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The energy of the reactions taking place in the Sun is so enormous that it is difficult to imagine its power. This star continuously gives us its energy in the form of heat and light, but at some point it too will go out.
The power of the sun's radiation reaching Earth is approximately 170 trillion kilowatts. In this case, 2 billion times more energy is irreversibly expelled into space "past" our planet than reaches its surface. As it expends energy, the Sun gradually loses mass. To understand the incredible scale on which this happens, imagine that the Sun loses 4 million tons every second! In 50,000 years, the Sun burns as much matter as the Earth weighs!
But the Sun has a mass of 332,940 Earth masses and is 99.86% of the total mass of the entire solar system. So we can calculate how long the Sun's energy, which is produced by thermonuclear reactions, will last.
The Sun is so big that every second 600 million tons of hydrogen on it is converted into helium. So even with all the radiation, there is enough to last 10 billion years. From the age of rocks, lunar soil and meteorites, scientists have concluded that the Sun has already lived half of its own life. Consequently, according to specialists' calculations, our star should extinguish in about 5-6 billion years.
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