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Gas Giant Ignition

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Is it Theoretically possible to ignite certain gas giants or even create a large ball of gas in space that we could ignite to create something that might resemble a miniature sun?

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yes it is theoretically possible

 

all you need to do is dump a load of hydrogen onto it. however, the amount of hydrogen you need to dump on it would outweigh the gas giant itself.

 

and stars and the sun were created by a whole bunch of hydrogen getting together in one place.

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And where are you getting that gas from? How are you dumping it into the sun?

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dumping it into the sun is the easy bit, getting hold of the gas in such a large quantity is the hard bit.

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not enough gas. gas giants may be giant on a planetary scale but its small potatoes on a solar scale.

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It's estimated that 600 million tons of hydrogen is converted to helium each second in the Sun. While that's not the only kind of fusion that keeps it going, it illustrates well what kind of resources you would need to extend a star's lifespan, even if you could dump it all directly into the core.

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ok, so would it be theoratically possible to re-create this on a very small scale, even for a matter of a nanosecond?

I think this experiment has alread been tried but i am not completely sure, any thoughts, feelings, or arguments welcome

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ok, so would it be theoratically possible to re-create this on a very small scale, even for a matter of a nanosecond?

I think this experiment has alread been tried but i am not completely sure, any thoughts, feelings, or arguments welcome

 

Small-scale nanosecond sun? That's pretty much what thermonuclear weapons ("H-bombs") do.

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ok, could we create a facility to harness that energy released? There must be huge amounts released in such a short period of time.

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not a nuke, no. but we can do controlled fusion. although we can only maintain it for a few minutes before the plasma destabilises. ITER should see some good results.

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is there any forseeable way to keep the plasma in a stable state? and what kind of equipment would be required to produce the plasma in small quantities for a short period of time 2-4 seconds approx?

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yep, big giant electromagnetic rings. thats how they do it now, it just needs tweaking.

 

plasma can be produced easily, it happens in fluorecent light bulbs all the time. flames are plasma and if you have a microwave to spare you can make some with that too.

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is is theoratically possible to use plasma as a weapon if we had a meathod of propelling it without it destabalising before it reaches it's target? and how big would the 'Gun' have to be if it was a smaller version of the electomagnetic rings?

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plasma does not go far in an atmosphere, you would probably have to be withing arms length for anything like a proper shot.

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will it work in a vaccum then? would it make a good weapon if a particalar country wants to fire at something acroos space? (not much of it mind you several miles perhaps?)

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Is it Theoretically possible to ignite certain gas giants or even create a large ball of gas in space that we could ignite to create something that might resemble a miniature sun?

 

If you think about it enough you can come up with a theoretical way to do almost anything, it's actual practice that is difficult. If you wanted to "ignite" Jupiter and could do anything but needed to keep it close to the same mass then drop in a large ball of neutronium, maybe a ball of neutronium a few meters in diameter should be enough to start fusion at the surface of the sphere once it's at the core of Jupiter (maybe not, it might take a lot more but the principle should work) of course this would make Jupiter more massive. In the book/movie 2001 a Space Odyssey part of the mass of Jupiter was turned into neutronium or something similar to ignite fusion at it's core. It probably wouldn't support fusion for more than a few million years but it would shine for a while.

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ok, i will forget that then. could there be a way to merge suns?

 

We probably cound not merge stars. But in some Binary Star systems when one star starts to die and its gravity increases it can start stealing the other stars material through a process known as Roche Lobe overflow.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_star#Mass_transfer_and_accretion

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I heard that had jupiter had 15% more mass it might have ignited. Go watch the movie 2010.

 

Deuterium ignition, the lowest energy ignition you can get, starts at about 17 Jupiter masses, so no 15% would be nowhere near enough. These things are classified as brown dwarfs...

 

All the other planets in the solarsystem added together are about 1/3 of a Jupiter mass...

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If you put a bunch of thermonuclear weapons spaced appropriately and deep within Jupiter, would it not be possible to "light up" Jupiter into a miniature supernova? Even if Jupiter does not have the mass to keep itself together at high temperatures, inertial confinement might allow it it stay lit for several seconds at the very least.

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