Would Life On Earth Be Possible If It Was Any Closer To The Sun?

8 August 2017, 18:04 | Updated: 8 August 2017, 18:28

Picture: The Mystery Hour

How important is the Earth's distance from the sun and what is the 'Goldie Lock' zone?


How close would the Earth have to be to the sun to render life impossible?

David, Reading


There would be no life on Earth if it was any closer to the sun, although it's hard to know the exact distance. For life to be possible on any planet, there must be water in a liquid state. Earth exists in the ‘Goldie Lock’ zone, as it's temperature is 'just right'. If it were any closer to the sun water would be gas, and if it were any further away, it would be ice. Both render life impossible. The exact distance could be calculated in time with a computer; but so many variables make it hard to find a definitive answer.

Hal, Brighton

Qualification: University Professor