Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How would a society go about either preventing our sun in its primary sequence from going into a Red Giant a billion years from now? Or perhaps, accelerating the process of going from main sequence of our start to a red giant prematurely.

What catalysts would have to happen, implemented by humans, so no natural phenomenon could play a part in it, that would have an impact, even slight, on the future processes of the sun's lifecycle.

Any thoughts or help would be great!!!!

share|improve this question
Find another star, and bang them together. Easy. Other than that I don't think its possible. Dunno. –  Manishearth Apr 10 '12 at 3:22
From wikipedia on red giants "Red giants are stars that have exhausted the supply of hydrogen in their cores and switched to thermonuclear fusion of hydrogen in a shell surrounding the core. " further down "When the star exhausts the hydrogen fuel in its core, nuclear reactions in the core stop, so the core begins to contract due to its gravity. This heats a shell just outside the core, where hydrogen remains, initiating fusion of hydrogen to helium in the shell. The higher temperatures lead to increasing reaction rates, –  anna v Apr 10 '12 at 4:17
There is nothing we can do to influence the sun appreciably. The scale of material and energy resources that we can have on Earth is neglibile compared to Sun's scale. –  Slaviks Apr 10 '12 at 4:18
producing enough energy to increase the star's luminosity by a factor of 1,000–10,000. The outer layers of the star then expand greatly, beginning the red giant phase ". To change the red giant path one would have to infuse hydrogen to the core. Cannot be done, I think even naturally. If a giant hydrogen filled asteroid fell into the sun now, to reach the core the impact necessary to reach the core would blow up the sun, imo. –  anna v Apr 10 '12 at 4:20
You could try to introduce new material from interstellar space into the sun. This would be an engineering task on the scale of building a Dyson sphere... You could try to extract material from the sun - somehow intercept a solar prominence and appropriate the plasma, rather than allowing it to fall back? And perhaps you could introduce some sort of exotic matter into the sun that interfered with the fusion process. There was an sf novel in which there were "photino birds", made of supersymmetric particles, which got into stars and did this... –  Mitchell Porter Apr 10 '12 at 4:42
show 2 more comments

1 Answer

Sci-fi method: It might still be a competitive in terms of energy expenses options to put all the people into a spacecraft, attain ultrarelativistic velocities, wait a second (or some other necessary time), and then come back to what is left from the Earth. Due to special relativistic time dilation effects during the flight billions of years may pass for the Sun to end its main-sequence phase.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.