Can i create a star from Jupiter?

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I am rather a beginner to this field .So please forgive me if this is a very meaningless question.
QUESTION:
If I were to somehow increase Jupiter's mass by adding more hydrogen to its atmosphere, can i ever reach the stage where the mass of the planet becomes enough to undergo gravitational contraction thereby producing sufficient heat and turning it into a star ? Please Explain in detail
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I'm new to the topic too, so I'm just throwing in my 2 cents.
Quite simply put, if the core is made sufficiently dense (highly compressed mass is the key feature essential for causing gravitational contraction) with ionized hydrogen and some helium very quickly, you should get a plasma like medium at a decent temperature of a few thousand Kelvin, which sounds about right for nuclear fusion to begin. Adding more hydrogen to the surface would not trigger this. You'll need to inject high temperature hydrogen(deuterium to be precise) into the core at a very high pressure to make this idea conceivable. Since we're starting off with Jupiter here, the majority of the planet, except for the parts close to the core, is at a temperature too low to sustain nuclear fusion even though the nuclear fusion takes place in the core, since any high temperature spark in the core would immediately be cooled down by the surrounding mass of gas, and as a result, the core would rapidly cool and expand, pushing on the gaseous surface and just increase its diameter. Depending on the scope of imagination that you would allow, if some isotopes of heavy elements with comparatively low binding energy per nucleon were compressed in the core(something of an atomic bomb), the series of initial nuclear fission reactions would spread outwards from the center of the core, eventually spreading all across the planet to the surface, converting it into a radiation ball and heating it up to allow chain reactions to continue. This would allow the core to sustain nuclear fusion and create enough outward radiative pressure to counterbalance the gravitational force pulling the mass in, and since Jupiter is already rather massive as a planet, the critical mass needed for sustaining the chain sequences should be met with the injected mass, adding to the bulk at the core. Compression and reduction in surface area to volume ratio of the radioactive parent nuclides increases the degree of chain reactivity, a concept used in nukes.
Summarizing it, you'll need to inject super-compressed high temperature deuterium into Jupiter's core together with some Helium and heavy isotopes with low binding energies per nucleon. Remember that these actions are adding mass to the planet too, and the reactions should theoretically convert Jupiter into a star, although it's practically impossible.(As of yet :biggrin:)
 
  • #3
Ken G
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All you need to have a star is enough mass of hydrogen gas, so the answer is yes, if you add enough hydrogen gas to Jupiter, it will become a star. However, you'd have to add so much hydrogen gas that it really doesn't matter what you start with. Jupiter has only 1/1000 the mass of the Sun, and you need at least about 1/10 the mass of the Sun in hydrogen gas to get anything like a normal kind of star. So you would not really be adding hydrogen to Jupiter's "atmosphere," so much as making a completely new object with way more mass than Jupiter now has.
 
  • #4
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Are there any Jupiter sized objects now being observed that will become stars?
 
  • #5
Are there any Jupiter sized objects now being observed that will become stars?
No. as Jupiter is a planet, and no planets are seen to be accumulating mass. Planets outside of our solar system are sometimes only seen by their wobble effect on companion stars.
 
  • #6
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Isn't this completely hypothetical? I mean there's no way something with a density as low as hydrogen can be pumped into Jupiter's atmosphere without it being lost out to space. (Not to mention that you'd need it in astronomical amounts to even come close to preparing enough fuel for sustained nuclear fusion)
 
  • #7
Isn't this completely hypothetical? I mean there's no way something with a density as low as hydrogen can be pumped into Jupiter's atmosphere without it being lost out to space. (Not to mention that you'd need it in astronomical amounts to even come close to preparing enough fuel for sustained nuclear fusion)
Spectral analysis of Jupiter has revealed that in addition to hydrogen and helium, the planet is made of water, methane and ammonia. Those elements are in trace amounts. The core of the planet is thought to contain some rock and metallic hydrogen. Scientists estimate that the core is heated to 36,000 K.
 
  • #8
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No. as Jupiter is a planet,
Are all Jupiter sized objects planets?
and no planets are seen to be accumulating mass. Planets outside of our solar system are sometimes only seen by their wobble effect on companion stars.
Are there any objects which are seen accumulating mass?
 
  • #9
Are all Jupiter sized objects planets?

Are there any objects which are seen accumulating mass?
Yes, there are binary star systems where ones gravitational pull, is clearly stealing mass from the other.
 
  • #10
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#PWiz
i don't think its completely hypothetical , if we can manage that amount of hydrogen, because , if we consider the fact that Jupiter's huge mass produces an enormous gravitational field. the hydrogen gas we pump in there , should remain there due to this gravity , as hydrogen atoms will not have enough energy to escape this field unless raised to a sufficient temperature which again may only be attained through sufficient gravitational contraction, leading ot further increase in the field strength. am i wrong in my reasoning?
 
  • #11
russ_watters
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#PWiz
i don't think its completely hypothetical , if we can manage that amount of hydrogen, because , if we consider the fact that Jupiter's huge mass produces an enormous gravitational field. the hydrogen gas we pump in there , should remain there due to this gravity , as hydrogen atoms will not have enough energy to escape this field unless raised to a sufficient temperature which again may only be attained through sufficient gravitational contraction, leading ot further increase in the field strength. am i wrong in my reasoning?
More just wildly unrealistic than wrong; where would we get such a large mass of hydrogen?
 
  • #12
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we have already stated the fact that ASSUMING WE GET THAT AMOUNT OF HYDROGEN . other than that, the rest is not impossible is it ?
 
  • #13
More just wildly unrealistic than wrong; where would we get such a large mass of hydrogen?
Spin it off the Sun, or refine it from the missing 96 percent of he universe.
 
  • #14
Bandersnatch
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I mean there's no way something with a density as low as hydrogen can be pumped into Jupiter's atmosphere
What's wrong with dropping?
 
  • #15
russ_watters
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we have already stated the fact that ASSUMING WE GET THAT AMOUNT OF HYDROGEN . other than that, the rest is not impossible is it ?
Sure: except for the impossible part, it is possible.
 
  • #16
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Yes, there are binary star systems where ones gravitational pull, is clearly stealing mass from the other.
Are there any discrete objects seen accumulating mass from gas clouds, that have never been in stars before?
 
  • #17
Sure: except for the impossible part, it is possible.
96 percent of the mass of the universe is unknown, does that mean that it is impossible
 
  • #18
russ_watters
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96 percent of the mass of the universe is unknown, does that mean that it is impossible
No, it is impossible because:
a. That mass doesn't exist anywhere near our solar system.
b. The technology required to do this doesn't and likely won't ever exist.
 
  • #19
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i think we can let time decide the rest can't we? :)
 
  • #20
i think we can let time decide the rest can't we? :)
Well time will be a factor, however if we are to survive, time is the enemy, and the Earth is just a small island, with limited and dwindling resources. So we must accept the lack of time that we have here, and leave, perhaps as others have before us.
 
  • #21
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that again will be decided by time, as to whether we will be equipped soon enough with all necessary equipment for leaving. its not that we just need to pack our suitcases with a lot of shirts and trousers and a toothbrush and just hop onto a bus :P . anyway , i think we're going off course , so far as the topic is concerned.
 
  • #22
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Creating another star in the local solar system is bound to have disastrous consequences. The universe is voluminous enough for us to find more suitable locations for accommodation.
 
  • #23
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Spectral analysis of Jupiter has revealed that in addition to hydrogen and helium, the planet is made of water, methane and ammonia. Those elements are in trace amounts. The core of the planet is thought to contain some rock and metallic hydrogen. Scientists estimate that the core is heated to 36,000 K.
The only reason why hydrogen is still present on Jupiter in appreciable amounts is because it is so far off from the Sun (the heat doesn't burn it off) and has a stronger gravity to keep it sticking around. The amount of extra hydrogen that must be pumped into Jupiter to allow sustained nuclear fusion would be so great that not even a pull of 24.8 N/Kg would be able to keep it in the planet's jurisdiction. Remember what happened to the hydrogen and helium Earth had? It was combusted, and the remains were eventually lost into the exosphere, and then to outer space.
 
  • #24
Bandersnatch
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The amount of extra hydrogen that must be pumped into Jupiter to allow sustained nuclear fusion would be so great that not even a pull of 24.8 N/Kg would be able to keep it in the planet's jurisdiction. Remember what happened to the hydrogen and helium Earth had? It was combusted, and the remains were eventually lost into the exosphere, and then to outer space.
Neither of those assertions is true.
You can't "combust" helium, the bulk of volatiles in the inner solar system was blown away by the solar wind, and you can definitely drop as much hydrogen into Jupiter's gravity well as you like, until it starts fusing it rapidly enough to blow it away (i.e., ~200 solar masses maximum).

The question has been answered in post #3, and the OP agrees it's worth putting the thread to rest, so maybe we should do that rather than confound the issue even more with random statements.
 
  • #25
Vanadium 50
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Sure: except for the impossible part, it is possible.
And don't forget "If Jupiter were a star, yes it would be a star."
 

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