When Earth Orbits a New Star

How we’ll replace our sun and avoid planetary doom

E. Alderson

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In the prequel articles, “When Jupiter Becomes a Star” and “When Earth Has 12 Suns”, we explored the idea of saving the doomed Earth from the aging sun. As a future red giant, the sun’s surface would extend out to the location of Venus and possibly beyond, condemning our planet to a broiling, melting, vaporizing death. We’ve seen the challenges of attempting to modify Earth’s orbit and of stellifying Jupiter to provide an additional source of energy. We’ve also seen the challenges of attempting to modify the sun’s lifespan and to create additional suns from the extracted mass.

These are all obstacles that demand innovation, intrepidness, and determination on our part. And yet they still sound much more reasonable than the idea we’ll propose today: replacing our sun altogether. Specifically, with a much younger star. This is a process known as “solar exchange”.

As bizarre and complex as this proposal may seem, the most surprising part is that it is the easiest and most straightforward — conceptually — of all the solutions so far. Solar exchange may just be the way we’ll preserve our leafy, loving planet.

The idea of solar exchange was first conceived by the astronomer J. G. Hills in 1984. Hills had done extensive research and had…

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E. Alderson

A passion for language, technology, and the unexplored universe. I aim to marry poetry and science.