We’ve all had a doomsday scenario in our heads at one time or another. It’s no secret that Earth is slowly becoming extinct. The sun is getting hotter and it is then going to flicker out. Humanity may be long gone by the time that happens, but that hasn’t stopped scientists from painting a portrait of what will happen when Earth comes to a collapse.

Earth like planets with dying biospheres outnumber healthy ones by over ten times the amount. It is predicted however that in around 1 billion years, the surface of the earth will transform. The oceans will boil away, the air will be full with water and the Earth’s carbon cycle will completely shut down. This will bring an end to the plants and shortly after, all life forms will be extinct.

Hoping to prepare for the doomed state that will eventually befall our own planet, scientists went out in search of some that were already close to extinction. To begin, experts found six stars that were the same type as our sun, with ten parsecs of Earth. They conducted a climate modelling exercise where an Earth-type planet was placed within comparable distance of the star, to see if they would look like a future Earth.

Results found the vast majority of these planets unable to house or predict the deteriorated state of our own, but a good fifty million or so more remain in the galaxy that have yet to be studied. By watching these planets die through climate change, we can learn from them and hopefully fend off our own annihilation – or at least glean some bizarre, cosmic sense of commiseration.

Natalie