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Suggestions for Sci-Fi Book

  1. Oct 13, 2014 #1
    I am writing a science fiction book, and have had a lot of fun writing it so far. However, I am facing a technical astronomical problem right now that I would appreciate some advice concerning:

    I am looking for a plausible scenario in which one of a pair of "fraternal" twin suns is about to destroy a planet containing intelligent life. However, an astronomical event occurs which prevents this. I was thinking of the danger to the planet coming from one of it's twin suns entering the supergiant phase, or being about to go supernova, but this being prevented by the formation of a plasma bridge. Is very close proximity the only event which could trigger the formation of a bridge like that? Also, while I would prefer for the planet to be in the habitable zone of the same solar system as the twin stars if that were possible, it could be in a neighboring solar system instead. Any guidelines or advice that any of you could share with me would be much appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2014 #2

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    Your options are pretty slim. For one thing, the evolution of a star is a natural occurrence that can't be stopped. Even if you halt this "catastrophe", the star is still undergoing changes that could severely impact the planet. For example, it could be growing bright or dimmer, redder or bluer, puffing out its outer layers, etc.
     
  4. Oct 14, 2014 #3
    Thanks for your reply Drakkith. I am digging in more and will do a good deal more reading before asking any more questions regarding this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  5. Oct 14, 2014 #4

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    I'd recommend trying to get a grasp of the scale of space. I mean, distances between objects are utterly unimaginable for how big the objects are. The Sun is about 1.4 million kilometers across (a little under 5 light-seconds) yet the distance between it and the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is more than 3 light-years.

    That's 1,400,000 km for the diameter of the Sun, and 30,000,000,000,000 km for the distance between it and the nearest star. That's 7 orders of magnitude difference (7 million times difference), meaning it would take about 7 million Suns placed end to end to reach Proxima Centauri.

    And 3 light-years is a Sunday stroll compared to the distances across galaxies and between galaxies...
     
  6. Oct 23, 2014 #5
    A three body problem can be chaotic. With two stars, the orbit of a planet is very difficult to predict. Perhaps the orbit of the planet comes too close to one of the stars and all life on the planet will be destroyed. This could be prevented by a collision with an asteroid, which sets the planet into another chaotic orbit. The asteroid doesn't have to be cataclysmically large-- remember that in a chaotic system, a small perturbation (butterfly's wings) can grow to a large change in the future. The residents of the planet could possibly engineer the asteroid to collide with the planet.
     
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