Timeline of the Far Future (public)
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years from nowin wordsshort nameeventtypenotesourcelink
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1,000CO2 levelsAssuming no geoengineering solution has been found, 29% of the CO2 released by humanity in the 19th-21st centuries is still in the atmosphere.climate, humanitybased on CLIMBER model, 'moderate' CO2 release of 1-2000 GtCArcher and Brovkin 2008
http://melts.uchicago.edu/~archer/reprints/archer.2008.tail_implications.pdf
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1,000Buildings decayedShould the human race become extinct, then the various features assembled by humanity will begin to decay. The largest structures have an estimated decay half-life of about 1,000 years. The last surviving structures would most likely be open pit mines, large landfills, major highways, wide canal cuts, and earth-fill flank dams. Most existing reservoirs will have been filled in, or their dams will have failed by overtopping or internal failure. Only the most fastidiously preserved present-day steel structures will have survived.humanityDutch 2006
http://geosphere.geoscienceworld.org/content/2/3/113
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1,000New North StarGamma Cephei will become the north star, supplanting Polarisastro1-2000 yearsUniversity of Michigan, University of Oxford Physics Dept
http://www.ns.umich.edu/Releases/1997/Jul97/chr071697b.html
http://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/blog/astro-blog/2012/03/08/what-can-you-see-in-the-night-sky-this-week-polaris
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1,000Most words extinctGiven the rapid evolution of languages, it is possible that no single word in any present language will have survived in recognizable form, even allowing for the stabilizing effects of information storage and mass communication.humanityDutch 2006
http://geosphere.geoscienceworld.org/content/2/3/113
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2,000Greenland ice meltedGreenland ice sheet completely melted. with extreme global warming (8 degrees) – sea levels 6m higher than today.climatePotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
http://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/gronlands-eismassen-konnten-komplett-schmelzen-bei-1-6-grad-globaler-erwarmung
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2,372Comet Hale-Bopp returnsComet Hale Bopp will return to the inner solar system.astroby 4385 ADNASA
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/halebopp.html
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3,200New North Star No. 2Iota Cephei will become the new north star.astroaround AD 5200Universetoday.com
http://www.universetoday.com/50895/pole-star/
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5,125Mayan calendar ends (again)May 3, 7138—end date of the new period of the Mayan calendar started on December 21, 2012.timekeepingWiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8th_millennium
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8,000Happy birthday humanity!Rough length of the period of human civilisation (past to now)humanityNeolithic revolution in China c. 6000 BCBritannica
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/408956/Neolithic-Revolution
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10,00010 thousand
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10,000CO2 levelsAssuming no geoengineering solution has been found, 10-14% of the CO2 released by humanity in the 19th-21st centuries is still in the atmosphere.climate, humanitybased on CLIMBER model, 'moderate' CO2 release of 1-2000 GtCArcher and Brovkin 2008
http://melts.uchicago.edu/~archer/reprints/archer.2008.tail_implications.pdf
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13,000Earth's axial tilt reversedBy this point, halfway through the precessional cycle, Earth's axial tilt will be reversed, causing summer and winter to occur on opposite sides of Earth's orbit. This means that the seasons in the northern hemisphere, which experiences more pronounced seasonal variation due to a higher percentage of land, will be even more extreme, as it will be facing towards the Sun when closest to the Sun and away from the Sun at when furthest away. astro, climateNASA
http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/ask/q1795.html
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18,860Calendars concurThe lunar Islamic calendar and the solar Gregorian calendar will share the same year number. After this, the shorter Islamic calendar will slowly overtake the Gregorian.timekeepingAstronomy Answers
http://aa.quae.nl/en/antwoorden/moderne_kalenders.html
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20,000Chernobyl finally safeChernobyl explosion site becomes fully safe.nuclearFuture Timeline
http://www.futuretimeline.net/beyond.htm#chernobyl
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25,000Arecibo message arrivesThe Arecibo message, a collection of radio data transmitted on 16 November 1974, reaches its destination, the globular cluster Messier 13. This is the only interstellar radio message sent to such a distant region of the galaxy. Assuming a similar mode of communication is employed, it should take at least as long again for any reply to reach Earth.aliensCornell University
http://web.archive.org/web/20080802005337/http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Nov99/Arecibo.message.ws.html
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50,000Greenland ice meltedGreenland ice sheet completely melted, assuming moderate global warming limited to 2 degrees – sea levels 6m higher than today.climatePotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
http://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/gronlands-eismassen-konnten-komplett-schmelzen-bei-1-6-grad-globaler-erwarmung
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50,000Niagara Falls disappearsNiagara Falls erodes away the remaining 32 km to Lake Erie and ceases to exist.geologyNiagara Parks
http://www.niagaraparks.com/media/geology-facts-figures.html
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50,000Arecibo message replyEarliest we could receive a reply to the Arecibo message.aliens
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50,000KEO time capsuleThe proposed KEO space time capsule, due to be launched in 2014, will reenter Earth's atmosphere. The capsule has enough capacity to carry a four-page message from everyone on Earth.probesKEO
http://www.keo.org/uk/pages/faq.html#q1
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100,000100 thousand
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100,000Constellations wha-?The proper motion of stars across the celestial sphere, which is the result of their movement through the galaxy, renders many of the constellations unrecognisable.astroNational Research Council Canada
http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/education/astronomy/tapping/2005/2005-08-31.html
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100,000Laptop dissolvingTitanium (used in laptops) starts to corrodeclimateShoesmith et al 2000 via Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium
http://sun.chem.uwo.ca/content/hydrogen-absorption-and-lifetime-performance-titanium-nuclear-waste-containers
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100,000Nearby supernovaThe hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris will have likely exploded in a hypernova (a giant high-energy supernova).astroMonner et al 1999
http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/512/1/351/
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100,000Global disaster! Supervolcanic eruptionEarth will likely have undergone a supervolcanic eruption large enough to erupt 400 km3 of magma.geologyThe Geological Society
http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/en/Education%20and%20Careers/Resources/Papers%20and%20Reports/Super-eruptions
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100,000Global disaster! Asteroid strikeSignificant likelihood that by this time the earth will have been struck by an asteroid large enough to affect global climate.astro, climatesignificant likelihood of Torino scale 10 impact with global effectsDutch 2006
http://geosphere.geoscienceworld.org/content/2/3/113.full.pdf+html
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296,000Voyager 2 vs. SiriusVoyager 2 should pass by the star Sirius, currently the brightest star in the night sky.probesNASA
http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/interstellar.html
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500,000New ice ageYears until the next ice age – if we burn all remaining fossil fuels.climateBut if we burn all remaining fossil fuels, it could be more than half a million years before the Earth has another ice age, Archer saysNature Reports Climate Change doi:10.1038/climate.2008.122
http://www.nature.com/climate/2008/0812/full/climate.2008.122.html
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500,000Asteroid strikeEarth will have likely been hit by a meteorite of roughly 1 km in diameter, assuming it cannot be averted.doomBostrom 2002
http://www.nickbostrom.com/existential/risks.html
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1,000,0001 million
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1,000,000Betelgeuse explosionHighest estimated time until the red supergiant star Betelgeuse explodes in a supernova. The explosion is expected to be easily visible in daylight.astroEuropean Southern Observatory, EarthSky
http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso0927/
http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/betelgeuse-will-explode-someday
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1,000,000Glass decomposedGlass bottles have decomposed.climateNew Hampshire Dept of Environmental Services
http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/coastal/trash/documents/marine_debris.pdf
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1,000,000Some monuments survivingA few massive stone monuments like the pyramids at the Giza Necropolis or the sculptures at Mount Rushmore may still survive in some form.humanityDutch 2006
http://geosphere.geoscienceworld.org/content/2/3/113
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1,450,000Galactic near missThe star Gliese 710 passes as close as 1.1 light years to the Sun before moving away. This may gravitationally perturb members of the Oort cloud, a halo of icy bodies orbiting at the edge of the Solar System, thereafter increasing the likelihood of a cometary impact in the inner Solar System.astroBobylev 2010
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1134%2FS1063773710030060
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4,000,000Pioneer 11Pioneer 11 passes near the Lambda Aquilae system, approximately 125 light years from earth.probesFuture Timeline
http://www.futuretimeline.net/beyond.htm
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5,000,000Men extinct! - or notMen may not become extinct after all, according to a new study.
Previous research has suggested the Y sex chromosome, which only men carry, is decaying genetically so fast that it will be extinct in five million years' time.
A gene within the chromosome is the switch which leads to testes development and the secretion of male hormones.
But a new US study in Nature suggests the genetic decay has all but ended. The conclusion from these comparative studies is that genetic decay has in recent history been minimal, with the human chromosome having lost no further genes in the last six million years, and only one in the last 25 million years.
humanityA study of human and rhesus monkey Y chromosomes questions the notion that the Y is steadily shedding genes and is doomed to degenerate. In fact, the version of the Y chromosome that every human male carries around has lost just a single gene in the 25 million years since humans and rhesus macaques shared a common ancestor.BBC, Jenny Graves, IO9, Nature News, Hughes et al 2012
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17127617
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/men-may-be-extinct-five-million-years-due-decaying-y-chromosome
http://io9.com/5887374/the-y-chromosome-isnt-going-extinct-after-all
http://www.nature.com/news/the-human-y-chromosome-is-here-to-stay-1.10082
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v483/n7387/full/nature10843.html
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7,000,000Safe plutonium Left to its own devices, the plutonium in today's spent nuclear fuel will finally be safe.nuclearsee working on dropoff. hazardous life 10x half life. assuming a technique to make it safe hasn't been invented in the meantimeNuclear Information and Resource Service
http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/hlwfcst.htm
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7,200,000Mount Rushmore erodedThe famous faces on Mount Rushmore will have eroded away.geologyFuture Timeline
http://futuretimeline.net/beyond.htm
http://futuretimeline.net/beyond.htm
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8,400,000LAGEOS re-entryThe LAGEOS satellites' orbits will decay, and they will re-enter Earth's atmosphere, carrying with them a message to any far future descendants of humanity, and a map of the continents as they are expected to appear then.probesInnovateus, Future Timeline
http://www.innovateus.net/content/satellite-lageos
http://futuretimeline.net/beyond.htm
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10,000,00010 million
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10,000,000New oceanThe widening East African Rift valley is flooded by the Red Sea, causing a new ocean basin to divide the continent of Africa.geologyScientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=birth-of-an-ocean
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10,000,000Earth irradiatedEarth is threatened by lethal levels of gamma radiation from the collapse and supernova of the binary star system T Pyxidis 3,260 light years away. This is close enough for the radiation to destroy Earth's ozone layer and cause mass extinctions.doomScientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=supernova-star-too-close-for-comfor-2010-01
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50,000,000Mediterranean vanishAfrica's collision with Eurasia closes the Mediterranean Basin – causing the Mediterranean Sea to vanish – and creates a mountain range similar to the Himalayas. geologyNASA, Wikipedia
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast06oct_1/
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50,000,000Australia-Indonesia mergeAustralia merges with Indonesia, and Baja California slides northward along the coast. New mountain ranges form long the eastern coastlines of North and South America. geologyWard 2006 via Wikipedia. Ward, Peter Douglas (2006), Out of thin air: dinosaurs, birds, and Earth's ancient atmosphere, National Academies Press, ISBN 0-309-10061-5.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_the_Earth
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/
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50,000,000Antarctica ice meltThe migration of Antarctica to the north will cause all of its ice sheets to melt. This will raise the average ocean level by about 75m. The inland flooding of the continents will result in climate changes.geology, climatesource says 90m with Greenland. 75m E and W Antarctica based on USGS source rightWard 2006 via Wikipedia, US Geological Survey
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_the_Earth
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50,000,000Galaxy colonisationTime by which the entire galaxy could be colonised, even at sublight speeds.aliensScientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=where-are-they
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60,000,000Earth's orbit unpredictableEarth's orbit becomes unpredictable due to unpredictable chaos in the Solar SystemastroLaskar et al 2011
http://www.aanda.org/index.php?option=com_article&access=doi&doi=10.1051/0004-6361/201117504&Itemid=129
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100,000,000100 million
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150,000,000Atlantic Oc. begins shrinkThe Atlantic Ocean stops widening and begins to shrink, with the Americas and Africa moving back together. Australia has fully merged with Indonesia and Antarctica.geologyFuture Timeline
http://futuretimeline.net/beyond.htm
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240,000,000Galactic orbitFrom its present position, the Solar System completes one full orbit of the Galactic center.astroThe Physics Factbook
http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2002/StacyLeong.shtml
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250,000,000All continents fuse togetherAll the continents on Earth may fuse into a supercontinent. Three potential arrangements of this configuration have been dubbed Amasia, Novopangaea, and Pangaea Ultima, after Pangaea, the original supercontinent that began to split apart about 200m years ago.geologyNASA, New Scientist, National Geographic
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast06oct_1/
http://www.science.org.au/nova/newscientist/104ns_011.htm
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/09/080905-pangaea-suction_2.html
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600,000,000Total solar eclipses impossibleTidal acceleration moves the Moon far enough from Earth that total solar eclipses are no longer possible.astroNASA
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2006/faq.php
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600,000,000End of C3 photosynthesisThe Sun's increasing luminosity begins to disrupt the carbonate-silicate cycle; higher luminosity increases weathering of surface rocks, which traps carbon dioxide in the ground as carbonate. As water evaporates from the Earth's surface, rocks harden, causing plate tectonics to slow and eventually stop. Without volcanoes to recycle carbon into the Earth's atmosphere, carbon dioxide levels begin to fall. By this time, they will fall to the point at which C3 photosynthesis (one of the three types of photosynthesis) is no longer possible. All plants that utilize C3 photosynthesis (~99% of present-day species) will die.geology, doomO'Malley-James et al 2012, Heath and Doyle 2009
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1210.5721v1.pdf
http://arxiv.org/abs/0912.2482
http://wc.pima.edu/~bfiero/tucsonecology/plants/plants_photosynthesis.htm
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800,000,000End of multicellular life
Carbon dioxide levels fall to the point at which C4 photosynthesis is no longer possible. Multicellular life dies out.doomHeath and Doyle 2009
http://arxiv.org/abs/0912.2482
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1,000,000,0001 billion
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1,000,000,000Game over, manThe Sun's luminosity has increased by 10 percent, causing Earth's surface temperatures to reach an average of 47°C. The atmosphere will become a "moist greenhouse", resulting in a runaway evaporation of the oceans. Pockets of water may still be present at the poles, allowing abodes for simple life.climate, doomFranck et al 2005, Schröder and Connon Smith 2008, Brownlee 2010, Li et al 2010
http://biogeosciences-discuss.net/2/1665/2005/bgd-2-1665-2005.pdf
http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/386/1/155
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=M8NwTYEl0ngC&pg=PA79&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://www.pnas.org/content/106/24/9576
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1,300,000,000End of most cellular lifeEukaryotic life (organisms whose cells have a nucleus) dies out due to carbon dioxide starvation. Only prokaryotes (organisms without nuclei in their cells) remain.doomFranck et al 2005
http://biogeosciences-discuss.net/2/1665/2005/bgd-2-1665-2005.pdf
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2,300,000,000End of Earth's magnetic fieldTime until the Earth's outer core freezes, if the inner core continues to grow at its current rate of 1 mm per year. Without its liquid outer core, the Earth's magnetic field shuts down.geology, doomWaszek et al 2011, McDonough 2004, Luhmann et al 2012
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n4/full/ngeo1083.html
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B0080437516020156
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/92GL02485/abstract
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2,800,000,000The End of Life on EarthEarth's surface temperature, even at the poles, reaches an average of 147°C. At this point life, now reduced to unicellular colonies in isolated, scattered microenvironments such as high-altitude lakes or subsurface caves, will completely die out.climate, doomO'Malley-James et al 2012, Adams, Fred C. (2008). "Long-term astrophysicial processes". In Bostrom, Nick; Cirkovic, Milan M.. Global Catastrophic Risks. Oxford University Press. pp. 33–47.
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1210.5721v1.pdf
http://global-catastrophic-risks.com/docs/global-catastrophic-risks.pdf
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3,500,000,000Earth like VenusSurface conditions on Earth are comparable to those on Venus today.climateNew Scientist
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg14219191.900-science-fiery-future-for-planet-earth-.html
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4,000,000,000Milky Way vs. AndromedaMedian point by which the Andromeda Galaxy will have collided with the Milky Way, which will thereafter merge to form a galaxy dubbed "Milkomeda". Due to the vast distances between stars, the Solar System is not expected to be affected by this collision.astroCox and Loeb 2008, Braine et al 2004
http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/386/1/461
http://www.aanda.org/index.php?Itemid=129&option=com_article&access=doi&doi=10.1051/0004-6361:20035732
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5,400,000,000Sun's hydrogen exhaustedWith the hydrogen supply exhausted at its core, the Sun begins to evolve into a red giant.doomSchroder and Smith 2008
http://arxiv.org/abs/0801.4031
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7,900,000,000Sun hits maximum radiusThe Sun achieves its maximum radius of 256 times the present day value. In the process, Mercury, Venus and possibly Earth are destroyed. During these times, it is possible that Saturn's moon Titan could achieve surface temperatures necessary to support life.doomSchroder and Smith 2008, Rybicki and Denis 2001, Lorenz et al 1997
http://arxiv.org/abs/0801.4031
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103501965911
http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~rlorenz/redgiant.pdf
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8,000,000,000Sun = white dwarfSun becomes a carbon-oxygen white dwarf with about 54.05 percent its present mass.doomSchroder and Smith 2008, Bruce Balick / Washington University, Kalirai et al 2008
http://arxiv.org/abs/0801.4031
http://www.astro.washington.edu/users/balick/WFPC2/
http://arxiv.org/abs/0706.3894
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10,000,000,00010 billion
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14,400,000,000Sun = black dwarfSun becomes a black dwarf as its luminosity falls below three trillionths its current level, while its temperature falls to 2,239 K (1,966 degrees C), making it invisible to human eyes.doom7.597Vila 1971
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/doi/10.1086/151196
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20,000,000,000The Big RipThe end of the Universe in the Big Rip scenario: matter is torn about by the expansion of the Universe and all distances become infinite. Observations of galaxy cluster speeds by the Chandra X-ray Observatory suggest that this will not occur.ultimate doomCERN Courier, Vikhlinin et al 2009
http://cerncourier.com/cws/article/cern/28845
http://arxiv.org/abs/0812.2720
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100,000,000,000100 billion
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100,000,000,000Local group mergeBeginning of coalescence of Local Group of galaxies: their orbits will decay and the entire Local Group will merge into one large galaxy. The process will take nearly a trillion years.astro
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_an_expanding_universe#Coalescence_of_Local_Group
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150,000,000,000Cosmic microwave backgroundThe cosmic microwave background cools from its current temperature of ~2.7 K (-270.45 degrees C) to 0.3 K (-272.85 C), rendering it essentially undetectable with current technology.astroChown, Marcus (1996). Afterglow of Creation. University Science Books. p. 210.
http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Afterglow_of_Creation.html?id=CKKft0gg5qsC
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1,000,000,000,0001 trillion
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1,000,000,000,000End of star formation (lowest time)Star formation ends in galaxies as galaxies are depleted of the gas clouds they need to form stars (lowest time estimate). astroAdams and Laughlin 1997, Loeb 2011
http://rmp.aps.org/abstract/RMP/v69/i2/p337_1
http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.0007v2.pdf
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1,000,000,000,000Local group finished mergingEnd of coalescence of Local Group of galaxiesastro
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_an_expanding_universe#Coalescence_of_Local_Group
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10,000,000,000,00010 trillion
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100,000,000,000,000100 trillion
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100,000,000,000,000End of star formation (highest time)Star formation ends in galaxies (highest time estimate). This marks the transition from the Stelliferous Era to the Degenerate Era; with no free hydrogen to form new stars, all remaining stars slowly exhaust their fuel and die.ultimate doomAdams and Laughlin 1997, Adams, Fred; Laughlin, Greg (1999). The Five Ages of the Universe. New York: The Free Press. ISBN 978-0-684-85422-9.
http://rmp.aps.org/abstract/RMP/v69/i2/p337_1
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=f5IOlMlFyJAC&dq=the+five+ages+of+the+universe+adams&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YOAPUcy2D6am4gS42IDYDw&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA
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110,000,000,000,000Stars' fuel exhaustedTime by which all stars in the universe will have exhausted their fuel (the longest-lived stars, low-mass red dwarfs, have lifespans of roughly 10–20 trillion years). After this point, the only stellar-mass objects remaining are stellar remnants (white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes). Brown dwarfs also remain.ultimate doomAdams and Laughlin 1997
http://rmp.aps.org/abstract/RMP/v69/i2/p337_1
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1,000,000,000,000,0001 quadrillion
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100,000,000,000,000,000100 quadrillion
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1,000,000,000,000,000,0001 quintillion
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10,000,000,000,000,000,00010 quintillion
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100,000,000,000,000,000,000100 quintillion
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100,000,000,000,000,000,000Earth diesEstimated time until the Earth's orbit around the Sun decays via emission of gravitational radiation, if the Earth is neither first engulfed by the red giant Sun a few billion years from now nor subsequently ejected from its orbit by a stellar encounter.ultimate doomDyson 1979, Schröder and Connon-Smith 2008, Sackmann et al 1993
http://rmp.aps.org/abstract/RMP/v51/i3/p447_1
http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/386/1/155
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/doi/10.1086/173407
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Final timeline, tidied + amended
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