Timeline of the far future
While predictions of the future can never be absolutely certain, present scientific understanding in various fields has allowed a projected course for the farthest future events to be sketched out, if only in the broadest strokes. These fields include astrophysics, which has revealed how planets and stars form, interact and die; particle physics, which has revealed how matter behaves at the smallest scales; evolutionary biology, which predicts how life will evolve over time, and plate tectonics, which shows how continents shift over millennia.
All predictions of the future of the Earth, the Solar System and the Universe must account for the second law of thermodynamics, which states that entropy, or a loss of the energy available to do work, must increase over time. Stars must eventually exhaust their supply of hydrogen fuel and burn out. Close encounters will gravitationally fling planets from their star systems, and star systems from galaxies. Eventually, matter itself will come under the influence of radioactive decay, as even the most stable materials break apart into subatomic particles. However, as current data suggest that the Universe is flat, and thus will not collapse in on itself after a finite time, the infinite future potentially allows for the occurrence of a number of massively improbable events, such as the formation of a Boltzmann brain.
These timelines cover events from roughly eight thousand years from now[a] to the farthest reaches of future time. A number of alternate future events are listed to account for questions still unresolved, such as whether humans will become extinct, whether protons decay, or whether Earth will survive the Sun's expansion into a red giant.
- 1 Key
- 2 Future of the Earth
- 3 Future of the Solar System
- 4 Future of the Universe
- 5 Future of humanity
- 6 Spacecraft and space exploration
- 7 Technological projects
- 8 Astronomical events
- 9 Calendric predictions
- 10 Human constructs
- 11 Nuclear power
- 12 Graphical timelines
- 13 See also
- 14 Notes
- 15 References
|Event is determined via|
|Astronomy and astrophysics|
|Geology and planetary science|
|Technology and culture|
Future of the Earth
|Years from now||Event|
|10,000||If a failure of the Wilkes Subglacial Basin "ice plug" in the next few centuries were to endanger the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, it will take up to this long to melt completely. Sea levels would rise 3 to 4 meters. (One of the potential long-term effects of global warming, this is separate from the shorter term threat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.)|
|50,000||The current interglacial period ends, according to the work of Berger and Loutre, sending the Earth back into a glacial period of the current ice age, assuming limited effects of anthropogenic global warming.|
|50,000||The length of the day used for astronomical timekeeping reaches about 86,401 SI seconds, due to lunar tides braking the Earth's rotation. Under the present-day timekeeping system, a leap second will need to be added to the clock every day.|
|100,000||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.|
|100,000[b]||Earth will likely have undergone a supervolcanic eruption large enough to erupt 400 km3 of magma.|
|100,000||Native North American earthworms, such as Megascolecidae, will have naturally spread north through the United States Upper Midwest to the Canadian border, recovering from the Laurentide ice sheet glaciation (38°N to 49°N), assuming a migration rate of 10 m / year. (However, non-native invasive earthworms of North America have already been introduced by humans on a much shorter timescale, causing a shock to the regional ecosystem.)|
|100,000+||As one of the long-term effects of global warming, 10% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide will still remain in a stabilized atmosphere.|
|250,000||Lōʻihi, the youngest volcano in the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain, rises above the surface of the ocean and becomes a new volcanic island.|
|500,000[b]||Earth will have likely been hit by a meteorite of roughly 1 km in diameter, assuming it cannot be averted.|
|500,000||The rugged terrain of Badlands National Park in South Dakota will erode away completely.|
|950,000||Meteor Crater, a large impact crater in Arizona considered the "freshest" of its kind, will be eroded away by this time.|
|1 million[b]||Earth will likely have undergone a supervolcanic eruption large enough to erupt 3,200 km3 of magma; an event comparable to the Toba supereruption 75,000 years ago.|
|2 million||Estimated time required for coral reef ecosystems to physically rebuild and biologically recover from current human-caused ocean acidification.|
|2 million+||The Grand Canyon will erode further, deepening slightly, but principally widening into a broad valley surrounding the Colorado River.|
|10 million||The widening East African Rift valley is flooded by the Red Sea, causing a new ocean basin to divide the continent of Africa and the African Plate into the newly formed Nubian Plate and the Somali Plate.|
|10 million||Estimated time for full recovery of biodiversity after a human-caused Holocene extinction, if it were on the scale of the five previous major extinction events.
Even without a mass extinction, by this time most current species will have disappeared through the background extinction rate, with many clades gradually evolving into new forms. (However, without a mass extinction, there will now be an ecological crisis requiring millions of years of recovery.)
|50 million||The Californian coast begins to be subducted into the Aleutian Trench due to its northward movement along the San Andreas Fault.|
|50 - 60 million||The Canadian Rockies will erode away to a plain, assuming a rate of 60 Bubnoff unit. (The Southern Rockies in the United States are eroding at a somewhat slower rate.)|
|50 - 400 million||Estimated time for Earth to naturally replenish its fossil fuel reserves.|
|80 million||The Big Island becomes the last of the current Hawaiian Islands to sink beneath the waves.|
|100 million[b]||Earth will have likely been hit by a meteorite comparable in size to the one that triggered the K–Pg extinction 65 million years ago.|
|250 million||All the continents on Earth may fuse into a supercontinent. Three potential arrangements of this configuration have been dubbed Amasia, Novopangaea, and Pangaea Ultima.|
|400–500 million||The supercontinent (Pangaea Ultima, Novopangaea, or Amasia) will have likely rifted apart.|
|500–600 million[b]||Estimated time until a gamma ray burst, or massive, hyperenergetic supernova, occurs within 6,500 light-years of Earth; close enough for its rays to affect Earth's ozone layer and potentially trigger a mass extinction, assuming the hypothesis is correct that a previous such explosion triggered the Ordovician–Silurian extinction event. However, the supernova would have to be precisely oriented relative to Earth to have any negative effect.|
|600 million||Tidal acceleration moves the Moon far enough from Earth that total solar eclipses are no longer possible.|
|600 million||The 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 is no longer possible. All plants that utilize C3 photosynthesis (~99 percent of present-day species) will die.|
|800 million||Carbon dioxide levels fall to the point at which C4 photosynthesis is no longer possible. Free oxygen and ozone disappear from the atmosphere. Multicellular life dies out.|
|1 billion[c]||The Sun's luminosity has increased by 10 percent, causing Earth's surface temperatures to reach an average of ~320 K (47 °C, 116 °F). 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.|
|1.3 billion||Eukaryotic life dies out due to carbon dioxide starvation. Only prokaryotes remain.|
|2.3 billion||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, and charged particles emanating from the Sun gradually deplete the atmosphere.|
|2.8 billion||Earth's surface temperature, even at the poles, reaches an average of ~420 K (147 °C, 296 °F). 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.[d]|
|3 billion||Median point at which the Moon's increasing distance from the Earth lessens its stabilising effect on the Earth's axial tilt. As a consequence, Earth's true polar wander becomes chaotic and extreme.|
|3.5 billion||Surface conditions on Earth are comparable to those on Venus today.|
|7.59 billion||The Earth and Moon are very likely destroyed by falling into the Sun, just before the Sun reaches the tip of its red giant phase and its maximum radius of 256 times the present day value.[e] Before the final collision, the Moon possibly spirals below Earth's Roche limit, breaking into a ring of debris, most of which falls to the Earth's surface.|
|50 billion||By this time the Earth and the Moon become tidelocked (if the system is not engulfed by the Sun), with each showing only one face to the other. Thereafter, the tidal action of the Sun will extract angular momentum from the system, causing the lunar orbit to decay and the Earth's spin to accelerate.|
|1015 (1 quadrillion)||Estimated time until the Earth is detached from its orbit around the Sun, due to stellar close encounters (if it is not engulfed by the Sun).|
|1020 (100 quintillion)||Estimated time until the Earth collides with the black dwarf Sun due to the decay of its orbit via emission of gravitational radiation, if the Earth is not ejected from its orbit by a stellar encounter or engulfed by the Sun during its red giant phase.|
Future of the Solar System
|Years from now||Event|
|25,000||The northern Martian polar ice cap could recede as Mars reaches a warming peak of the northern hemisphere during the ~50,000 year perihelion precession aspect of its Milankovitch cycle.|
|36,000||The small red dwarf star Ross 248 passes within 3.024 light years of Earth, becoming the closest star to the Sun. It will recede after about 8,000 years, making first Alpha Centauri and then Gliese 445 the nearest stars (see timeline).|
|1.4 million||The 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.|
|2.7 million||Average orbital half-life of current Centaur objects, that are unstable because of gravitational interaction of the several Outer planets. See predictions for notable Centaurs.|
|8 million||The moon Phobos comes within 7,000 km of Mars, the Roche limit, at which point tidal forces will disintegrate the moon and turn it into a ring of orbiting debris that will continue to spiral in toward the planet.|
|11 million||The ring of debris around Mars hits the surface of the planet.|
|100 million||Upper estimate for lifespan of the rings of Saturn in their current state.|
|230 million||Beyond this time, the orbits of the planets become impossible to predict due to the limitations of Lyapunov time.|
|240 million||From its present position, the Solar System completes one full orbit of the Galactic center.|
|1.5–1.6 billion||The Sun's increasing luminosity causes its circumstellar habitable zone to move outwards; as carbon dioxide increases in Mars's atmosphere, its surface temperature rises to levels akin to Earth during the ice age.|
|3.3 billion||1 percent chance that Mercury's orbit may become so elongated as to collide with Venus, sending the inner Solar System into chaos and potentially leading to a planetary collision with Earth.|
|3.6 billion||Neptune's moon Triton falls through the planet's Roche limit, potentially disintegrating into a planetary ring system similar to Saturn's.|
|5 billion||With the hydrogen supply exhausted at its core, the Sun leaves the main sequence and begins to evolve into a red giant.|
|7.5 billion||Earth and Mars may become tidally locked with the expanding Sun.|
|7.9 billion||The Sun reaches the tip of the red-giant branch of the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram, achieving its maximum radius of 256 times the present day value. In the process, Mercury, Venus and very likely Earth are destroyed.|
|8 billion||Sun becomes a carbon-oxygen white dwarf with about 54.05 percent its present mass.[f]|
|3×1013 (30 trillion)||Estimated time for the Sun to undergo close encounters with other stars in local stellar neighborhoods, disrupting the planets' orbits or ejecting them from the Solar System completely.|
|1015 (1 quadrillion)||Stellar close encounters detach all planets from their orbits around the Sun.|
|1019 to 1020
|The Sun is ejected from the galaxy (90% – 99% chance) or falls into the galaxy's central supermassive black hole.|
Future of the Universe
|Years from now||Event|
|100,000[b]||The hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris will have likely exploded in a hypernova.|
|1 million[b]||Highest estimated time until the red supergiant star Betelgeuse explodes in a supernova. The explosion is expected to be easily visible in daylight.|
|4 billion||Median point by which the Andromeda Galaxy will have collided with the Milky Way, which will thereafter merge to form a galaxy dubbed "Milkomeda". The planets of the Solar System are expected to be relatively unaffected by this collision.|
|22 billion||The end of the Universe in the Big Rip scenario, assuming a model of dark energy with w = −1.5. Observations of galaxy cluster speeds by the Chandra X-ray Observatory suggest that this will not occur.|
|100 billion||The Universe's expansion causes all galaxies beyond the Milky Way's Local Group to disappear beyond the cosmic light horizon, removing them from the observable universe.|
|150 billion||The cosmic microwave background cools from its current temperature of ~2.7 K to 0.3 K, rendering it essentially undetectable with current technology.|
|450 billion||Median point by which the ~47 galaxies of the Local Group will coalesce into a single large galaxy.|
|800 billion||Expected time when the net light emission from the combined Milkomeda galaxy begins to decline as the red dwarf stars pass through their blue dwarf stage of peak luminosity.|
|1012 (1 trillion)||Low estimate for the time until star formation ends in galaxies as galaxies are depleted of the gas clouds they need to form stars.
The universe's expansion, assuming a constant dark energy density, multiplies the wavelength of the cosmic microwave background by 1029, exceeding the scale of the cosmic light horizon and rendering its evidence of the Big Bang undetectable. However, it may still be possible to determine the expansion of the universe through the study of hypervelocity stars.
|3×1013 (30 trillion)||Estimated time for stars to undergo a close encounter with another star in local stellar neighborhoods. Whenever two stars (or stellar remnants) pass close to each other, their planets' orbits can be disrupted, potentially ejecting them from the system entirely. On average, the closer a planet's orbit to its parent star the longer it takes to be ejected in this manner, because it is gravitationally more tightly bound to the star.|
|1014 (100 trillion)||High estimate for the time until normal star formation ends in galaxies. 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.|
|1.1–1.2×1014 (110–120 trillion)||Time 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 stellar-mass objects remaining are stellar remnants (white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes). Brown dwarfs also remain.
Collisions between brown dwarfs will create new red dwarf stars on a marginal level: on average, about 100 stars will be shining in the galaxy. Collisions between stellar remnants will create occasional supernovae.
|1015 (1 quadrillion)||Estimated time until stellar close encounters detach all planets in star systems from their orbits.|
|1019 to 1020 (10–100 quintillion)||Estimated time until 90% – 99% of brown dwarfs and stellar remnants are ejected from galaxies. When two objects pass close enough to each other, they exchange orbital energy, with lower-mass objects tending to gain energy. Through repeated encounters, the lower-mass objects can gain enough energy in this manner to be ejected from their galaxy. This process eventually causes the galaxy to eject the majority of its brown dwarfs and stellar remnants.|
|1030||Estimated time until those stars not ejected from galaxies (1% – 10%) fall into their galaxies' central supermassive black holes. By this point, with binary stars having fallen into each other, and planets into their stars, via emission of gravitational radiation, only solitary objects (stellar remnants, brown dwarfs, ejected planets, black holes) will remain in the universe.|
|2×1036||The estimated time for all nucleons in the observable Universe to decay, if the proton half-life takes its smallest possible value (8.2×1033 years).[g]|
|3×1043||Estimated time for all nucleons in the observable Universe to decay, if the proton half-life takes the largest possible value, 1041 years, assuming that the Big Bang was inflationary and that the same process that made baryons predominate over anti-baryons in the early Universe makes protons decay.[g] By this time, if protons do decay, the Black Hole Era, in which black holes are the only remaining celestial objects, begins.|
|1065||Assuming that protons do not decay, estimated time for rigid objects like rocks to rearrange their atoms and molecules via quantum tunneling. On this timescale, all matter is liquid.|
|5.8×1068||Estimated time until a stellar mass black hole with a mass of 3 solar masses decays into subatomic particles by the Hawking process.|
|1.9×1098||Estimated time until NGC 4889's central supermassive black hole, currently the largest known one with a mass estimated at 21 billion solar masses, decays by the Hawking process.|
|1.7×10106||Estimated time until a supermassive black hole with a mass of 20 trillion solar masses decays by the Hawking process. This marks the end of the Black Hole Era. Beyond this time, if protons do decay, the Universe enters the Dark Era, in which all physical objects have decayed to subatomic particles, gradually winding down to their final energy state in the heat death of the universe.|
|10200||Estimated high time for all nucleons in the observable universe to decay, if they don't via the above process, through any one of many different mechanisms allowed in modern particle physics (higher-order baryon non-conservation processes, virtual black holes, sphalerons, etc.) on time scales of 1046 to 10200 years.|
|101500||Assuming protons do not decay, the estimated time until all baryonic matter has either fused together to form iron-56 or decayed from a higher mass element into iron-56. (see iron star)|
|[h][i]||Low estimate for the time until all objects exceeding the Planck mass collapse via quantum tunnelling into black holes, assuming no proton decay or virtual black holes. On this vast timescale, even ultra-stable iron stars are destroyed by quantum tunnelling events. First iron stars of sufficient mass will collapse via tunnelling into neutron stars. Subsequently neutron stars and any remaining iron stars collapse via tunnelling into black holes. The subsequent evaporation of each resulting black hole into sub-atomic particles (a process lasting roughly 10100 years) is on these timescales instantaneous.|
|Estimated time for a Boltzmann brain to appear in the vacuum via a spontaneous entropy decrease.|
|Estimated time for random quantum fluctuations to generate a new Big Bang.|
|High estimate for the time until all matter collapses into black holes, assuming no proton decay or virtual black holes, which then (on these timescales) instantaneously evaporate into sub-atomic particles.|
|High estimate for the time for the Universe to reach its final energy state, even in the presence of a false vacuum.|
Future of humanity
|Years from now||Event|
|10,000||Most likely estimated lifespan of technological civilization, according to Frank Drake's original formulation of the Drake equation.|
|10,000||If globalization trends lead to panmixia, human genetic variation will no longer be regionalized, as the effective population size will equal the actual population size. (This does not mean homogeneity, as minority traits will still be preserved, e.g. no disappearing blonde gene, but will rather be evenly distributed worldwide.)|
|10,000||Humanity has a 95% probability of being extinct by this date, according to Brandon Carter's formulation of the controversial Doomsday argument, which argues that half of the humans who will ever have lived have probably already been born.|
|20,000||According to the glottochronology linguistic model of Morris Swadesh, future languages should retain just 1 out of 100 "core vocabulary" words on their Swadesh list compared to that of their current progenitors.|
|100,000+||Maximal estimated time for a full terraforming of Mars project, that includes the development of an oxygen-rich breathable atmosphere.|
|100,000 – 1 million||Estimated shortest time by which humanity could colonize the 100,000 light-year galaxy and become capable of harnessing all the energy of the galaxy, assuming a speed of 0.1c or greater.|
|2 million||Vertebrate species separated for this long will generally undergo allopatric speciation. Evolutionary biologist James W. Valentine predicted that if humanity has been dispersed among genetically isolated space colonies over this time, the galaxy will host an evolutionary radiation of multiple human species with a "diversity of form and adaptation that would astound us". (This would be a natural process of isolated populations, unrelated to potential deliberate genetic enhancement technologies.)|
|7.8 million||Humanity has a 95% probability of being extinct by this date, according to J. Richard Gott's formulation of the controversial Doomsday argument, which argues that we have probably already lived through half the duration of human history.|
|5 – 50 million||Shortest time by which the entire galaxy could be colonised by means within reach of current technology.|
|100 million||Maximal estimated lifespan of technological civilization, according to Frank Drake's original formulation of the Drake equation.|
|1 billion||Estimated time for an astroengineering project to alter the Earth's orbit, compensating for the Sun's increasing brightness and outward migration of the habitable zone, accomplished by repeated asteroid gravity assists.|
Spacecraft and space exploration
To date five spacecraft (Voyagers 1 and 2, Pioneers 10 and 11 and New Horizons) are on trajectories which will take them out of the Solar System and into interstellar space. Barring an unlikely collision, the craft should persist indefinitely.
|Years from now||Event|
|10,000||Pioneer 10 passes within 3.8 light years of Barnard's Star.|
|25,000||The Arecibo message, a collection of radio data transmitted on 16 November 1974, reaches the distance of its destination, the globular cluster Messier 13. This is the only interstellar radio message sent to such a distant region of the galaxy. However, the cluster will no longer be at that location when the message arrives.|
|32,000||Pioneer 10 passes within 3 light years of Ross 248.|
|40,000||Voyager 1 passes within 1.6 light years of AC+79 3888, a star in the constellation Camelopardalis.|
|50,000||The KEO space time capsule, if it is launched, will reenter Earth's atmosphere.|
|296,000||Voyager 2 passes within 4.3 light years of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.|
|800,000 – 8 million||Estimated lifespan of the two Pioneer plaques, before the information stored on them is rendered unrecoverable.|
|2 million||Pioneer 10 passes near the bright star Aldebaran.|
|4 million||Pioneer 11 passes near one of the stars in the constellation Aquila.|
|8 million||The 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.|
|1 billion||Estimated lifespan of the two Voyager Golden Records, before the information stored on them is rendered unrecoverable.|
|Years from now||Event|
|10,000||Planned lifespan of the Long Now Foundation's several ongoing projects, including a 10,000-year clock known as the Clock of the Long Now, the Rosetta Project, and the Long Bet Project.
Estimated lifespan of the HD-Rosetta analog disc, an ion beam-etched writing medium on nickel plate, a technology developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory and later commercialized. (The Rosetta Project is named after and uses this technology).
|100,000+||Estimated lifespan of Memory of Mankind (MOM) self storage-style repository in Hallstatt salt mine in Austria, which stores information on inscribed tablets of stoneware.|
|1 million||Planned lifespan of the Human Document Project being developed at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.|
|1 million||Estimated lifespan of "Superman memory crystal" data storage using femtosecond laser-etched nanostructures in glass, a technology developed at the University of Southampton.|
|1 billion||Estimated lifespan of "Nanoshuttle memory device" using an iron nanoparticle moved as a molecular switch through a carbon nanotube, a technology developed at the University of California at Berkeley.|
Extremely rare astronomical events beginning at the 11th millennium AD (Year 10,001).
|Date / Years from now||Event|
|20 August, 10,663 AD||A simultaneous total solar eclipse and transit of Mercury.|
|10,720 AD||The planets Mercury and Venus will both cross the ecliptic at the same time.|
|25 August, 11,268 AD||A simultaneous total solar eclipse and transit of Mercury.|
|28 February, 11,575 AD||A simultaneous annular solar eclipse and transit of Mercury.|
|17 September, 13,425 AD||A near-simultaneous transit of Venus and Mercury.|
|13,727 AD||The Earth's axial precession will make Vega the northern pole star.|
|13,000 years||By 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 at Earth's perihelion and away from the Sun at aphelion.|
|5 April, 15,232 AD||A simultaneous total solar eclipse and transit of Venus.|
|20 April, 15,790 AD||A simultaneous annular solar eclipse and transit of Mercury.|
|14,000-17,000 years||The Earth's axial precession will make Canopus the South Star, but it will only be within 10ø of the south celestial pole.|
|20,346 AD||Thuban will be the northern pole star.|
|27,800 AD||Polaris will again be the northern pole star.|
|27,000 years||The eccentricity of Earth's orbit will reach a minimum, 0.00236 (it is now 0.01671).|
|October, 38,172 AD||A transit of Uranus from Neptune, the rarest of all planetary transits.|
|67,173 AD||The planets Mercury and Venus will both cross the ecliptic at the same time.|
|26 July, 69,163 AD||A simultaneous transit of Venus and Mercury.|
|70,000||Comet Hyakutake returns to the inner solar system, after traveling in its orbit out to its aphelion 3410 A.U. from the Sun and back.|
|27 and 28 March, 224,508 AD||Respectively, Venus and then Mercury will transit the Sun.|
|571,741 AD||A simultaneous transit of Venus and the Earth as seen from Mars|
|6 million||Comet C/1999 F1 (Catalina), one of the longest period comets known, returns to the inner solar system, after traveling in its orbit out to its aphelion 66,600 A.U. (1.05 light years) from the Sun and back.|
|Years from now||Event|
||The Gregorian calendar will be roughly 10 days out of sync with the Sun's position in the sky.|
|10,877 years, 230 days||10 June, 12,892 AD||In the Hebrew calendar, due to a gradual drift with regard to the solar year, Passover will fall on the northern summer solstice (it is meant to fall around the spring equinox).|
|18,859 years, 69 days||20,874 AD||The 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.|
||The Tabular Islamic calendar will be roughly 10 days out of sync with the Moon's phase.|
|46,886 years, 128 days||1 March, 48,901 AD||The Julian calendar (365.25 days) and Gregorian calendar (365.2425 days) will be one year apart.[j]|
|Years from now||Event|
|50,000||Estimated atmospheric lifetime of tetrafluoromethane, the most durable greenhouse gas.|
|1 million||Current glass objects in the environment will be decomposed.
On the Moon, Neil Armstrong's "one small step" footprint at Tranquility Base will erode by this time, along with those left by all twelve Apollo moonwalkers, due to the accumulated effects of space weathering. (Normal erosion processes active on Earth are not present due to the Moon's almost complete lack of atmosphere).
|7.2 million||Without maintenance, Mount Rushmore will erode into unrecognizability.|
|100 million||Future archaeologists should be able to identify an "Urban Stratum" of fossilized great coastal cities, mostly through the remains of underground infrastructure such as building foundations and utility tunnels.|
|Years from now||Event|
|10,000||The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, for nuclear weapons waste, is planned to be protected until this time, with a "Permanent Marker" system designed to warn off visitors through both multiple languages (the six UN languages and Navajo) and through pictograms. (The Human Interference Task Force has provided the theoretical basis for United States plans for future nuclear semiotics.)|
|30,000||Estimated supply lifespan of fission-based breeder reactor reserves, using known sources, assuming current world energy consumption.|
|60,000||Estimated supply lifespan of fission-based light water reactor reserves if it is possible to extract all the uranium from seawater, assuming current world energy consumption.|
|211,000||Half-life of Technetium-99, the most important long-lived fission product in uranium-derived nuclear waste.|
|1 million||The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to maintain an annual dose limit of 100 millirem until this time.|
|15.7 million||Half-life of Iodine-129, the most durable long-lived fission product in uranium-derived nuclear waste.|
|60 million||Estimated supply lifespan of fusion power reserves if it is possible to extract all the lithium from seawater, assuming current world energy consumption.|
|150 billion||Estimated supply lifespan of fusion power reserves if it is possible to extract all the deuterium from seawater, assuming current world energy consumption.|
For graphical, logarithmic timelines of these events see:
- Graphical timeline of the universe (to 8 billion years from now)
- Graphical timeline of the Stelliferous Era (to 1020 years from now)
- Graphical timeline from Big Bang to Heat Death (to 101000 years from now)
- Future of the Earth
- Chronology of the universe
- Detailed logarithmic timeline
- Earth's location in the universe
- Space and survival
- Terasecond and longer
- Timeline of natural history
- Timeline of the near future
- 10th millennium
- The precise cutoff point is 0:00 on 1 January 10001 AD
- This represents the time by which the event will most probably have happened. It may occur randomly at any time from the present.
- Units are short scale
- There is a roughly 1 in 100,000 chance that the Earth might be ejected into interstellar space by a stellar encounter before this point, and a 1 in 3 million chance that it will then be captured by another star. Were this to happen, life, assuming it survived the interstellar journey, could potentially continue for far longer.
- This has been a tricky question for quite a while; see the 2001 paper by Rybicki, K. R. and Denis, C. However, according to the latest calculations, this happens with a very high degree of certainty.
- Based upon the weighted least-squares best fit on p. 16 of Kalirai et al. with the initial mass equal to a solar mass.
- Around 264 half-lives. Tyson et al. employ the computation with a different value for half-life.
- is 1 followed by 1026 (100 septillion) zeroes.
- Although listed in years for convenience, the numbers beyond this point are so vast that their digits would remain unchanged regardless of which conventional units they were listed in, be they nanoseconds or star lifespans.
- Manually calculated from the fact that the calendars were 10 days apart in 1582 and grew further apart by 3 days every 400 years.
- Rescher, Nicholas (1998). Predicting the future: An introduction to the theory of forecasting. State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-3553-9.
- Adams, Fred; Laughlin, Greg (1999). The Five Ages of the Universe. New York: The Free Press. ISBN 978-0-684-85422-9.
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