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Our sun will die, of course, about six billion years from now. But things could get ugly long before that. The steady gyrations of the solar system today may conceal the seeds of chaos. Even the tiniest of irregularities can build up over time, gradually altering the paths of the planets. Between now and final sundown, it has been calculated, there is a roughly 2 per cent chance of catastrophe. Mars might drift too close to Jupiter and be thrown out of the solar system. If we're very unlucky, hot-headed Mercury could run wild and smash into Earth.