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Q & A: Can Jupiter become a star?

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Most recent answer: 05/06/2009
Can Jupiter become a star?
- Dawn (age 12)
Good question. 
Not likely, it's not big and massive enough.   In order for a star to form it must start out with a ball of gas sufficiently large that internal compression heats its interior to cause nuclear reactions in the core, thus generating energy. For stars with constituents similar to the Sun, the theoretical minimum mass the star can have, and still undergo fusion at the core, is estimated to be about 75 times the mass of Jupiter.


(published on 05/06/2009)

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