Astroengineering updated March 1, 2016  D. Carrigan carrigan@fnal.gov (subject line must be sensible)

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(Martin Beech, Rejuvenating the Sun and Avoiding Other Global Catastrophes, Springer, New York, 2008)

Astroengineering covers the possibility of manipulating a star to more efficiently extract the available energy. A typical star burns only several percent of the hydrogen. When the core hydrogen is exhausted it cools and reddens so that it enters the red giant phase. The surface expands, luminosity increases.

"We" will all suffer Giordano Bruno's fate in 1601 when he was burned at the stake in Campo de' Fiori!
A question to an astrophysicist "So, what would you do, professor, when our raging sun is about to fry us?"
Try to mix in unused hydrogen in the outer envelope with the core. .


Bruno

Martin Beech's thoughts

With astroengineering could useful stellar life be extended, say by controlling luminosity? This could be done by mixing core, inducing stellar mass loss (60%!), changing pressure by adjusting the rotation rate, increasing opacity by introducing heavy elements.   These are not easy astroengineering projects!

Blue stragglers

 Blue stragglers, are hot, massive stars on the main sequence beyond the AGB turnoff.
Beech suggested some blue straggler stars might be examples of astroengineering
This had been a mystery but Shara, et al. showed they could arise in "intimate" encounters between stars in crowded globular clusters.  This is bad for planets, life.
A blue straggler is a "natural" example of a grand astroengineering project
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Beech