What would happen if the sun stops shining?

The black sun and the frozen Earth

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the sun stopped shining or disappeared? Research shows that the possibility of this happening is quite thin, and the sun will most likely be in the galaxy for a billion years from now. However, hypothetically speaking this is what would happen if the sun stopped shining or disappeared from the solar system.

In a minute after the sun’s disappearance

If the sun stops shining or disappears, no one would realize it in the first minute. It would take around 8 minutes for anyone to figure out that something is wrong. You might be thinking, why that is? It's because it takes about 8 minutes and a couple of seconds for the sun's light to reach the earth. So, if it were to go dark everywhere in the world, it would take 8 minutes, more or less.

The first thing that would be affected by the sun's disappearance would be the sun's light in the world. Not only the days but the night will be dark too, and no one would be able to see the moon again. The sky will become dark and even the places, experiencing a night at that time (when the sun disappears). People will realize that something is not right because the moon will disappear immediately due to not having any of its light (because of the sun).

It is said, that if the sun disappears, the Earth's motion will get affected. Earth is currently circularly revolving around the sun, would start moving in a straight line. It will most likely not cause a noticeable difference and due to gravity, we would still be rooted to the ground.

Plants need photosynthesis to survive. It is the reason, they are believed to be affected immediately. By now, you are most likely wondering that in a few minutes or maximum hours, all humans would die, and life on Earth would cease to exist! Not quite! It's proved that the human beings on this planet need about 6,000,000,000,000 kilograms of oxygen. So in the case of the sun's disappearance, the humans would still be able to live for thousands of years because the atmosphere has about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms of oxygen.

1 week after the sun’s disappearance

A week after the sun's disappearance, some of the things that would happen would include many small plants dying or even dead. Large trees would still survive for years because they are much stronger and contain more sugar to produce energy to live.

However, in a week, the temperature of Earth would drop down to 0°. It would mean that although the big trees would have enough energy, they would die of the cold due to the freezing water stored inside them.

The temperature would affect human beings too, as there will be no place on our planet where it is not cold. As mentioned above, the temperature would drop down to 0° making it difficult to survive due to the cold. Humans would face issues including a lack of vitamin D due to the absence of the sun. People could already start dying, some due to the cold and some because of other diseases. Many would become weak, their immune system unable to fight against the cold.

Many have assumed that human life would no longer be on the ground as time passed but will start to go underground so humans and animals can survive the cold.

In a month after the sun’s disappearance

The conditions on Earth will keep worsening in the absence of the sun. The temperature is estimated to drop down to -10° making it extremely difficult for human life to survive on the ground. The oceans, seas, or any other water body would freeze. However, the water below will remain liquid as the earth's core is solid.

Plants will be long dead, trees hard to survive, humans and animals dying at a shocking rate. There is a probability that the survivors might start doing something about this problem. They might start working on creating an artificial sun that will help the human race survive and not become extinct. It is extremely difficult to say whether they would succeed or not.

The chaos would be worse than ever as every person would try to find a way to survive. There would be darkness everywhere. The only source of light would be the little electricity produced through one of the ways that humans make electricity today. Solar panels will lose their use, and as the water freezes, the dams will no longer be able to process any water to turn it into electricity as it would all have frozen due to the drastic temperature drop.

One solution to increase human life would be to live near the geothermal vents. They can serve as an alternative to the sun. However, those who do not live near these vents will not survive due to the supremely harsh weather. As the plants will mostly be dead by then, humans will have to switch to eating animal meat that can lead to the extinction of animals consumed by human beings.

In a year after the sun’s disappearance 

By the time it will be a year since the sun stopped shining. Conditions on Earth will deteriorate significantly. There is a high chance that human civilization will reduce to a small number. Living plants are nowhere to be seen. Trees will give up due to the extremely low temperature, most likely dropped to -100°. Thus, making it nearly impossible for humans and animals to survive on earth.

By this time, it is predicted that most human beings would die, and only a handful of people might still be able to survive. If not from the cold due to any miracle, people would die of starvation. At this point, there will be neither plants and not even animals alive for them to eat.

Although there are ways that humans and animals could survive despite the disappearance of the sun. If they build submarines, humans could live under the ocean, deep down where the water would not have frozen despite the dangerously low temperature.

If an alternative to producing electricity is not found by then, the Earth would be dark and gloomy. By then, humans, if any left, would become accustomed to the dark or would be using electricity everywhere. They might even find a way to survive amid this crisis and live underwater or underground.

There is a prediction that extremely tiny organisms will be able to survive even without the sun. These organisms do not include human beings and animals but rather micro-organisms in our environment. 

10 years after the sun’s disappearance 

In 10 years i.e. a decade later, you might think your life would be in a certain way. For example, if you are 18 and in 10 years you will be 28, a person might think they'd be settled with a thriving career, maybe even be married with children, moved away from home etcetera. This is how a normal person thinks their life would be like in 10 years. However imagine now, when you are 18, you wake up one morning to find out that the sun never rose. There is darkness everywhere, and no one knows what is going on.

Now imagine a week has passed and there is no sign of the sun, then a year has passed, and there is still no hope that the sun would rise again. The weather is extremely cold, and the ground is no longer habitable.

Now think it has been ten years since the world last saw the sun. People are dying left and right, and you might also even be dead due to the cold, a disease, or starvation. There is only a limited time until the food for animals and humans is available after which death from starvation becomes common.

The water will freeze by then from the surface, and the temperature has unimaginably dropped. There may be no sign of any sort of plantation, trees, or even a patch of greenery as everything will die due to the lack of the process of photosynthesis in the absence of the sun.

There would be no concept of daytime, and if humans somehow survive and reproduce, the new generation would be living in a chaotic world and would only know darkness. The world would be living completely differently than it was 10 years prior, and it would be the "new normal".

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