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Jupiter as a star

  1. May 2, 2012 #1
    With its current mass, can Jupiter become a stable star? Suppose Jupiter was artificially compressed to only a fraction of its present size (a hypothetical situation occurring in at least one work of science fiction), would the gravity-radiation pressure equilibrium be reached at all? It appears to me that even if it were possible to forcibly initiate nuclear fusion at the core, the mass of the planet is not high enough to form a stable star.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2012 #2
    I read once long ago that Jupiter had almost enough mass to be a star.

    If it were artificially ignited it seems to me that as soon as the artificial pressure were removed it would go out. unless there is something I don't know about.
  4. May 2, 2012 #3


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    Sub stellar masses like Brown dwarfs require over seventy times the mass of Jupiter to begin fusion in their core. I'm not sure if there is any validity in the science fiction ideas, I can't see how you could stabily compress a planet without the outward pressure pushing it back out.
  5. May 2, 2012 #4


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    Fusion processes would heat the core of Jupiter and therefore increase the pressure - and make Jupiter larger and less dense, compared to the current state.
    Unless you invent something fancy which could catalyze fusion or feed a large amount of deuterium+tritium (maybe that could burn, until the tritium is decayed) into the core or whatever, you won't get stable fusion there.
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