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  • What if Jupiter gained just a little bit more mass

  • during its formation period,

  • and then ignited to become a star?

  • This is WHAT IF,

  • and here's what would happen

  • if Jupiter became a star.

  • Jupiter has more than twice the mass

  • of all the planets in the Solar System combined.

  • It doesn't have a solid ground,

  • and is made up of the same elements as the Sun.

  • And yet, it's not a star.

  • Jupiter doesn't have enough mass

  • to initiate a fusion reaction in its core -

  • the necessary requirement to be accepted into the star club.

  • If only we could find 79 more Jupiters

  • and crash them all into the one we have now,

  • we'd be able to build a second star in the Solar System.

  • What would that be like?

  • Eighty Jupiters crushed together

  • would make a star out of the gas giant.

  • But that star would be nothing like the Sun.

  • Jupiter would be massive enough to become a red dwarf -

  • a small, cool, hydrogen-burning star.

  • As every red dwarf out there, it wouldn't be too bright.

  • 0.3% of the Sun's luminosity

  • is the most light that Jupiter could hope to spit out.

  • Because Jupiter is four times further away from us than the Sun,

  • the Earth wouldn't get much heat from it.

  • By and large, Jupiter turning into a red dwarf

  • wouldn't change anything for life on Earth.

  • You'd still see it from Earth.

  • A Jupiter-star would appear red and a bit brighter than the Moon at its full phase.

  • Would it at least have a gravitational impact on the Solar System?

  • Not as much as you might think.

  • The former gas giant would slightly shift the orbits of the other planets.

  • But not enough to set them on a collision course with one another,

  • or launch them out of their orbits into outer space.

  • The only threat we'd face

  • would be space rocks

  • from the asteroid belt that Jupiter might send towards the Earth.

  • We'd need to learn to detect and destroy them

  • before they could reach our planet.

  • Other than that, not much would change for the Solar System.

  • Things would get a lot more fun if Jupiter was replaced with a Sun-like star.

  • If our gas giant became 1,000 times more massive,

  • the Solar System would go wild.

  • Asteroids would crash into planets,

  • and planets would change their orbital course.

  • It's hard to predict what would happen to Earth in this gravitational mess.

  • It could be anything from being pulled a little too close to Jupiter-star

  • and getting scorched,

  • to being left drifting alone in the void of space.

  • In any case, it wouldn't be too pretty.

  • In the real world, Jupiter is forever destined to be a planet.

  • And that's for the best.

  • Maybe someday soon we'll get a closer look,

  • and send a manned spacecraft rushing inside the gas giant.

  • But that's a story for another WHAT IF.

What if Jupiter gained just a little bit more mass

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もし木星が星になったら? (What If Jupiter Became a Star?)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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