Here's a survival scenario for humans (or whatever sentient species we have become, or has replaced us) in a couple of billion years, when it gets too hot to live here on earth. I'm going with the assumption that interstellar space travel is either impossible or very, very sucky.
We're going to build our own star.
Back up a minute. To buy ourselves some extra time, we're first going to increase the size of earth's orbit very slightly each year as the sun expands. Easily accomplished by whizzing a carefully orbited asteroid by us each year. I can't even take credit for this part; I read about it. It's a done deal. All inked and everything.
But then we're going to need a new star. We do a similar thing to the "move earth's orbit" thing, with a bunch of brown dwarves. Except we collect them all to the same place over a few million years. And we smush 'em into one big mass. If we're lucky, or smart enough by then, they undergo nuclear fission and the thing catches fire itself. We'd have a T Tauri star on our hands. We do it close enough so that we can get there without dying, but far enough away so we don't get burned while we're building it. I understand those T Tauri star flares are a mother. Then we wait out its baby tantrums, to where it's predictable.
A guess (based on very little) is we're talking about building it a few light months away.
Here are the benefits:
-It's a brand new star. We're not going to have to pack up and move again for a long time.
-It's built to just the mass we need. Given the light spectrum that our plants are used to, and our eyes, for that matter, something similar to our own sun's mass would be about right â€“ a G0 class star or thereabouts. Depending on the size of the brown dwarves, we might need about 50.
-It's really close by. Brown dwarves are a lot more numerous than regular stars, and we'll build it closer than other stars, but a safe distance away. We'll need to have mastered multi-year space travel, but not multi-generational. And even if we had mastered, who [I]likes[/I] multi-generational space travel? No, thank you.
-We don't even have to go get the brown dwarves ourselves â€“ we'll send smart ships or well-aimed masses where we want to start affecting these guys' orbits.
-This strategy could work over and over for a long, long time â€“ brown dwarves just kind of hang around, don't they? I think they'll be there after most stars in the galaxy have burned out.
– It'd be totally bad-ass.
There are a few implementation details to work out, and it's hard to put a time estimate on this, because right now we don't know about most of the brown dwarves we'll be pulling, or how long each pull will take, or which cleverly planned dwarf pulls will be used to buzz other brown dwarves, so they get pulled too. Let's just say there's a lot of potential for synergy, and the worst-case scenario is pulling 50 dwarves independently, one at a time.
I haven't had time to figure it all out because I'm just getting my strip going again.
BoxJam is a contributing columnist for Comixpedia.
Illustration by Vince Coleman.