Star Lifting

Removing matter from a star using the power of its own luminosity

Polaris starlifting
Image from Steve Bowers
The star-lifting array around Polaris squeezes this brillant star using intense magnetic fields, causing mass to be ejected from the polar regions

Starlifting, Star Lifting

Removing material from a star for industrial use or for stellar husbandry. The energy required for this process comes from the star itself, either directly from its luminosity or from fusion or matter conversion of the lifted material.

Image from Steve Bowers
Magnetic arrays around Dschubba accelerate this already fast-spinning star, causing mass to be ejected from the equator
Methods include increasing the star's rotation until material begins to drift off the equator, or by magnetically squeezing the star until matter is expelled from the poles.

starlifting sirius
Image from Jim Wisniewski
Most recently the Sirian Hierarchy have begun an ambitious project to starlift Sirius A; pictured above are the first of billions of devices placed in orbit to commence the process of stellar engineering which will extend the lifetime of the star for billions, perhaps trillions of years. The ring of magnetic accelerators has spun Sirius A into a flattened disk shape. Tuned lasers, shining inwards from the sphere of solar collectors, give the plasma the extra boost it needs to leap off into space where it cools and is collected. As the process continues through millions of years the star will shrink, yielding up nearly two solar masses of hydrogen in the process. Then it will settle into a comfortable red dwarf stage, and the collectors will be linked together into an unbroken sphere supported by light pressure. Before, its fuel would have been spent in a scant billion years, wasted into the void of space in the blink of an eye. After it is lifted, the fate of the Dog Star will not be death, but life. It will burn for a trillion years, as will the ten new stars built from its liberated substance, and its light will support the existance of uncountable lives. Farming the stars: a necessary process to sustain any advanced civilization.

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Development Notes
Text by Dave Criswell, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
Initially published on 31 December 2001.