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Ice stars and the deep future of the universe
The Long Term Fate and Evolution of Astrophysical Objects

Some very interesting stuff here, including the concept of an 'ice star'.
As the metallicity of stars increases over time, the density of an average star will be greater in the distant future. Towards the end of the so-called stelliferous era, newly formed stars will be so dense that fusion will occur even in small brown-dwarf or jupiter-sized objects.

These stars will be so small and cool that the surface temperature could reach as low as 273K, or 0 Celsius; they will glow with infrared light, and ice clouds will form at the top of the atmosphere. Such a small, dim star could shine for a quadrillion years. A few tens of kilometers into the atmosphere of such a star, the temperature will be balmy and capable of supporting life (though it would be dark to human eyes).

The warm atmosphere could support bubblehabs or some other floating infrastructure, which could derive usable power from infrared radiation, thermal gradients, or atmospheric turbulence. Such an arrangement could sustain life or processing for an incredibly long time.

This sort of object would not exist in our current universe, since metalicities are not high enough yet - or rather they would be very rare indeed. But I can imagine this sort of object being a desirable form of long term project or megastructure for some forward-looking faction.
Although the necessary metalicities couldn't exist naturally at this point in history, they could presumably be engineered. Perhaps by using a deep well to transmute some of a dwarfs material into heavier elements and dumping it back into the dwarf. It might take some centuries or longer to set up, but such projects are fairly routine in OA.

I can see either the Negentropists going in for this or maybe the Muuh. We've been wondering what they do with their time after all. The ice star might be too warm for Muuh bubble habs, but perhaps could be orbited by Muuh habs of some kind. It would basically be a sort of economy sized Hotpoint

Actually the Backgrounders might also go in for these in some cases. Or some Deeper Covenant communities. Although I rather like the notion of the Muuh doing it first and Terragen civ then being inspired to create their own.

Just some thoughts,

Now that's interesting, and it points to a new stellification (sp?) technique compared to the ones listed in EG.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

"Everbody's always in favor of saving Hitler's brain, but when you put it in the body of a great white shark, oh, suddenly you've gone too far." -- Professor Farnsworth, Futurama
Hm. True - Have to give some thought on that.

Note that creating metals from hydrogen emits energy via fusion. If you are going to do that, using a DWIZ or whatever method you choose, you might as well use the energy produced to power your civilisation. Eventually you will accumulate enough metals to increase the density of a jupiter-type planet so that it could support fusion; but that would be a long-term goal.

Ice stars could be described as a long-term project of certain Hider clades, or the Deeper Covenant; but there is no need for them to hurry, since the process of manufacturing an ice star is also a source of energy. Perhaps the Muuh made some, millions of years ago, but their version would presumably be even colder and smaller.
Space odyssey anyone?
I can see some Negent cultures doing this sort of thing as well.

I can definitely see the Muuh doing this, and think it would be a good addition to fleshing out their civ. That their versions could be much cooler seems likely to make them easier to build.

Any ideas on just how much colder a Muuh version would be? I'm suddenly wondering if even a minimum level fusion reaction might be too warm for Muuh bubble habs and so might support orbiting habitats instead.


Making an ice star within the temperature range that is comfortable to the Muuh (around 110 Kelvin) would be even more challenging than making one with water ice clouds at 273 Kelvin. You'd have to dump much more 'metalicity' into a smaller gas giant to make it dense enough to start fusion at such a low surface temperature. But a very cold ice star would last even longer.

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