Black and white image of Jupiter viewed by LORRI in January 2007
At UNIVERSE TODAY, Fraser Cain explains how to terraform Jupiter.
Jupiter is a ball of hydrogen and helium, which compresses these gasses to almost starlike temperatures and pressures. Fine, Jupiter is the absolute worst. It makes traveling to Venus look like a spa visit.
Jupiter does have something we can work with. Astronomers think below the septillions tons of hydrogen and gas, there’s actually a rocky core. The mass of the core is still a mystery, but recent computer simulations put it at somewhere between 7 and 45 times the mass of the Earth, complete with plenty of water ices and other chemicals you might require on an Earthlike planet.
Furthermore, this core may contain similar constituents as the internal structure of Earth. This means a central core of iron and nickel, surrounded by liquid metal, surrounded by rock.
The problem is you need to strip away 95% of the planet’s mass. It’s all that hydrogen and helium, and that’s pretty much impossible. And almost completely impossible, is still very slightly completely possible.
Cutaway of Jupiter. Credit: Kevinsong
Jupiter is made of fuel. It’s like looking at a pool of gasoline and wondering if there was some way to get rid of it all. What good Solar System-spanning civilization hasn’t worked out hydrogen fusion? It’s a technology that’s probably only 30 years away from us now.
You could fly a spacecraft down into Jupiter’s gravity well and scoop up hydrogen fuel from the clouds. Or you could create fusion-powered dirigibles filled with hot hydrogen, which float around the cloud tops of Jupiter, using their fusion reactors to spew hydrogen off into space.
Over untold lengths of time, you could get at that rocky juicy center, once you stripped it of its hydrogen. Then you’ll need to do all that other stuff I mentioned in previous videos, to turn it into a habitable world.
Read the rest of the article at UNIVERSE TODAY or watch this video.