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Red giant and habitable planets (working theory, be gentle on me)

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posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 03:59 PM
I was watching the science channel today and they are having a marathon of the series how the universe works. In a couple of those shows the discuss how the sun will eventually become a red giant and engulf the inner planets. The thoughts that came into my mind are as follows:

-when the sun reaches red giant, will it end up leaving one of the outer planets in the "habitable zone" that earth sits in. By this i mean where we sit now in relation to the sun, will another one of the planets or perhaps a moon (titan) be at a similar distance to this new red giant.

-how much heat will the red giant generate, I understand that the star actually begins to cool in this phase, it still is emmitting heat. Right now the temperature of the sun is listed as approx. 1.57 x 10^7 kelvin. Even if it cools too lets just say 1.57 x 10^3 kelvin that is still pretty hot.

-how long will it last in red giant

- can this lead to life springing up on other planets and thriving til the red giant goes white dwarf

Like i said this is just a thought that popped in my head litterally an hour ago. I apologize if this has been discussed earlier, i sifted through a bunch of stuff on red giants and did not see anything like this.

I am eagerly looking to hear from you all on here and see your thoughts. I have no expectations either way and i am just curious to hear from people way more knowledgeable than me on this.

edit on 20-3-2011 by lcbjr1979 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 04:04 PM
Thats a good question mate. I dont think any of the planets would be habitable but when you mention Titan, I guess there would be a chance it would thaw out and be able to support life. Would there be any land though?

posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 04:11 PM

On the surface features section of this it appears that there is geological mass there.
edit on 20-3-2011 by lcbjr1979 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 04:17 PM
What about the Icy moons of Jupiter, they will melt and maybe become new Earths?

How about that?! (=

posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 04:21 PM
I was reading just this week about a red giant (may of been a dwarf) that is reckoned to be around 30 degrees C. I'm pondering the same question myself as to whether that star itself could harbour life, if it exists in that state for long enough. Although it is a gaseous affair and the heat is generated by radiation which would probably infer a radically different form of life.

Will see if I can find the article and post a link.
edit on 20-3-2011 by Iam'___' because: (no reason given)

Added: Newly Found Brown Star Is Ultra Cool...

Ok, so it's a brown star, I was nearly there.
edit on 20-3-2011 by Iam'___' because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 04:22 PM
reply to post by sevensheeps

Yeah totally, thats kind of what i mean, i guess i should have been more broad and not just said planets.

posted on Mar, 23 2011 @ 02:03 PM
It's certainly interested to think about. I've seen several documentaries that have discussed the future of our sun and how that will affect the habitability of other planets and outer moons within our own solar system.

I'm not sure how long the red giant phase would last for our own sun, but even if it did increase temperatures to a more 'comfortable' degree, I don't think it would allow life to evolve into anything complex. I also think that some of the more broader studies, and certainly documentary series' tend to overlook a lot of things. I remember one that focused on Titan, and the potential for basic life there at the moment, even with it's cold temperatures. Essentially, they discussed how a future phase of the sun might allow for life to flourish there, but isn't the argument that potential life on Titan uses the moon's liquid methane in lieu of water? Surely an increase in temperature would mean that liquid methane would change into a gaseous state... Then again I'm not clued up about the ins and outs, but find the whole subject fascinating. There is a lot of theories about sub-surface watery oceans on many of the outer moons though, maybe this would be a more consistent environment for life.

posted on Mar, 23 2011 @ 04:27 PM
I guess if our sun changed into a red giant it could potentially put other planets or moons at a comfortable temperature for life. Problem is I think that red giants produce so little heat and light comparably, the distance to the star for liquid water is reduced severely and any world in that radius would be subject to intense radiation from being so close to such a huge star. When our sun becomes a red giant, though I don't think its in range to be outright consumed it is believed that the forces exerted by the star will destroy the Earth's atmosphere and evaporate the oceans into space.

Also, the red giant phase of stars is believed to only last a few million years, which may not be enough time for life to take a foothold.

This according to wikipedia:

It doesn't say anything about the habitable zones of red giants in this article, but I am sure I have read in a few places about scientific studies in the effects of planets in a red giants habitable zone. I will link it here if I find it.
edit on 23-3-2011 by RSF77 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 26 2011 @ 06:25 AM
It took nearly 4 billion years for intelligent life to evolve from the beginning of life on earth, so though microbial life may form on the outer planets as the sun increases in size through it's red giant phase a couple of observations that we can determine so far indicates the red giant phase only lasts a couple few million years. As the sun expands it also loses mass (interesting) and it's expansion is also theorized to cause planets orbital distance to spiral outwards. Should man be advanced enough for real space travel, (should man survive another 7 billion years), we could probably planet hop until the sun is no longer able to generate fusion.

Here's one take on the expanding sun.

Will earth survive when the sun becomes a red giant?

posted on Mar, 29 2011 @ 10:46 AM
Technology has been increasing very rapidly in the past few years, at this rate hopefully we will have enough tech skills to be able to planet hop as far as we can until we are at a permenant safe distance from the sun, not to forgot this is gonna be BILLIONS of years from now. It would be cool if we got to create a ship that can support life for a long period of time and have billions of people on it as a city in space, so we can set a velocity to float away from the sun as it gets bigger without somebody to fly it.

posted on Apr, 3 2011 @ 06:57 PM
If we were ever able to create nuclear generators on an ever decreasing scale that could release energy from any atoms we chose then problem solved. There's enough matter out there containing plenty energy for us to use without the need of a star. There could be beings out there right now doing this very thing, keeping whole planets (or at least their population) alive without the need of a parent star.
Imagine we had pocket sized nuclear reactors that you could just feed rocks in to, who'd need a planet, apart from when refueling, but an asteroid would do. Alien nomads could be doing this now, stick up the sails and harness some solar power when in the neighborhood of a star. Why not?

posted on Apr, 3 2011 @ 08:08 PM
reply to post by Nightstalker44

Plasma based space energy fed accelerators.

I like this better than the giant solar reflectors which have little energy storage capacity for the all important 'slow down' part of the trip.

posted on Apr, 5 2011 @ 06:38 PM
reply to post by Illustronic

I was reading something about the "100 year starship" is this what they are creating this for? I also read that that plan might not actually happen, but they always mentioned mars in this article.

This new type of technology could dramatically shorten human transit times between planets (about 3 months to Mars).

but the plasma drive will propel robotic cargo missions with very large payloads (more than 100 tons to Mars).

Makes me wonder, but if they are doing the trip, i want to go SO bad.
. Thanks for the post.

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