Could Earth ever leave our solar system?

Cixin's story, "The Wandering Earth" by Liu Cixin (first published in Science Fiction World Chinese magazine in July 2000), depicts a scenario where the leaders of Earth agree to lift Earth out of the sun to avoid a solar flare that will decimate all terrestrial planets.

It is very unlikely," Matteo Ceriotti (an aerospace engineer and lecturer in space systems engineering at the University of Glasgow, U.K.) told Live Science via email.

"Timothy Davis is a senior lecturer of physics and astronomy at Cardiff University, U.K. He agreed that Earth could theoretically be expelled from the solar system and has his own theory about how it could happen.

Davis stated that the energy needed to lift the Earth from its orbit, and then eject it out of the solar system, is so enormous -- equivalent to sextillion (1 with 21 zeros after) megaton nuclear bombs going off simultaneously -- that it seems unlikely."

Although unlikely, imagine what it would look like if Earth broke away from the sun.

"If Earth were to disappear from the solar system, it is very likely that most of the life we know would be extinct."

This scenario would show that the farther Earth is from the Sun, it will result in a lower temperature.

Davis stated that the only source of heat remaining would be radioactive elements decaying in Earth's crust, which is the result of the formation of our solar system."

Ceriotti said that the solar system would eventually be disrupted so that Earth is either knocked out or destroyed completely.

It is also predicted that the Sun will enlarge and engulf Earth in the next 5billion years," Ceriotti said. While Earth will eventually leave our solar system, it is not something we need to worry about for the next few billion years.