Re: [sl4] giant planets ignation - one more existential risk

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Wed Dec 10 2008 - 20:40:46 MST

On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 4:04 AM, Alexei Turchin <>wrote:

> This estimation is my one prior subjective probabilities.
> I spoke about artificial ignition of Jupiter by man - that is by use
> of some kind of fuse like nuclear bomb, which does not exist in nature
> - so past records will not give us any information.

And given a temperate planet we would want to do that because.. ?

> But my conclusion is based oh 3 facts:
> 1) Scientific article that estimate that termonuclear detonation of
> deiterium is possible if its concentration is higer then 1 to 300.

1 to 300? 1 in 300? That is much, much richer than any naturally
occurring body we know of.

> "Necessary conditions for the initiation and propagation of nuclear
> detonation waves in plane atmospheres". Tomas Weaver and A. Wood,
> Physical review 20 1 Jule 1979,
> 2) Mesurements of deiterium concentration in the atmosphere of
> Jupiter, which is 1 to 1600 ( but other mesurement gave much lower
> value), that is only 5 (five) times below critical level.
> Hubble observations and lowering probe to Jupiter: Hubble measures
> deuterium on Jupiter - Hubble Space Telescope
And how would you bring it up to such a concentration exactly or have it
spontaneously become that concentrated?

> 3) The fact that deiterium is very prone to isotopic separation in
> natural processes, which means that its concentration may be much
> higher in the bowel of Jupiter, or other planet.
> e.g. see: "In contrast, Uranus and Neptune may have been enriched in
> deuterium, during their formation, by the mixing of their atmospheres
> with comparatively larger cores containing D-rich icy grains".
> Emmanuel Lellouch. Observations of planetary and satellite atmospheres
> and surfaces
> So I find very plausible that somewhere in the Solar System
> concentratiopn of deiterium is enogh for termonuclear detonation, but
> I underatsn that my conclusion may have errors, so I lowered it from
> 100 per cent to 1 per cent.

Hahaha. This is humor, no? Your guesses may be wrong so instead of saying
there is 100% chance, which would obviously be outrageous even if you were
right that such natural concentration was possible and right that someone is
likely to toss a bomb into such a place, you modestly assert 1%. Please
give a decent statistical argument or withdraw this claim.

- samantha

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