Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

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Mega85
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Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Mega85 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:28 pm UTC

According to this website, it might be possible, by blasting off layers and leaving the rocky cores, turning them into rocky planets like the Earth, instead of the gas planets that they are now.

http://terraforming.wikia.com/wiki/Uranus

http://terraforming.wikia.com/wiki/Neptune

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Nicias » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:55 am UTC

I think that if you have the technology to do that kind of work, its probably easier to just live in space.

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Xenomortis » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:40 am UTC

"Blast off" entire layers of a gas giant?
Even if such a thing is possible in the future, I don't think terraforming will be the main use for a Death Star.
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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby speising » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:59 am UTC

Nowhere on the linked pages does it say that blasting of the athmospheres might be possible. In fact, it says
Blasting off the gaseous layers of Uranus would be far beyond current technology.

and, in a bit of understatement
Blasting off much of its layers and leaving the core would currently be impractical.

They then go of from this entirely impractical and hypothetical first step to ever more ludicrous Magrathea-style mega constructions.

I don't expect that to happen in my lifetime.

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:03 pm UTC

The gravitational binding energy of Uranus and Neptune is on the order of the total amount of energy the Sun produces in a year. Even if we had the technology to harness and control that much energy, I can imagine far more useful projects to do with it.

(For example, you could move all the already-rocky planets into more habitable orbits, along with all the usefully-sized moons of all the gas giants.)
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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Whizbang » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:04 pm UTC

I say we siphon off from these planets, as well as and especially Jupiter, and feed them to the sun to prolong it's life. After which we can siphon off the sun to feed the Alpha Centauri system, and replace Sol with a modern synthetic. We can't let these historic sites just turn into the slums of the galaxy. We need to preserve them so that our transcendent selves can enjoy them later.

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:46 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:(For example, you could move all the already-rocky planets into more habitable orbits, along with all the usefully-sized moons of all the gas giants.)


As someone who played with various orbital simulator games in middle school, I'm pretty comfortable in guessing that moving planets around the solar system would have some pretty serious ramifications for the rest of the solar system, no?
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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:53 pm UTC

Well you'd try to move it in a way that doesn't get too close to any important planets or moons, for sure.
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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby cphite » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:59 pm UTC

We should swap the orbits of Mars and Venus, and siphon gas from Venus to Mars. Mars would heat up, Venus would cool down. People who ask for details are just nay-saying.

We're going to do this, and it's going to be great. Really fantastic.

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Mutex » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:18 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:I say we siphon off from these planets, as well as and especially Jupiter, and feed them to the sun to prolong it's life.

Adding extra gas to the Sun would actually shorten its life. The greater the mass of a star, the more frequently fusion reactions happen in the core.

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Whizbang » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:29 pm UTC

You're not taking into account the Sol Rejuvination Project which extracts Helium and other heavier elements and ships them to more industrial systems to be processed and converted into recreational drugs.

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Zohar » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:33 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:You're not taking into account the Sol Rejuvination Project which extracts Helium and other heavier elements and ships them to more industrial systems to be processed and converted into recreational drugs.

I'm just imagining people breathing helium and speaking in funny voices.
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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Weeks » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:24 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
Whizbang wrote:You're not taking into account the Sol Rejuvination Project which extracts Helium and other heavier elements and ships them to more industrial systems to be processed and converted into recreational drugs.

I'm just imagining people breathing helium and speaking in funny voices.
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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:12 pm UTC

I once worked in a helium factory. It wasn't a very nice job, because of the leaks, but the owner was very sympathetic and we all spoke highly of her.

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Qaanol » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:05 pm UTC

What happens to all the gas that gets blasted out of Uranus?

Assuming there is solid land underneath, to make it habitable will we have to irrigate Uranus?

And at that distance from the sun there is hardly any light, so why would anyone want to live on the cold, dark surface of Uranus?

Even if it becomes technologically possible the benefits aren’t there. The best thing to do is just leave Uranus alone.
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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby sardia » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:42 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:What happens to all the gas that gets blasted out of Uranus?

Assuming there is solid land underneath, to make it habitable will we have to irrigate Uranus?

And at that distance from the sun there is hardly any light, so why would anyone want to live on the cold, dark surface of Uranus?

Even if it becomes technologically possible the benefits aren’t there. The best thing to do is just leave Uranus alone.

If we have the space magic to strip off the layers of Uranus, why not just move uranus closer to the sun and have the solar wind blast it off for us?

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:41 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:What happens to all the gas that gets blasted out of Uranus?

Assuming there is solid land underneath, to make it habitable will we have to irrigate Uranus?

And at that distance from the sun there is hardly any light, so why would anyone want to live on the cold, dark surface of Uranus?

Even if it becomes technologically possible the benefits aren’t there. The best thing to do is just leave Uranus alone.

Meh, wake me up when you have as many puns for Neptune.
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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby p1t1o » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:19 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Meh, wake me up when you have as many puns for Neptune.


We could strip Netune's moons for trace elements to help terraform the rocky husk.

Why wouldn't we use a moon belonging to one of the other planets?

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby mfb » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:00 pm UTC

Removing the gas might need the Sun's output of a year, but fusing the hydrogen in it produces orders of magnitude more, and the core could be interesting for resources if the inner planets are not sufficient any more. Who knows that an advanced type-2 civilization wants? Cold and dark is probably not an issue with fusion.

Certainly better than terraforming Jupiter.

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:01 pm UTC

So here's how we'd do it: Implement a citizens wage; this will cause Atlas to shrug.

Without Atlas, Uranus will fall onto Terra. Terra being solid and Uranus being gas, Uranus will adjust to Terra's form, or "Terraform".
Qaanol wrote:so why would anyone want to live on the cold, dark surface of Uranus?
Actually, large planets still have a lot of heat from formation, so once you really get in there, Uranus is quite warm.

Of course there's also the issue of axial tilt, which means it doesn't have a regular day/night cycle. You don't want to be stuck where the sun doesn't shine!
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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Shufflepants » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:56 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:I say we siphon off from these planets, as well as and especially Jupiter, and feed them to the sun to prolong it's life. After which we can siphon off the sun to feed the Alpha Centauri system, and replace Sol with a modern synthetic. We can't let these historic sites just turn into the slums of the galaxy. We need to preserve them so that our transcendent selves can enjoy them later.


I'm not sure adding gas to the sun would prolong its life. Larger stars tend to die faster. Maybe if you were adding the additional fuel as it was running out? Maybe? But it's not at all clear. Also, even if there was a way to add gas to a star to prolong its life, mass of jupiter/neptune/uranus might prove an insignificant amount of mass leading to a negligible increase in star lifespan.

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:52 pm UTC

Better yet, just head down to the core and stir it up a bit. Take all that helium out and spread it around the star. Easy.

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Re: Is terraforming Uranus and Neptune possible?

Postby Xanthir » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:27 pm UTC

Yeah, from what I heard, the Sun will only have burned 5-10% of its hydrogen when it starts to die; it's just that most fusion occurs in the core, and the heavier helium sinks down there and stinks up the place. If you could just stir the sun up a little bit, you could give it tens of billions of years longer lifespan.
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