Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Moving Suns To Different Galactic Neighborhoods

Astrophysicist Matt Caplan might have been reading science fiction when he published a new paper in the journal Acta Astronautica, suggesting that moving the Sun could be the solution to a variety of possible problems.

Stellar engines, megastructures used to control the motion of a star system, may be constructible by technologically advanced civilizations and used to avoid dangerous astrophysical events or transport a star system into proximity with another for colonization.

This work considers two designs for stellar engines, for both human applications in the solar system and for advanced civilizations around arbitrary stars more generally, and presents analytic calculations of the maximum acceleration and deflection of a star in its galactic orbit.

The first is a large ‘passive’ solar sail, similar to that proposed by Shkadov, which we find produces accelerations of order for sun-like stars. The second ‘active’ engine uses a thermonuclear driven jet, as in a Bussard ramjet, which collects matter from the solar wind to drive He fusion. This engine requires additional mass to be lifted from the sun, beyond what is provided by the nascent solar wind, but may achieve accelerations up to producing deflections of 10 pc in as little as 1 Myr for a sun-like star.

While passive engines may be insufficient for catastrophe avoidance on short timescales, they can produce arbitrary deflections of a star in its galactic orbit over a stellar lifetime. Active engines are sufficient for retrograde galactic orbits or galactic escape trajectories, which we argue are useful to expansionist civilizations. These populations of stars may be candidates for observationally detecting megastructures.

(Via Stellar engines: Design considerations for maximizing acceleration.)

The idea of moving stars has been around for a while in science fiction. In his classic 1928 novel Crashing Suns, Golden Age great Edmond Hamilton described the process by which the sun might be steered to a new location:

To accomplish this, to swerve their star from its course, the globemen made use of a simple physical principle...

The problem, then, was to increase their sun's rate of spin, and to accomplish this they gathered all their science. A mighty tower was erected over their city, on whose great top-platform were placed machines which could generate an etheric ray or vibration of inconceivable power, a ray which could be directed at will...
(Read more details about steering a star)

If you're just a little bit less ambitious (or possibly just marginally more practical) you might enjoy this article on Moving Whole Planets, Revisited. For moving planets, see the barytrine field from George O. Smith's 1952 story Troubled Star, as well as the Puppeteer's Kemplerer (Klemperer) Rosette in Larry Niven's 1970 classic Ringworld.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/29/2019)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Longest Immersed Tunnel Will Connect Denmark and Germany
'... iron tubes... the ends of the tubes were joined to each other...to preserve it from the action of the seawater.' - Michel Verne, 1895.

Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.' - Thomas A. Easton, 1990.

SolarBotanic Tree For Solar Energy - Would You Need A Forest, Or Just One?
'The slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...' - David Brin, 1990.

SolarXOne Solar-Powered Drone Flies (almost) Forever
'It's an Indian Air Force drone; its solar cells could power an entire farm.' - Interstellar.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

New Train Station Offers Minority Report-Style Signs
A whole new world awaits you, John Anderton!

The Autonomous Robotic Urethral Catheter - Would You Use It?
'It'll snake its way in on its own.'

The Far Side Of The Moon, By NASA (2015) And By PAUL (1932)
"We had leisure to make a thorough observation of the hidden side of earth's satellite."

LoadRunner Robot Works Alone, Or In A Group
'They marched in unison, seven of them...'

Sierra Space Inflatable LIFE Habitat Burst Pressure Test
'It was like being inside a balloon...'

Longest Immersed Tunnel Will Connect Denmark and Germany
'... iron tubes... the ends of the tubes were joined to each other...to preserve it from the action of the seawater.'

Alcohol-Sensing Cars - NTSB Catches Up With Philip K. Dick (1963)
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive....'

Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'

SolarBotanic Tree For Solar Energy - Would You Need A Forest, Or Just One?
'The slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...'

Metaverse Hardware - Run And Flail Like A Maniac, Or Lie Quietly?
'Holodeck 4 was waiting to be programmed...'

Robot Food Delivery Coming To Campus Near You
'... he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Are Craiyon Images Puddinged, ala Philip K. Dick?
'I stood in line for half an hour for this, and it's just a blob!'

Hip'Safe Airbag For Seniors, From Helite
'Other airbags go off around her torso and pelvis...'

Soulaje Self-Administered Euthanasia Wearable Prototype
'A young man... advanced with nervous strides along the gravel path which leads to the bronze doors of the Lethal Chamber.'

Midjourney AI Creates 'Théâtre D'opéra Spatial', Wins Art Fair First Prize
'... we'll give him in his brain what he needs for creation.'

Mobot Robot Tests Smartphone Apps With Its Finger
'Rapidly, purposefully, the metallic fingers moved over the key-boards...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.