Space-faring aliens visit planet Earth for a holiday to enjoy some soothing sunbathing in Hawaii. They complain that there isn't enough bright sunshine after waiting for the Earth to be at its closest distance to the Sun as well as clear cloudless skies plus the right level of humidity and almost no pollutants in the air.

Disregarding the safety of all inhabitants, including the alien visitors, how can the aliens tweak the Sun to achieve, at least, 1000,000 lux at sea level? (This about a tenfold increase in direct sunlight.) Assume the aliens are transitioning to type 3 civilization on the Kardashev scale.

  • $\begingroup$ You even do not have to be K1 for that, just use mirrors and melt that place. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Oct 25 '16 at 1:22
  • $\begingroup$ Have you ever read the Revelation Space series? The Inhibitors do something similar to what you're describing by using a gravitational beam weapon to basically turn a star into a giant flamethrower (i.e. a perpetual solar flare). $\endgroup$ – Z.Schroeder Oct 25 '16 at 2:50

I'm not sure of the exact math involved, but I think if more sunlight is required, the aliens could:

  • Increase the amount of hydrogen in the sun so it's mass & size increase dramatically. A larger sun will yield more sunlight. Perhaps they teleport another star's mass into our sun, or perhaps they place a matter manifester in the sun, spewing out huge amounts of hydrogen into the sun.

  • This is not quite the same idea as adjusting our sun, but they could do like Arthur C. Clark suggested in his book "2010" and turn Jupiter into a sun by increasing the mass of Jupiter so that it reaches critical mass and ignites into a star. Another sun yields lots more sunlight on earth.

  • This is quite a far fetched idea, but if the aliens managed to manipulate quantum space well enough so as to duplicate the particles of the sun, then the sun would be in two places at once. The idea is basically superpositioning in reverse--instead of having two particles existing in one space, you would have one particle existing in two places in space--bi-location essentially. So, if all or some of the sun's particles were bi-located, there would be that much more sunlight & hence better alien tans.

  • They could also create a gravity lens between the sun and earth that would focus the desired amount of sunlight down onto their beaches. The lensing could even encircle the sun, thereby sending to earth even the sunlight originally headed away from earth.

  • Since your question sounded a bit whimsical (to me at least), I thought perhaps you could consider adding enough mass to the sun so that it goes supernova. That would almost certainly ensure that for at least one Planck time there would be sufficient sunlight on the beaches. If the aliens so desire, perhaps they could dramatically slow down time exactly at the desired moment of desired warmth, or perhaps they could speed up their perception of time so that that one wonderful plank time of sunbathing bliss before the earth is destroyed lasts for them the desired length of their vacation. Depending on their other abilities to manipulate dimensions, time/space, and matter, they might want to shield themselves from the explosion, or perhaps they could simply manifest other bodies for themselves elsewhere, or quickly teleport to another point in space/time once their vacation is complete.

  • Another idea is to distort that shape of space so as to bring the sun closer to the earth. Perhaps the sun's space could be rendered long and cylindrical, or perhaps it could be molded into a torus encircling the earth. Perhaps even reshaping space so the sun forms a shell encircling the earth. Note I am not suggesting the sun's particles be spread out over a larger area, because that would cause the nuclear reaction in the sun to end. Rather, I'm suggesting the sun's place in space, and hence the particles of the sun, be distorted.

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    $\begingroup$ "I'm not sure of the exact math involved" is a good way to preface these zany schemes. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jul 6 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ Note that turning Jupiter into a sun wouldn't create a stable star: the energy of fusion would overcome the gravity and disperse the star. So if you turn it into a star, it will detonate. (For a humorous webcomic about a trigger-happy turd-shaped alien, Schlock Mercenary can be surprisingly hard-SF at times) $\endgroup$ – Eth Jul 8 at 9:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Eth Good point. We’d definitely need lots of alien monoliths to give it enough mass. $\endgroup$ – Thom Blair III Jul 8 at 9:34

XKCD though about this : pour water on the sun with a giant water hose!

Water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, which is fuel for the Sun’s fusion. But more importantly, the extra mass also makes the Sun heavier. This crushes it together more tightly and makes fusion happen faster. This means it will burn more brightly and run through its fuel more quickly.

For transportation, you can use the same technique as the one who wants to flood the lunar surface

  • $\begingroup$ There isn't enough water. Gotta get more water. $\endgroup$ – timuzhti Oct 25 '16 at 9:21

To make a change to the sun work immediately, it would be something on the surface. Some beam makes the surface pointing to Earth hotter. But an easier way is with mirrors: a swarm of nanotech conjures up a mirror some distance off Earth to collect more light and aim it to the desired spot, or between Earth and the sun to direct the light to one spot instead of the whole day side of the planet. In this case the rest of the world would see the sun dim.


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