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Can i create a star from Jupiter?

  1. Dec 30, 2014 #1
    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
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2014 #2
    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:)
     
  4. Dec 30, 2014 #3

    Ken G

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    Gold Member

    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.
     
  5. Dec 30, 2014 #4
    Are there any Jupiter sized objects now being observed that will become stars?
     
  6. Dec 30, 2014 #5
    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.
     
  7. Dec 30, 2014 #6
    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)
     
  8. Dec 30, 2014 #7
    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.
     
  9. Dec 30, 2014 #8
    Are all Jupiter sized objects planets?
    Are there any objects which are seen accumulating mass?
     
  10. Dec 30, 2014 #9
    Yes, there are binary star systems where ones gravitational pull, is clearly stealing mass from the other.
     
  11. Dec 30, 2014 #10
    #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?
     
  12. Dec 30, 2014 #11

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    More just wildly unrealistic than wrong; where would we get such a large mass of hydrogen?
     
  13. Dec 30, 2014 #12
    we have already stated the fact that ASSUMING WE GET THAT AMOUNT OF HYDROGEN . other than that, the rest is not impossible is it ?
     
  14. Dec 30, 2014 #13
    Spin it off the Sun, or refine it from the missing 96 percent of he universe.
     
  15. Dec 30, 2014 #14

    Bandersnatch

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    What's wrong with dropping?
     
  16. Dec 30, 2014 #15

    russ_watters

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    Sure: except for the impossible part, it is possible.
     
  17. Dec 30, 2014 #16
    Are there any discrete objects seen accumulating mass from gas clouds, that have never been in stars before?
     
  18. Dec 30, 2014 #17
    96 percent of the mass of the universe is unknown, does that mean that it is impossible
     
  19. Dec 30, 2014 #18

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    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.
     
  20. Dec 30, 2014 #19
    i think we can let time decide the rest can't we? :)
     
  21. Dec 30, 2014 #20
    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.
     
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