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In Halo series there is an intelligent race called Unggoy that evolved on a planet caled Balaho orbiting a blue supergiant called Tala, I would like to know if it would be possible for an intelligent civilisation to evolve on a planet orbiting a blue supergiant.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean under normal conditions, or any conditions? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jul 7 '16 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ Under any conditions. $\endgroup$ – Stephanie Jul 7 '16 at 19:37
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    $\begingroup$ Then this is definitely related: Habitable zone around a Class O hypergiant. Hyper- and supergiants aren't the same, so I wouldn't quite call this a duplicate. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jul 7 '16 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ I know this has been discussed before here. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Jul 7 '16 at 20:41
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What exactly is a Blue Supergiant? These are stars that originally formed as O or B class main-sequence stars but evolved quickly into a supergiant after their primary fuel was spent. Unfortunately, these stars are possibly the least suitable candidates for habitability.

"But wait," you ask, "Isn't the classical definition of habitability only applicable to life as humans understand it?"

You are definitely correct about that. Habitability is a human construct. Aliens might see things differently. Unfortunately, in our specific case it doesn't matter one bit, because I suspect any alien definition of habitability will probably require planets.

You see, the issue is that O and B class stars are unimaginably intense. O class stars are not known to have any planets, and in fact, not even stars nearby will have planets. This is because O class stars have stellar wind so intense that they boil the planetary nebulas away before they can collect into any sort of massive bodies. B class stars are similar, though not as intense. Planets have a better chance of forming around a B class, but it is still pretty slim, and any planet will likely not have any atmosphere since the lighter elements in the proto-planetary nebula will be blown away first.

Also of note is that O and B class stars live very short lives, relatively speaking. Life on Earth took billions of years to develop, and most O/B class stars won't live to that age. Even if they did, they evolve over time, rendering any planet they might have into a vastly different environment over the course of its life.

So unfortunately, I don't think it would be possible.

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  • $\begingroup$ Note that the OP specified any conditions, so magic can be used to sustain the star for as long as needed. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jul 7 '16 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ but a supergiant is a dead star... can magic transform dead stars into zombies that work exactly like living stars ? $\endgroup$ – άλεξ μιζέρια Jul 7 '16 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't know saying any conditions meant magic.. no magic involved with this question, realism only lol. $\endgroup$ – Stephanie Jul 7 '16 at 22:24
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    $\begingroup$ "O class stars are not known to have any planets, and in fact, not even stars nearby will have planets. This is because O class stars have stellar wind so intense that they boil the planetary nebulas away before they can collect into any sort of massive bodies." That doesn't rule out capturing a rogue planet in a distant orbit. $\endgroup$ – CircleSquared Jul 7 '16 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ I dont know if the science is right, but it sure sounds good. $\endgroup$ – Keltari Jul 8 '16 at 3:37
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I was going to suggest a rogue planet was captured by the blue supergiant, bit CircleSquared got there first. But that's the easy part. The tricky bit is whether intelligent life could evolve there and then develop a civilisation.

David J Stevenson suggested rogue planets could have enviroments that were sufficiently benign. In fact, benign enough for living creatures to visit and, possibly, benign enough for life to evolve there. Refer here. So if life could be sustained on a rogue planet, it is not inconceivable that sapience and civilisation might follow. Then if the rogue planet was captured by a blue supergiant, there would now be a planet with an intelligent civilisation in orbit. (Obviously this isn't an earthlike planet because it has an intelligent civilisation.)

It is reasonable to assume a rogue planet won't be in a close orbit around its blue supergiant primary. Life most likely was already in place on the rogue planet prior to its supergiant capture. But the additional burst of energy to its biosphere most likely pushed selection pressures to enable the rise of sapient creatures.

A lot will depend on environmental conditions, resources available and what the biosphere is like.

On the whole a quite improbable set-up, but nature is terribly good at making remarkably improbable situations work and thrive. It's not impossible.

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