Suppose Earth has drifted away from solar system for some reason. It has been 320 years since drifting started. For almost 250 years, it is farther away from Neptune. - How cold would the surface temperature be? - Would it effect the inner temperature? (The "1 degrees centigrade per 33 meters" principle)

  • $\begingroup$ Good Question. I'm not a physicist or anything, so I can't answer that question, but the earth's surface would get a lot colder, and everybody wolf died by 250 years-probably a day. $\endgroup$
    – The_CIA
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ I am carrying everybody down. I need to know how deep is necessary. Would it go down to -270 C on surface? If so I need to go down to 10km. $\endgroup$
    – UKS
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ can you clarify the details please ? did it take 70 (ie. 320-250) years to drift in a spiral line from current orbit to neptune's orbit ? and then another 250 years of drifting at the same rate past neptune's orbit ? Does it stay on the ecliptic ? how does it avoid capture or collision with large mass bodies like Jupiter or Saturn ? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ @UKS I told you, I don't know. Just look up Surface Temperature of Pluto, find its coldest point, and use it. That should probably work. $\endgroup$
    – The_CIA
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 15:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I imagine that where magma comes to the surface you will not have to go down too deep. Try geothermal energy, Iceland for example. $\endgroup$
    – Bookeater
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


There's a sketch of an answer here

Basically, at 320 years, there hasn't been time to freeze the planet properly. The oceans won't be frozen solid yet, and I suspect that the atmosphere would not be raining out yet. Based on borehole climatology, I'd guesstimate that you'd need to be perhaps 100-200 meters down to be able to ignore it, at this stage.

The gradual progression of ocean freezing, the need to go deeper and the freeze-out of the atmosphere would all be interesting, though.

  • $\begingroup$ With Earth's size, its internal heat sources, significant atmosphere for a terrestrial planet, and moon with its tidal heating I don't think the nitrogen, oxygen or argon components would ever freeze out. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 19:21

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