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Author Topic: Could a gas giant turn into a star?  (Read 6327 times)

R ACOTT

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Could a gas giant turn into a star?
« on: 18/09/2008 10:32:10 »
R ACOTT  asked the Naked Scientists:

Hi.

Is it possible that a planet, maybe a gas giant like Jupiter in our solar system, could turn into a sun like in the novel 2010 by Arthur C Clarke?  I know this was just science fiction but i was interested to know if there was any possibility?
 
Thank you.

What do you think?


 

Offline neilep

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Could a gas giant turn into a star?
« Reply #1 on: 18/09/2008 11:34:46 »
Why yes, *Warning..very crude explanation follows*....... yes it could...BUT, only if it continued to grow in mass and accumulate enough stuff to make it heavy/big enough. At the moment it's way too small, but if any object continued to grow in size and weight then it would eventually have enough stuff to become a star...which is nice !

Good book yes ?...have you seen the films ?


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Offline neilep

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Could a gas giant turn into a star?
« Reply #2 on: 18/09/2008 11:36:51 »
...oh.....I think that was the point of those structures/monoliths entering Jupiter to make it gain enough mass to become a star !
 

Offline graham.d

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Could a gas giant turn into a star?
« Reply #3 on: 18/09/2008 13:30:42 »
Neil, just from my memory of 2010, I think the monoliths were "Von Neumann machines" that did some sort of job and were capable of self replication. So they were not adding mass as such.

The smallest mass star yet discovered (a brown dwarf) is still about 60x heavier than Jupiter (jupiter's mass is only about 1/1000 that of the sun). I am not sure that Jupiter could turn into a star naturally - at least not without somehow accreting a lot of mass. I suppose that if Arther C Clarke's "machines" were capable enough the planet could be compressed sufficiently to cause fusion between some elements, but whether this could be sustained, I don't know.
 

Offline chris

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Could a gas giant turn into a star?
« Reply #4 on: 18/09/2008 18:00:59 »
This is correct; brown dwarfs are viewed as "failed stars" that have not accreted sufficient material and hence lack sufficient gravity to trigger fusion.

C
 

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Could a gas giant turn into a star?
« Reply #4 on: 18/09/2008 18:00:59 »

 

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