Even the internal insulated heat of the earth could not support the surface from freezing over - space is cold - even colder without the presence of an energy-bearing celestial object, like the sun in comparisson.

16. ### Janus58Valued Senior Member

Messages:
2,369
There is only one body outside of the Earth that displays the type of volcanos the Earth does and this is Io. It's geothermal activity is driven by outside energy input in the form of tidal forces from Jupiter.

Other types of known volcanos are the cryovolcanos. These are bodies that are covered in ice. The effect of the internal heat of these bodies created volcanos that spew water, methane or ammonia. But again, the internal heat comes from tidal forces.

None of these count as their heat comes from an outside energy source.

17. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

Messages:
33,264
Thank you for setting me straight on those facts. But since there are no other bodies present here why couldn't the earth be the first to just keep on having a molten core until it is hit by something and explodes into pieces? Then again there could be other planets that might be able to continue on that we just do not know about as yet, what could the chances be that this could ever happen? Thank you again.

18. ### EmilValued Senior Member

Messages:
2,801

I thought better and I think you're right, I was wrong.
It is 100000000000000000000000000000000000 years, right?

19. ### raptorttailRegistered Member

Messages:
33
I'm a geologist...and I paid attention in class (30 year ago).

note: most of Earth's internal heat comes from radioactive energy. The sun has no impact on this. Half-life of elements is not based on external forces but the nature of the atoms themselves.

The Earth would continue to generate heat. It would be 'real (as in really really) cold but heat would be quite detectable by an external measurement.

20. ### IamJosephBannedBanned

Messages:
1,289
Isn't the red spot of Jupiter a volcanic eruption, one as big as the earth and 300 years old?

21. ### jmpetValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,891
Well within 48 hours.

22. ### ChipzBannedBanned

Messages:
838
Geothermal energy induced by gravitational forces accounts for a couple of degrees at our present temperatures, it would never freeze entirely - until the Earth's core stabilized...if that's possible.

23. ### prometheusviva voce!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
2,045
No it's not. Jupiter made of gas so it's hard to envisage whet would be erupting out of what. You could describe the red spot as a storm.