Could Jupiter become a second Sun?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Hermann, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Hermann Registered Senior Member

    Jupiter is a gas giant consisting to 90% out of Hydrogen. It did not become a sun, because its mass is not big enough to start the fusion process by itself. But what would happen after the explosion of an atomic bomb inside Jupiter? Would Jupiter become a second Sun within our solar system? Can anyone calculate or estimate what would happen after such an event, which seems to be possible? What would be the consequences for us on Earth?
  2. geodesic "The truth shall make ye fret" Registered Senior Member

    For Jupiter to become a star, it would have to maintain sufficient pressure and temperature to cause fusion. Jupiter is far too massive to be affected sufficiently by a single explosion - there would be fusion around the edges, but nothing long term.
  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    A star is usually defined as a body whose core is hot enough and under
    enough pressure to fuse light elements into heavier ones with a
    significant release of energy. The most basic (and easiest, in terms of
    the temperatures and pressures required) type of fusion involve the
    fusion of four hydrogen nuclei into one helium-4 nucleus, with a
    corresponding release of energy (in the form of high-frequency photons).
    This reaction powers the most stable and long-lived class of stars, the
    main sequence stars (like our Sun and nearly all of the stars in the
    Sun's immediate vicinity).

    Below certain threshold temperatures and pressures, the fusion reaction
    is not self-sustaining and no longer provides a sufficient release of
    energy to call said object a star. Theoretical calculations indicate
    (and direct observations corroborate) that this limit lies somewhere
    around 0.08 solar masses; a near-star below this limit is called a brown

    By contrast, Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is only
    0.001 masses solar. This makes the smallest possible stars roughly 80
    times more massive than Jupiter; that is, Jupiter would need something
    like 80 times more mass to become even one of the smallest and feeblest
    red dwarfs. Since there is nothing approaching 79 Jupiter masses of
    hydrogen floating around anywhere in the solar system where it could be
    added to Jupiter, there is no feasible way that Jupiter could become a
  4. blobrana Registered Senior Member

    If the sun were to expand and cast off material then some of it maybe collected by Jupiter so that it may perhaps double its size.

    However, given a long enough time frame the orbit of Jupiter may degrade or be affected by passing stars etc so that it migrates towards the sun; infact it may migrate towards a swollen sun so that it orbits closer (or inside) the sun, and may collect enough material to counter the material blasted off by solar radiation and gain enough material to exceed the critical amount needed to sustain nuclear reactions…

    Just a thought..
  5. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Can anyone calculate or estimate what would happen after such an event

    You claim to be a physicist, why can't you?

    which seems to be possible?

    "Seems to be possible" based on what?
  6. Tristan Leave your World Behind Valued Senior Member

    nuclear bomb:Jupiter


    Whipper Snapper:Earth
  7. may_wentee Registered Senior Member

    1,355,000 (+/- 1000) Black monoliths of sufficient size (1-4-9) crashing into Jupiter at approximately the same time should do the job nicely I would think. At least Arthur C. Clark thought so.

    May_wentee :)
  8. weed_eater_guy It ain't broke, don't fix it! Registered Senior Member

    we'll make our own stars, space elevators sucking hydrogen out to orbital stations around the gas giant, all of which use fusion reactors to make energy, and beam it back to earth and other planets!

    coffee-induced daydream, but no, otherwise, not big enough. but the fact that it's a hugantic repository of hydrogen shouldn't go unoticed....
  9. Hermann Registered Senior Member

    Thanks for your answers. This is exactly what I wanted to know – now I have a much better understanding.
  10. devils_reject Registered Senior Member

    And any idea when our current sun is going to die?
  11. Novacane Registered Senior Member

    Yea. July 4, 5,000,000,001 years from now. I think it's a Saturday. I could be a day or two off though.

  12. weed_eater_guy It ain't broke, don't fix it! Registered Senior Member

    ahh, so how long, great prophet, untill the sun swallow's earth's orbit? hope it's not next week, I've got plans
  13. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Thanks for your answers. This is exactly what I wanted to know – now I have a much better understanding.

    So, as a physicist, you come to internet forums to get answers to high school astronomy questions?
  14. Novacane Registered Senior Member

    Maybe in about two or three billion years it might be getting to hot for pouring ice tea.......Leave your air conditoner on.

    Novacane :D
  15. Light Registered Senior Member

    I realize it's just a thought, but that's all it is. :) In fact, the exact opposite is what's happening. As the sun looses mass through fusion and particle emission it's gravity slowly diminishes. The end result of that is that the orbit of Jupiter (and all the other planets) will slowly grow.
  16. Gattaca Registered Senior Member

    Our sun is just at her mid 40s. Let's consider its longevity 100.
  17. Qorl Guest

    If God's wont's that way - yes!
  18. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    No it wont. The stability of the system has been simulated. Jupiter is not going to start an inward migration. Gas giants migrate inward during the formative years of solar systems as they interact with the collapsing dust disc. Once the cloud has disippated there is no mechanism to cause orbital degradation. [Your suggestion of interference by passing stars is valid, though that would seem more likely to cause a plunge into the sun or ejection from the system.]

    In terms of the demise of the sun, we might wish to consider that in one billion years only the gradual increase in the sun's temperature will have induced a runaway greenhouse effect on the Earth. (If mankind hasn't achieved the same effect a lot sooner an more efficiently than nature.)
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2005
  19. kamal talwar Registered Member

    can jupiter become a second sun

    if jupiter becomes the second which is highly inprobable, will its moons become the planet what iam refering to is uropa due to its revolution around the massive planet and friction going on in the core could become the second habitable planet in our solar system. i know that igniting the big planet with nuclear weapons is just not enough. because if it could then would have happend when jupiter was bambarded with meteors back in the 90's.
  20. kamal talwar Registered Member

    got to think of it i never heard of a sun revolving around another sun. it would be highly unstable

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