Computational Water, Energy, and Environmental Engineering, 2013, 2, 83-96 Published Online July 2013 (
Explosion of Sun
Alexander Bolonkin, Joseph Friedlander*
Strategic Solutions Technology Group, New York, USA
Received November 29, 2012; revised January 5, 2013; accepted January 15, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Alexander Bolonkin, Joseph Friedlander. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons
Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is
properly cited.
The Sun contains ~74% hydrogen by weight. The isotope hydrogen-1 (99.985% of hydrogen in nature) is a usable fuel
for fusion thermonuclear reactions. This reaction runs slowly within the Sun because its temperature is low (relative to
the needs of nuclear reactions). If we create higher temperature and density in a limited region of the solar interior, we
may be able to produce self-supporting detonation thermonuclear reactions that spread to the full solar volume. This is
analogous to the triggering mechanisms in a thermonuclear bomb. Conditions within the bomb can be optimized in a
small area to initiate ignition, then spread to a larger area, allowing producing a hydrogen bomb of any power. In the
case of the Sun certain targeting practices may greatly increase the chances of an artificial explosion of the Sun. This
explosion would annihilate the Earth and the Solar System, as we know them today. The reader naturally asks: Why
even contemplate such a horrible scenario? It is necessary because as thermonuclear and space technology spreads to
even the least powerful nations in the centuries ahead, a dying dictator having thermonuclear missile weapons can pro-
ce (with some considerable mobilization of his military/industrial complex)—an artificial explosion of the Sun and take
into his grave the whole of humanity. It might take tens of thousands of people to make and launch the hardware, but
only a very few need know the final targeting data of what might be otherwise a weapon purely thought of (within the
dictator’s defense industry) as being built for peaceful, deterrent use. Those concerned about Man’s future must know
about this possibility and create some protective system—or ascertain on theoretical grounds that it is entirely impossi-
e. Humanity has fears, justified to greater or lesser degrees, about asteroids, warming of Earthly climate, extinctions, etc.
which have very small probability. But all these would leave survivors—nobody thinks that the terrible annihilation of
the Solar System would leave a single person alive. That explosion appears possible at the present time. In this paper is
derived the “AB-Criterion” which shows conditions wherein the artificial explosion of Sun is possible. The author urges
detailed investigation and proving or disproving of this rather horrifying possibility, so that it may be dismissed from
mind—or defended against.
Keywords: Artificial Explosion of Sun; Annihilation of Solar System; Criterion of Nuclear Detonation; Nuclear
Detonation Wave; Detonate Sun; Artificial Supernova
1. Introduction
Information about Sun. The Sun is the star at the center
of the Solar System. The Earth and other matter (includ-
ing other planets, asteroids, meteoroids, comets and dust)
orbit the Sun, which by itself accounts for about 99.8%
of the solar system’s mass. Energy from the Sun—in the
form of sunlight—supports almost all life on Earth via
photosynthesis, and drives the Earth’s climate and wea-
The Sun is composed of hydrogen (about 74% of its
mass, or 92% of its volume), helium (about 25% of mass,
7% of volume), and trace quantities of other elements.
The Sun has a spectral class of G2V. G2 implies that it
has a surface temperature of approximately 5500 K (or
approximately 9600 degrees Fahrenheit/5315 Celsius),
Sunlight is the main source of energy to the surface of
Earth. The solar constant is the amount of power that the
Sun deposits per unit area that is directly exposed to
sunlight. The solar constant is equal to approximately
1370 watts per square meter of area at a distance of one
AU from the Sun (that is, on or near Earth). Sunlight on
the surface of Earth is attenuated by the Earth’s atmos-
phere so that less power arrives at the surface—closer to
1000 watts per directly exposed square meter in clear
conditions when the Sun is near the zenith.
*J. Friedlander corrected the author’s English, wrote together with
author Abstract, Sections 8, 10 (“Penetration into Sun” and “Results”),
and wrote Section 11 “Discussion” as the solo author.
opyright © 2013 SciRes. CWEEE
The Sun is about halfway through its main-sequence
evolution, during which nuclear fusion reactions in its
core fuse hydrogen into helium. Each second, more than
4 million tonnes of matter are converted into energy
within the Sun’s core, producing neutrinos and solar ra-
diation; at this rate, the sun will have so far converted
around 100 earth-masses of matter into energy. The Sun
will spend a total of approximately 10 billion years as a
main sequence star.
The core of the Sun is considered to extend from the
center to about 0.2 solar radii. It has a density of up to
150,000 kg/m3 (150 times the density of water on Earth)
and a temperature of close to 13,600,000 kelvins (by
contrast, the surface of the Sun is close to 5785 kelvins
(1/2350th of the core)). Through most of the Sun’s life,
energy is produced by nuclear fusion through a series of
steps called the p-p (proton-proton) chain; this process
converts hydrogen into helium. The core is the only loca-
tion in the Sun that produces an appreciable amount of
heat via fusion: the rest of the star is heated by energy
that is transferred outward from the core. All of the en-
ergy produced by fusion in the core must travel through
many successive layers to the solar photosphere before it
escapes into space as sunlight or kinetic energy of parti-
cles [1].
About 3.4 × 1038 protons (hydrogen nuclei) are con-
verted into helium nuclei every second (out of about ~8.9
× 1056 total amount of free protons in Sun), releasing
energy at the matter-energy conversion rate of 4.26 mil-
lion tonnes per second, 383 yottawatts (383 × 1024 W) or
9.15 × 1010 megatons of TNT per second. This corre-
sponds to extremely low rate of energy production in the
Sun’s core—about 0.3 μW/cm3, or about 6 μW/kg. For
comparison, an ordinary candle produces heat at the rate
1 W/cm3, and human body—at the rate of 1.2 W/kg. Use
of plasma with similar parameters as solar interior plas-
ma for energy production on Earth is completely imprac-
ticalas even a modest 1 GW fusion power plant would
require about 170 billion tonnes of plasma occupying
almost one cubic mile. Thus all terrestrial fusion reactors
require much higher plasma temperatures than those in
Sun’s interior to be viable.
The rate of nuclear fusion depends strongly on density
(and particularly on temperature), so the fusion rate in
the core is in a self-correcting equilibrium: a slightly
higher rate of fusion would cause the core to heat up
more and expand slightly against the weight of the outer
layers, reducing the fusion rate and correcting the per-
turbation; and a slightly lower rate would cause the core
to cool and shrink slightly, increasing the fusion rate and
again reverting it to its present level.
The high-energy photons (gamma and X-rays) re-
leased in fusion reactions are absorbed in only few mil-
limeters of solar plasma and then re-emitted again in
random direction (and at slightly lower energy)—so it
takes a long time for radiation to reach the Sun’s surface.
Estimates of the “photon travel time” range from as
much as 50 million years to as little as 17,000 years. Af-
ter a final trip through the convective outer layer to the
transparent “surface” of the photosphere, the photons
escape as visible light. Each gamma ray in the Sun’s core
is converted into several million visible light photons
before escaping into space. Neutrinos are also released
by the fusion reactions in the core, but unlike photons
they very rarely interact with matter, so almost all are
able to escape the Sun immediately.
This reaction is very slowly because the solar tem-
peratute is very lower of Coulomb barrier.
The Sun’s current age, determined using computer
models of stellar evolution and nucleocosmochronology,
is thought to be about 4.57 billion years.
Astronomers estimate that there are at least 70 sextil-
lion (7 × 1022) stars in the observable universe. That is
230 billion times as many as the 300 billion in the Milky
Way [2].
Atmosphere of Sun. The parts of the Sun above the
photosphere are referred to collectively as the solar at-
mosphere. They can be viewed with telescopes operating
across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio through
visible light to gamma rays, and comprise five principal
zones: the temperature minimum, the chromosphere, the
transition region, the corona, and the heliosphere.
The chromosphere, transition region, and corona are
much hotter than the surface of the Sun; the reason why
is not yet known. But their density is low.
The coolest layer of the Sun is a temperature minimum
region about 500 km above the photosphere, with a tem-
perature of about 4000 K.
Above the temperature minimum layer is a thin layer
about 2,000 km thick, dominated by a spectrum of emis-
sion and absorption lines. It is called the chromosphere
from the Greek root chroma, meaning color, because the
chromosphere is visible as a colored flash at the begin-
ning and end of total eclipses of the Sun. The tempera-
ture in the chromosphere increases gradually with alti-
tude, ranging up to around 100,000 K near the top.
Above the chromosphere is a transition region in
which the temperature rises rapidly from around 100,000
K to coronal temperatures closer to one million K. The
increase is because of a phase transition as helium within
the region becomes fully ionized by the high tempera-
tures. The transition region does not occur at a well-de-
fined altitude. Rather, it forms a kind of nimbus around
chromospheric features such as spicules and filaments,
and is in constant, chaotic motion. The transition region
is not easily visible from Earth’s surface, but is readily
observable from space by instruments sensitive to the far
ultraviolet portion of the spectrum.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CWEEE
The corona is the extended outer atmosphere of the
Sun, which is much larger in volume than the Sun itself.
The corona merges smoothly with the solar wind that
fills the solar system and heliosphere. The low corona,
which is very near the surface of the Sun, has a particle
density of 1014 m–3 - 1016 m–3. (Earth’s atmosphere near
sea level has a particle density of about 2 × 1025 m
The temperature of the corona is several million kelvin.
While no complete theory yet exists to account for the
temperature of the corona, at least some of its heat is
known to be from magnetic reconnection [3].
Physical characteristics of Sun: Mean diameter is
1.392 × 106 km (109 Earths). Volume is 1.41 × 1018 km³
(1,300,000 Earths). Mass is 1.988435 × 1030 kg
(332,946 Earths). Average density is 1408 kg/m³. Sur-
face temperature is 5785 K (0.5 eV). Temperature of
corona is 5 MK (0.43 keV). Core temperature is ~13.6
MK (1.18 keV). Sun radius is R = 696 × 103 km, solar
gravity gc = 274 m/s2. Photospheric composition of Sun
(by mass): Hydrogen 73.46%; Helium 24.85%; Oxygen
0.77%; Carbon 0.29%; Iron 0.16%; Sulphur 0.12%;
Neon 0.12%; Nitrogen 0.09%; Silicon 0.07%; Magne-
sium 0.05%.
Sun photosphere has thickness about 7 10–4 R (490
km) of Sun radius R, average temperature 5.4 103 K,
and average density 2 10–7 g/cm3 (n = 1.2 1023 m–3).
Sun convection zone has thickness about 0.15 R, average
temperature 0.25 × 106 K, and average density 5 10-7
g/cm3. Sun intermediate (radiation) zone has thickness
about 0.6 R, average temperature 4 106 K, and average
density 10 g/cm3. Sun core has thickness about 0.25 R,
average temperature 11 106 K, and average density 89
Detonation is a process of combustion in which a su-
personic shock wave is propagated through a fluid due to
an energy release in a reaction zone. This self-sustained
detonation wave is different from a deflagration, which
propagates at a subsonic rate (i.e., slower than the sound
speed in the material itself).
Detonations can be produced by explosives, reactive
gaseous mixtures, certain dusts and aerosols.
The simplest theory to predict the behavior of detona-
tions in gases is known as Chapman-Jouguet (CJ) theory,
developed around the turn of the 20th century. This the-
ory, described by a relatively simple set of algebraic
equations, models the detonation as a propagating shock
wave accompanied by exothermic heat release. Such a
theory confines the chemistry and diffusive transport
processes to an infinitely thin zone.
A more complex theory was advanced during World
War II independently by Zel’dovich, von Neumann, and
Doering. This theory, now known as ZND theory, admits
finite-rate chemical reactions and thus describes a deto-
nation as an infinitely thin shock wave followed by a
zone of exothermic chemical reaction. In the reference
frame in which the shock is stationary, the flow follow-
ing the shock is subsonic. Because of this, energy release
behind the shock is able to be transported acoustically to
the shock for its support. For a self-propagating detona-
tion, the shock relaxes to a speed given by the Chap-
man-Jouguet condition, which induces the material at the
end of the reaction zone to have a locally sonic speed in
the reference frame in which the shock is stationary. In
effect, all of the chemical energy is harnessed to propa-
gate the shock wave forward.
Both CJ and ZND theories are one-dimensional and
steady. However, in the 1960s experiments revealed that
gas-phase detonations were most often characterized by
unsteady, three-dimensional structures, which can only in
an averaged sense be predicted by one-dimensional steady
theories. Modern computations are presently making pro-
gress in predicting these complex flow fields. Many fea-
tures can be qualitatively predicted, but the multi-scale
nature of the problem makes detailed quantitative predic-
tions very difficult [1-4].
2. Statement of Problem, Main Idea and
Our Aim
The present solar temperature is far lower than needed
for propagating a runaway thermonuclear reaction. In
Sun core the temperature is only ~13.6 MK (0.0012
MeV). The Coulomb barrier for protons (hydrogen) is
more then 0.4 MeV. Only very small proportions of core
protons take part in the thermonuclear reaction (they use
a tunnelling effect). Their energy is in balance with
energy emitted by Sun for the Sun surface temperature
5785 K (0.5 eV).
We want to clarify: If we create a zone of limited size
with a high temperature capable of overcoming the Cou-
lomb barrier (for example by insertion of a thermonu-
clear warhead) into the solar photosphere (or lower), can
this zone ignite the Sun’s photosphere (ignite the Sun’s
full load of thermonuclear fuel)? Can this zone self-
support progressive runaway reaction propagation for a
significant proportion of the available thermonuclear
If it is possible, researchers can investigate the prob-
lems: What will be the new solar temperature? Will this
be metastable, decay or runaway? How long will the
transformed Sun live, if only a minor change? What the
conditions will be on the Earth?
Why is this needed?
As thermonuclear and space technology spreads to
even the least powerful nations in the decades and centu-
ries ahead, a dying dictator having thermonuclear weap-
ons and space launchers can produce (with some consid-
erable mobilization of his military/industrial complex)—
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CWEEE
the artificial explosion of the Sun and take into his grave
the whole of humanity.
It might take tens of thousands of people to make and
launch the hardware, but only a very few need know the
final targeting data of what might be otherwise a weapon
purely thought of (within the dictator’s defense industry)
as being built for peaceful, “business as usual” deterrent
use. Given the hideous history of dictators in the twenti-
eth century and their ability to kill technicians who had
outlived their use (as well as major sections of entire
populations also no longer deemed useful) we may as-
sume that such ruthlessness is possible.
Given the spread of suicide warfare and self-immola-
tion as a desired value in many states, (in several cul-
tures—think Berlin or Tokyo 1945, New York 2001,
Tamil regions of Sri Lanka 2006) what might obtain a
century hence? All that is needed is a supportive, obedi-
ent defense complex, a “romantic” conception of mass
death as an ideal—even a religious ideal—and the reali-
zation that his own days at power are at a likely end. It
might even be launched as a trump card in some (to us)
crazy internal power struggle, and plunged into the Sun
and detonated in a mood of spite by the losing side.
Burn baby burn”!
A small increase of the average Earth’s temperature
over 0.4 K in the course of a century created a panic in
humanity over the future temperature of the Earth, re-
sulting in the Kyoto Protocol. Some stars with active
thermonuclear reactions have temperatures of up to
30,000 K. If not an explosion but an enchanced burn re-
sults the Sun might radically increase in luminosity for
say—a few hundred years. This would suffice for an av-
erage Earth temperature of hundreds of degrees over 0˚C.
The oceans would evaporate and Earth would bake in a
Venus like greenhouse, or even lose its’ atmosphere en-
Thus we must study this problem to find methods of
defense from human induced Armageddon.
The interested reader may find needed information in
3. Theory Estimations and Computation
1) Coulomb barrier (repulsion). Energy is needed for
thermonuclear reaction may be computed by equations
12 12
12 12
15 3
2.3 10J
or1.4410eV ,
where,1.2 1.510
kZ ZeZ Z
kZ ZeZ Z
rrr rA
 i
where E is energy needed for forcing contact between
two nuclei, J or eV; k = 9 109 is electrostatic constant,
N·m2/C2; Z is charge state; e = 1.6 10–19 is charge of
proton, C; r is distance between nucleus centers, m; ri is
radius of nucleus, m; A = Z + N is nuclei number, N is
number neutrons into given (i = 1, 2) nucleus.
The computations of average temperature (energy) for
some nucleus are presented in Table 1 below. We as-
sume that the first nucleus is moving; the second (target)
nucleus is motionless.
In reality the temperature of plasma may be signifi-
cantly lower than in table 1 because the nuclei have dif-
ferent velocity. Parts of them have higher velocity (see
Maxwell distribution of nuclei speed in plasma), some of
the nuclei do not (their energy are summarized), and
there are tunnel effects. If the temperature is significantly
lower, then only a small part of the nuclei took part in
reaction and the fuel burns very slowly. This case we
have—happily in the present day Sun where the tem-
perature in core has only 0.0012 MeV and the Sun can
burn at this rate for billions of years [5,6].
The ratio between temperatures in eV and in K is
1.16 10,0.86 10
T. (2)
2) The energy of a nuclear reaction. The energy and
momentum conservation laws define the energetic rela-
tionships for a nuclear reaction [1,2].
When a reaction A(a,b)B occurs, the quantity
 
Aa Bb
, (3)
where Mi are the masses of the particles participating in
the reaction and c is the speed of light, Q is the reaction
Usually mass defects
M are used, instead of masses,
for computing Q:
 
Aa B
QMMMM b
. (4)
The mass defect is the quantity
M = M A where M
is the actual mass of the particle (atom), A is the so-
called mass number, i.e. the total number of nucleons
(protons and neutrons) in the atomic nucleus. If M is ex-
pressed in atomic mass units (a.m.u.) and A is assigned
the same unit, then M is also expressed in a.m.u. One
a.m.u. represent 1/12 of the 12C nuclide mass and equals
1.6605655 10–27 kg. For calculations of reaction ener-
gies it is more convenient to express M in kilo-elec-
tronvolts: a.m.u. = 931501.59 keV.
Employing the mass defects, one can handle numbers
that are many times smaller than the nuclear masses or
the binding energies.
Table 1. Columb barrier of some nuclei pairs.
Reaction E,
MeV Reaction E,
MeV Reaction E,
MeV Reaction E,
p + p 0.53T + p 0.446L + p 1.13 13C + p1.9
D + p0.47D + d 0.427Be + p 1.5
12C +
4He 3.24
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Kinetic energy may be released during the course of
a reaction (exothermic reaction) or kinetic energy
may have to be supplied for the reaction to take place
(endothermic reaction). This can be calculated by refer-
ence to a table of very accurate particle rest masses (see
html). The reaction energy (the “Q-value”) is positive for
exothermal reactions and negative for endothermal reac-
The other method calculate of thermonuclear energy is
in [1]. For a nucleus of atomic number Z, mass number A,
and Atomic mass M(Z,A), the binding energy is
 
, (5)
where M(1H) is mass of a hydrogen atom and mn is mass
of neutron. This equation neglects a small correction due
to the binding energy of the atomic electrons.
The binding energy per nucleus Q/A, varies only
slightly in the range of 7 - 9 MeV for nuclei with A > 12.
The binding energy can be approximately calculated
from Weizsacker’s semiempirical formula:
23 13
vs c
 
  (6)
accounts for pairing of like nucleons and has the
value +apA–3/4 for Z and N both even, –apA–3/4 for Z and N
both odd, and zero otherwise (A odd). The constants in
this formula must be adjusted for the best agreement with
data: typical values are av = 15.5 MeV, as = 16.8 MeV, ac
= 0.72 MeV, asym = 23 MeV, and ap = 34 MeV.
The binding energy per nucleon of the helium-4
nucleus is unusually high, because the He-4 nucleus is
doubly magic. (The He-4 nucleus is unusually stable and
tightly-bound for the same reason that the helium atom is
inert: each pair of protons and neutrons in He-4 occupies
a filled 1s nuclear orbital in the same way that the pair of
electrons in the helium atom occupies a filled 1s electron
orbital). Consequently, alpha particles appear frequently
on the right hand side of nuclear reactions [7,8].
The energy released in a nuclear reaction can appear
mainly in one of three ways:
kinetic energy of the product particles.
emission of very high energy photons, called gamma
some energy may remain in the nucleus, as a me-
tastable energy level.
When the product nucleus is metastable, this is indi-
cated by placing an asterisk (“*”) next to its atomic
number. This energy is eventually released through nu-
clear decay.
If the reaction equation is balanced, that does not mean
that the reaction really occurs. The rate at which reac-
tions occur depends on the particle energy, the particle
flux and the reaction cross section.
In the initial collision which begins the reaction, the
particles must approach closely enough so that the short
range strong force can affect them. As most common
nuclear particles are positively charged, this means they
must overcome considerable electrostatic repulsion be-
fore the reaction can begin. Even if the target nucleus is
part of a neutral atom, the other particle must penetrate
well beyond the electron cloud and closely approach the
nucleus, which is positively charged. Thus, such particles
must be first accelerated to high energy, for example by
very high temperatures, on the order of millions of de-
grees, producing thermonuclear reactions
Also, since the force of repulsion is proportional to the
product of the two charges, reactions between heavy nu-
clei are rarer, and require higher initiating energy, than
those between a heavy and light nucleus; while reactions
between two light nuclei are commoner still.
Neutrons, on the other hand, have no electric charge to
cause repulsion, and are able to affect a nuclear reaction
at very low energies. In fact at extremely low particle
energies (corresponding, say, to thermal equilibrium at
room temperature), the neutron’s de Broglie wavelength
is greatly increased, possibly greatly increasing its cap-
ture cross section, at energies close to resonances of the
nuclei involved. Thus low energy neutrons may be even
more reactive than high energy neutrons [9].
3) Distribution of thermonuclear energy between
particles. In most cases, the result of thermonuclear re-
action is more than one product. As you see in Table 2
that may be “He” and neutron or proton. The thermonu-
clear energy distributes between them in the following
112 2
1211 22
12 2
12 12
From, ,
we have,,
mV mV
 
 
where m is particle mass, kg; V is particle speed, m/s; E
is particle energy, J;
= mi /mp is relative particle mass.
Lower indexes “1, 2” are number of particles.
After some collisions the energy E = kT (temperature)
of different particles may be closed to equal.
4) The power density produced in thermonuclear
reaction may be computed by the equation
PEnn v
, (8)
where E is energy of single reaction, eV or J; n1 is den-
sity (number particles in cm3) the first component; n2 is
density (number particles in cm3) the second component;
is reaction rate, in cm3/s;
is cross section of re-
action, cm2, 1 barn = 10–24 cm2; v is speed of the first
component, cm/s; P is power density, eV/cm3 or J/cm3.
Cross section of reaction before
max very strongly
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Table 2. Exothermic thermonuclear reactions.
Reaction Energy of
reaction MeV
σmax barn
E 1 MeV
E of σmax
MeV Reaction
Energy of
Reaction MeV
σmax barn
E 1 MeV
E of σmax
1 p + pd + e+ + ν 2.2 1023 - 15d +
6Li7Li + p 5.0 0.01 1
2 p + d3He + γ 5.5 106 - 16d +
6Li24He 22.4 0.026 0.60
3 p + t4He + γ 19.7 106 - 17d +
7Li24He + n 15.0 103 0.2
4 d + dt + p 4.0 0.16 2 18p + 9Be24He + d0.56 0.46 0.33
5 d + d3He + n 3.3 0.09 1 19p +
9Be6Li + 4He2.1 0.34 0.33
6 d + d4He + γ 24 - - 20p +
11B34He 8.7 0.6 0.675
7 d + t4He + n 17.6 5 0.13 21p +
15N12C + 4He5.0 0.6 1.2
8 t + d4He + n 17.6 5 0.195 22d +
6Li7Be + n 3.4 0.01 0.3
9 t + t4He + 2n 11.3 0.1 1 233He + t4He + d 14.31 0.7 1
10 d +
3He4He + p 18.4 0.71 0.47 243H + 4He7Li +
2.457 7·105 3
11 3He + 3He4He + 2p 12.8 - - 253H + d4He 17.59 5·104 2
12 n +
6Li4He + t 4,8 2.6 0.26 2612C + p13N +
1.944 106 0.46
13 p +
6Li4He + 3He 4,0 104 0.3 2713C + p14N +
7.55 104 0.555
14 p +
7Li24He + γ 17.3 6·103 0.44 283He + 4He7Be +
1.587 106 8
Here are: p (or 1H)—proton, d (or D, or 2H)—deuterium, t (or T, or 3H)—tritium, n—neutron, He—helium, Li—lithium, Be—beryllium, B—barium,
C—carbon, N—hydrogen, v—neutrino,
—gamma radiation.
depends from temperature and it is obtainable by ex-
periment. They can have the maximum resonance. For
very high temperatures the
may be close to the nuclear
The terminal velocity of the reaction components
(electron and ions) are
12 712
4.1910. cms
Tee ee
vkTm T , (9)
 
12 12
9.7910. cms
Tiiii i
vkTm T
 , (10)
where T is temperature in eV;
i = mi/mp is ratio of ion
mass to proton mass.
The sound velocity of ions is
, (11)
where γ (1.2 - 1.4) is adiabatic coefficient; z is number
of charge (z = 1 for p), Tk is plasma temperature in K; mi
is mass of ion.
The deep of penetration of outer radiation into plasma
where ne is number of electrons in unit of volume.
In internal plasma detonation there is no loss in radia-
tion because the plasma reflects the radiation.
4. Possible Thermonuclear Reactions to
Power a Hypothetical Solar Explosion
The Sun mass is ~74% hydrogen and 25% helium.
Possibilities exist for the following self-supporting nu-
clear reactions in the hydrogen medium: proton chain
reaction, CNO cycle, Triple-alpha process, Carbon burn-
ing process, Neon burning process, Oxygen burning
process, Silicon burning process.
For our case of particular interest (a most probable
candidate) the proton-proton chain reaction. It is more
exactly the reaction p + p.
The proton-proton chain reaction is one of several
fusion reactions by which stars convert hydrogen to he-
lium, the primary alternative being the CNO cycle. The
proton-proton chain dominates in stars the size of the Sun
or less.
The first step involves the fusion of two hydrogen nu-
clei 1H (protons) into deuterium 2H, releasing a positron
and a neutrino as one proton changes into a neutron.
11 2
. (12)
with the neutrinos released in this step carrying energies
up to 0.42 MeV.
The positron immediately annihilates with an electron,
and their mass energy is carried off by two gamma ray
ee 21.02MeV
 . (13)
After this, the deuterium produced in the first stage
can fuse with another hydrogen to produce a light isotope
of helium, 3He:
21 3
HHHe5.49 MeV
 . (14)
From here there are three possible paths to generate
helium isotope 4He. In pp1 helium-4 comes from fusing
two of the helium-3 nuclei produced; the pp2 and pp3
branches fuse 3He with a pre-existing 4He to make Beryl-
lium-7. In the Sun, branch pp1 takes place with a fre-
quency of 86%, pp2 with 14% and pp3 with 0.11%.
There is also an extremely rare pp4 branch.
1) The pp I branch
33 411
HeHeHeHH12.86 MeV
The complete pp I chain reaction releases a net energy
of 26.7 MeV. The pp I branch is dominant at tempera-
tures of 10 to 14 megakelvins (MK). Below 10 MK, the
PP chain does not produce much 4He.
2) The pp II branch
3He + 4He 7Be + γ
7Be + e 7Li + νe
7Li + 1H 4He + 4He
The pp II branch is dominant at temperatures of 14 to
23 MK. 90% of the neutrinos produced in the reaction
7Be(e,νe)7Li* carry an energy of 0.861 MeV, while the
remaining 10% carry 0.383 MeV (depending on whether
lithium-7 is in the ground state or an excited state, re-
3) The pp III branch
3He + 4He 7Be + γ
7Be + 1H 8B + γ
8B 8Be + e+ + νe
8Be 4He + 4He
The pp III chain is dominant if the temperature ex-
ceeds 23 MK.
The pp III chain is not a major source of energy in the
Sun (only 0.11%), but was very important in the solar
neutrino problem because it generates very high energy
neutrinos (up to 14.06 MeV).
4) The pp IV or hep
This reaction is predicted but has never been observed
due to its great rarity (about 0.3 parts per million in the
Sun). In this reaction, Helium-3 reacts directly with a
proton to give helium-4, with an even higher possible
neutrino energy (up to 18.8 MeV).
31 4
He HHee
 
5) Energy release
Comparing the mass of the final helium-4 atom with
the masses of the four protons reveals that 0.007 or 0.7%
of the mass of the original protons has been lost. This
mass has been converted into energy, in the form of
gamma rays and neutrinos released during each of the
individual reactions.
The total energy we get in one whole chain is
4HHe26.73 MeV .
Only energy released as gamma rays will interact with
electrons and protons and heat the interior of the Sun.
This heating supports the Sun and prevents it from col-
lapsing under its own weight. Neutrinos do not interact
significantly with matter and do not help support the Sun
against gravitational collapse. The neutrinos in the ppI,
ppII and ppIII chains carry away the 2.0%, 4.0% and
28.3% of the energy respectively.
This creates a situation in which stellar nucleosynthe-
sis produces large amounts of carbon and oxygen but
only a small fraction of these elements is converted into
neon and heavier elements. Both oxygen and carbon
make up the ash of helium burning. Those nuclear reso-
nances sensitively are arranged to create large amounts
of carbon and oxygen, has been controversially cited as
evidence of the anthropic principle.
About 34% of this energy is carried away by neutrinos.
That reaction is part of solar reaction, but if initial tem-
perature is high, the reaction becomes an explosion.
The detonation wave works a short time. That supports
the reactions (12)-(13). They produce energy up to 1.44
MeV. The reactions (12)-(14) produce energy up to 5.8
MeV. But after detonation wave and the full range of
reactions the temperature of plasma is more than the
temperature needed to pass the Coulomb barrier and the
energy of explosion increases by 20 times [10-12].
5. Theory of Detonation
The one dimensional detonation wave may be computed
by equations (see Figure 1):
1) Law of mass
, (15)
where D—speed of detonation, m/s; v—speed of ion
sound, m/s about the front of detonation wave (Equation
(11)); V1, V3 specific density of plasma in points 1, 3 re-
spectively, kg/m3.
2) Law of momentum
, (16)
where p1, p3 are pressures, N/m2, in point 1, 3 respec-
3) Law of energy
31 3113
0.5EEQ ppVV 
, (17)
where E3, E1—internal energy, J/kg, of mass unit in point
3, 1 respectively, Q is nuclear energy, J/kg.
4) Speed of detonation is
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CWEEE
Figure 1. Pressure in detonation wave. I—plasma, II—front
of detonation wave, III—zone of the initial thermonuclear
fusion reaction, IV—products of reaction and next reaction,
po—initial pressure, x—distance.
1, (18)
γ 1.2 - 1.4 is adiabatic coefficient [13].
6. Model of Artificial Sun Explosion.
Estimation of Ignition
Thermonuclear reactions proceeding in the Sun’s core
are under high temperature and pressure. However the
core temperature is substantially lower than that needed
to overcome the Columb barrier. That way the thermo-
nuclear reaction is very slow and the Sun’s life cycle is
about 10 billion years. But that is enough output to keep
the Sun a plasma ball, hot enough for life on Earth to
exist. Now we are located in the middle of the Sun’s life
and have about 5 billions years until the Sun becomes a
Red Giant.
However, this presumes that the Sun is stable against
deliberate tampering. Supposing our postulations are
correct, the danger exists that introducing a strong ther-
monuclear explosion into the Sun which is a container of
fuel for thermonuclear reactions, the situation can be
cardinally changed. For correct computations it is neces-
sary to have a comprehensive set of full initial data (for
example, all cross-section areas of all nuclear reactions)
and supercomputer time. The author does not have access
to such resources. That way he can only estimate prob-
ability of these reactions, their increasing or decreasing.
Supportive investigations are welcome in order to restore
confidence in humanity’s long term future [14].
7. AB-Criterion for Solar Detonation
A self-supporting detonation wave is possible if the
speed of detonation wave is greater or equals the ion
sound speed:
,where21 ,k
DvD Qvm
. (19)
Here Q is a nuclear specific heat [J/kg], γ = 1.2 - 1.4 is
adiabatic coefficient (they are noted in (17)-(18)); z is
number of the charge of particle after fusion reaction (z =
1 for 2H), k = 1.36 × 1023 is Boltzmann constant, J/K; Tk
is temperature of plasma after fusion reaction in Kelvin
degrees; mi = μmp is mass of ion after fusion reaction, kg;
mp = 1.67 × 10–27 kg is mass of proton; μ is relative mass,
μ = 2 for 2H.
When we have sign “>” the power of the detonation
wave increases, when we have the sign “<” it decreases.
Substitute two last equations in the first equation in
(19) we get
,2 1.
where 4
DvQ m
nm nm
where f is speed of nuclear reaction, s/m3; e = 1.6 × 10–19
is coefficient for converting the energy from electron-
volts to joules; E is energy of reaction in eV; n is number
particles (p - protons) in m3; v
is reaction rate, m3/s
(Figure 2), mi = 2mp, τ is time, sec.
From (20) we get the AB-Criterion for artificial Sun
 
1.16 10
zkT zkT
neE veE v
where Te is temperature of plasma after reaction in eV.
The offered AB-Criterion (21) is different from the
well-known Lawson criterion
where Ech is energy of reaction in keV, kB is Boltzmann
temperature [keV]
temperature [billion Kelvin]
Reaction rate [cm
Figure 2. Reaction rate v
via plasma temperature for
D-T (top), D-D (middle) and D-3He (bottom in left side).
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CWEEE
The offered AB-Criterion contains the γ adiabatic
coefficient and z—number of electric charge in the elec-
tron charges. It is not surprising because Lawson derived
his criterion from the condition where the energy of the
reaction must be greater than the loss of energy by plas-
ma into the reactor walls, where
reaction loss
In our case no the reactor walls and plasma reflects the
any radiation.
The offered AB-Criterion is received from the condi-
tion (19): Speed of self-supporting detonation wave must
be greater than the speed of sound where
For main reaction p + p the AB-Criterion (21) has a
. (21a)
Estimation. Let us take the first step of the reaction 1H
+ 1H (12)-(13) having in point 3 (Figure 1) Te = 105 eV,
E 1.44 × 106 eV, <σv> ×10–22. Substituting them in
Equation (21) we receive
0.7 10n
 . (22)
The Sun surface (photosphere) has density n = 1023
1/m3, the encounter time of protons in the hypothetical
detonation wave III (Figure 1) may be over 0.01 sec.
The values in left and right sides of (22) have the same
order. That means a thermonuclear bomb exploded within
the Sun may conceivably be able to serve as a detonator
which produces a self-supported nuclear reaction and
initiates the artificial explosion of the Sun.
After the initial reaction the temperature of plasma is
very high (>1 MeV) and time of next reaction may be
very large (hundreds of seconds), the additional energy
might in these conditions increase up to 26 MeV.
A more accurate computation is possible but will re-
quire cooperation of an interested supercomputer team
with the author, or independent investigations with simi-
lar interests [15].
8. Penetration of Thermonuclear Bomb into
The Sun is a ball of plasma (ionized gases), not a solid
body. A properly shielded thermonuclear bomb can per-
meate deep into the Sun. The warhead may be protected
on its’ way down by a special high reflectivity mirror
offered, among others, by author A.A. Bolonkin in 1983
[11] and described in [7] Chapters 12, 3A, [8] Ch.5 (see
also [9-15]). This mirror allows to maintain a low tem-
perature of the warhead up to the very boundary of the
solar photosphere. At that point its’ velocity is gigantic,
about 617.6 km/s, assuring a rapid penetration for as far
as it goes.
The top solar atmosphere is very rarefied; a milliard
(US billion) times less than the Earth’s atmosphere. The
Sun’s photosphere has a density approximately 200 times
less than the Earth’s atmosphere. Some references give a
value of only 0.0000002 gm/cm3 (0.1 millibar) at the
photosphere surface. Since present day ICBM warheads
can penetrate down (by definition) to the 1 bar level
(Earth’s surface) and that is by no means the boundary of
the feasible, the 10 bar level may be speculated to be
near-term achievable. The most difficult entry yet was
that of the Galileo atmospheric probe on Dec. 7, 1995
[16]. The Galileo Probe was a 45˚ sphere-cone that en-
tered Jupiter’s atmosphere at 47.4 km/s (atmosphere rela-
tive speed at 450 km above the 1 bar reference altitude).
The peak deceleration experienced was 230 g (2.3 km/s2).
Peak stagnation point pressure before aeroshell jettison
was 9 bars (900 kPa). The peak shock layer temperature
was approximately 16000 K (and remember this is into
hydrogen (mostly) the solar photosphere is merely 5800
K). Approximately 26% of the Galileo Probe’s original
entry mass of 338.93 kg was vaporized during the 70
second heat pulse. Total blocked heat flux peaked at ap-
proximately 15000 W/cm² (hotter than the surface of the
If the entry vehicle was not optimized for slowdown as
the Galileo Probe but for penetration like a modern
ICBM warhead, with extra ablatives and a sharper cone
half-angle, achievable penetration would be deeper and
faster. If 70 seconds atmospheric penetration time could
be achieved, (with minimal slowdown) perhaps up to 6%
of the way to the center might be achieved by near term
The outer penetration shield of the warhead may be
made from carbon (which is an excellent ablative heat
protector). The carbon is also an excellent nuclear cata-
lyst of the nuclear reactions in the CNO solar thermonu-
clear cycle and may significantly increase the power of
the initial explosion [17].
A century hence, what level of penetration of the solar
interior is possible? This depth is unknown to the author,
exceeding plausible engineering in the near term. Let us
consider a hypothetical point (top of the radiation layer)
30 percent of the way from the surface to the core, at the
density of 0.2 g/cm3 with a temperature of 2,000,000˚C.
No material substance can withstand such heat—for ex-
tended periods.
We may imagine however hypothetical penetration
aids, analogous to ICBM techniques of a half century ago.
Shock waves bear the brunt of the encountered heat and
force it aside, the opacity shielding the penetrator. A
form of multiple disposable shock cones may be em-
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CWEEE
ployed to give the last in line a chance to survive; indeed
the destruction of the next to last may arm the trigger.
If the heat isolation shield and multiple penetration
aids can protect the bomb at near entry velocity for a
hellish 10 minute interval, (which to many may seem
impossible but which cannot be excluded without defini-
tive study—remember we are speaking now of centuries
hence, not the near term case above—see reference 14)
that means the bomb may reach the depth of 350 thou-
sands kilometers or 0.5R, where R = 696 × 103 km is
Sun’s radius.
The Sun density via relative Sun depth may be esti-
mated by the equation
20.4 ,where
nneh hR, (23)
where ns 1023 1/m3 is the plasma density on the photo-
sphere surface; h is deep, km; R = 696 × 103 is solar ra-
dius, km. At a solar interior depth of h = 0.5R the relative
density is greater by 27 thousand times than on the Sun’s
Here the density and temperature are significantly
more than on the photosphere’s surface. And conditions
for the detonation wave and thermonuclear reaction are
“better”—from the point of view of the attacker.
9. Estimation of Nuclear Bomb Needed for
Sun Explosion
Sound speed into plasma headed up T = 100 ˚K million
degrees is about
20.5 6
10ms10 msvT. (24)
Time of nuclear explosion (a full nuclear reaction of
bomb) is less t = 10–4 sec. Therefore the radius of heated
Sun photosphere is about R = vt = 100 m, volume V is
VR 3
. (25)
Density of Sun photosphere is p = 2 × 10–4 kg/m3.
Consequently the mass of the heated photosphere is
about m = pV = 1000 kg.
The requested power of the nuclear bomb for heating
this mass for temperature T = 104 eV (100 K million de-
grees) is approximately
34 2734
10101.67 10eV0.6 10eV
210J0.5 Mt
 
  (26)
The requested power of nuclear bomb is about 0.5
Megatons. The average power of the current thermonu-
clear bomb is 5 - 10 Mt. That means the current thermo-
nuclear bomb may be used as a fuse of Sun explosion.
That estimation needs in a more complex computation by
a power computer.
10. Results of Research
The Sun contains 73.46% hydrogen by weight. The iso-
tope hydrogen-1 (99.985% of hydrogen in nature) is us-
able fuel for a fusion thermonuclear reaction.
The p-p reaction runs slowly within the Sun because
its temperature is low (relative to the temperatures of
nuclear reactions). If we create higher temperature and
density in a limited region of the solar interior, we may
be able to produce self-supporting, more rapid detonation
thermonuclear reactions that may spread to the full solar
volume. This is analogous to the triggering mechanisms
in a thermonuclear bomb. Conditions within the bomb
can be optimized in a small area to initiate ignition, build
a spreading reaction and then feed it into a larger area,
allowing producing a “solar hydrogen bomb” of any
power—but not necessarily one whose power can be
limited. In the case of the Sun certain targeting practices
may greatly increase the chances of an artificial explo-
sion of the entire Sun. This explosion would annihilate
the Earth and the Solar System, as we know them today.
Author A.A. Bolonkin has researched this problem and
shown that an artificial explosion of Sun cannot be pre-
cluded. In the Sun’s case this lacks only an initial fuse,
which induces the self-supporting detonation wave. This
research has shown that a thermonuclear bomb exploded
within the solar photosphere surface may be the fuse for
an accelerated series of hydrogen fusion reactions.
The temperature and pressure in this solar plasma may
achieve a temperature that rises to billions of degrees in
which all thermonuclear reactions are accelerated by
many thousands of times. This power output would fur-
ther heat the solar plasma. Further increasing of the
plasma temperature would, in the worst case, climax in a
solar explosion.
The possibility of initial ignition of the Sun signifi-
cantly increases if the thermonuclear bomb is exploded
under the solar photosphere surface. The incoming bomb
has a diving speed near the Sun of about 617 km/sec.
Warhead protection to various depths may be feasible-
ablative cooling which evaporates and protects the war-
head some minutes from the solar temperatures. The
deeper the penetration before detonation the temperature
and density achieved greatly increase the probability of
beginning thermonuclear reactions which can achieve
explosive breakout from the current stable solar condi-
Compared to actually penetrating the solar interior, the
flight of the bomb to the Sun, (with current technology
requiring a gravity assist flyby of Jupiter to cancel the
solar orbit velocity) will be easy to shield from both ra-
diation and heating and melting. Numerous authors, in-
cluding A. A. Bolonkin in works [7-12] offered and
showed the high reflectivity mirrors which can protect
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CWEEE
the flight article within the orbit of Mercury down to the
solar surface.
The author A. A. Bolonkin originated the AB Criterion,
which allows estimating the condition required for the
artificial explosion of the Sun.
11. Discussion
If we (humanity—unfortunately in this context, an insane
dictator representing humanity for us) create a zone of
limited size with a high temperature capable of over-
coming the Coulomb barrier (for example by insertion of
a specialized thermonuclear warhead) into the solar pho-
tosphere (or lower), can this zone ignite the Sun’s pho-
tosphere (ignite the Sun’s full load of thermonuclear
fuel)? Can this zone self-support progressive runaway
reaction propagation for a significant proportion of the
available thermonuclear fuel?
If it is possible, researchers can investigate the prob-
lems: What will be the new solar temperature? Will this
be metastable, decay or runaway? How long will the
transformed Sun live, if only a minor change? What the
conditions will be on the Earth during the interval, if only
temporary? If not an explosion but an enhanced burn
results the Sun might radically increase in luminosity
for-say—a few hundred years. This would suffice for an
average Earth temperature of hundreds of degrees over
0˚C. The oceans would evaporate and Earth would bake
in a Venus like greenhouse, or even lose its’ atmosphere
It would not take a full scale solar explosion, to anni-
hilate the Earth as a planet for Man. (For a classic report
on what makes a planet habitable, co-authored by Issac
Asimov, see
Converting the sun even temporarily into a “super-
flare” star, (which may hugely vary its output by many
percent, even many times) over very short intervals, not
merely in heat but in powerful bursts of shorter wave-
lengths) could kill by many ways, notably ozone deple-
tion—thermal stress and atmospheric changes and hun-
dreds of others of possible scenarios—in many of them,
human civilization would be annihilated. And in many
more, humanity as a species would come to an end.
The reader naturally asks: Why even contemplate such
a horrible scenario? It is necessary because as thermonu-
clear and space technology spreads to even the least
powerful nations in the centuries ahead, a dying dictator
having thermonuclear missile weapons can produce (with
some considerable mobilization of his military/industrial
complex)—the artificial explosion of the Sun and take
into his grave the whole of humanity. It might take tens
of thousands of people to make and launch the hardware,
but only a very few need know the final targeting data of
what might be otherwise a weapon purely thought of
(within the dictator’s defense industry) as being built for
peaceful, deterrent use.
Those concerned about Man’s future must know about
this possibility and create some protective system—or
ascertain on theoretical grounds that it is entirely impos-
sible, which would be comforting.
Suppose, however that some variation of the following
is possible, as determined by other researchers with ac-
cess to good supercomputer simulation teams. What, then
is to be done?
The action proposed depends on what is shown to be
Suppose that no such reaction is possible—it dampens
out unnoticeably in the solar background, just as no fis-
sion bomb triggered fusion of the deuterium in the
oceans proved to be possible in the Bikini test of 1946.
This would be the happiest outcome.
Suppose that an irruption of the Sun’s upper layers
enough to cause something operationally similar to a
targeted “coronal mass ejection”—CME—of huge size
targeted at Earth or another planet? Such a CME like
weapon could have the effect of a huge electromagnetic
pulse. Those interested should look up data on the 1859
solar superstorm, the Carrington event, and the Stewart
Super Flare. Such a CME/EMP weapon might target one
hemisphere while leaving the other intact as the world
turns. Such a disaster could be surpassed by another step
up the escalation ladder—by a huge hemisphere killing
thermal event of ~12 hours duration such as postulated
by science fiction writer Larry Niven in his 1971 story
“Inconstant Moon”—apparently based on the Thomas
Gold theory (ca. 1969-70) of rare solar superflares of
100 times normal luminosity. Subsequent research18
(Wdowczyk and Wolfendale, 1977) postulated horrific
levels of solar activity, ozone depletion and other such
consequences might cause mass extinctions. Such an
improbable event might not occur naturally, but could it
be triggered by an interested party? A triplet of satellites
monitoring at all times both the sun from Earth orbit and
the “far side” of the Sun from Earth would be a good
investment both scientifically and for purposes of making
sure no “creative” souls were conducting trial CME
eruption tests!
Might there be peaceful uses for such a capability? In
the extremely hypothetical case that a yet greater su-
per-scale CME could be triggered towards a given target
in space, such a pulse of denser than naturally possible
gas might be captured by a giant braking array designed
for such a purpose to provide huge stocks of hydrogen
and helium at an asteroid or moon lacking these materials
for purposes of future colonization.
A worse weapon on the scale we postulate might be an
asymmetric eruption (a form of directed thermonuclear
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CWEEE
blast using solar hydrogen as thermonuclear fuel), which
shoots out a coherent (in the sense of remaining together)
burst of plasma at a given target without going runaway
and consuming the outer layers of the Sun. If this quite
unlikely capability were possible at all (dispersion issues
argue against it—but before CMEs were discovered, they
too would have seemed unlikely), such an apocalyptic
“demo” would certainly be sufficient emphasis on a threat,
or a means of warfare against a colonized solar system.
With a sufficient thermonuclear burn—and if the condi-
tion of nondispersion is fulfilled—might it be possible to
literally strip a planet—Venus, say—of its’ atmosphere?
(It might require a mass of fusion fuel—and a hugely
greater non-fused expelled mass comparable in total to
the mass to be stripped away on the target planet.)
It is not beyond the limit of extreme speculation to
imagine an expulsion of this order sufficient to strip
Jupiter’s gas layers off the “Super-Earth” within.—To
strip away 90% or more of Jupiter’s mass (which other-
wise would take perhaps ~400 Earth years of total solar
output to disassemble with perfect efficiency and ne-
glecting waste heat issues). It would probably waste a
couple Jupiter masses of material (dispersed hydrogen
and helium). It would be an amazing engineering capa-
bility for long term space colonization, enabling substan-
tial uses of materials otherwise unobtainable in nearly all
scenarios of long term space civilization.
Moving up on the energy scale—“boosting” or “damp-
ing” a star, pushing it into a new metastable state of
greater or lesser energy output for times not short com-
pared with the history of civilization, might be a very
welcome capability to colonize another star system—and
a terrifying reason to have to make the trip.
And of course, in the uncontrollable case of an in-
duced star explosion, in a barren star system it could
provide a nebula for massive mining of materials to some
future super-civilization. It is worth noting in this con-
nection that the Sun constitutes 99.86 percent of the ma-
terial in the Solar System, and Jupiter another.1 percent.
Literally a thousand Earth masses of solid (iron, carbon)
building materials might be possible, as well as thou-
sands of oceans of water to put inside space colonies in
some as yet barren star system.
But here in the short-term future, in our home solar
system, such a capability would present a terrible threat
to the survival of humanity, which could make our own
solar system completely barren.
The list of possible countermeasures does not inspire
confidence. A way to interfere with the reaction (dampen
it once it starts)? It depends on the spread time, but
seems most improbable. We cannot even stop nuclear
reactions once they take hold on Earth—the time scales
are too short.
Is defense of the Sun possible? Unlikely—such a task
makes missile defense of the Earth look easy. Once a
gravity assist Jupiter flyby nearly stills the velocity with
which a flight article orbits the Sun, it will hang rela-
tively motionless in space and then begin the long fall to
fiery doom. A rough estimate yields only one or two
weeks to intercept it within the orbit of Mercury, and the
farther it falls the faster it goes, to science fiction-like
velocities sufficient to reach Pluto in under six weeks
before it hits.
A perimeter defense around the Sun? The idea seems
impractical with near term technology.
The Sun is a hundred times bigger sphere than Earth in
every dimension. If we have 10,000 ready to go inter-
ceptor satellites with extreme sunshields that function a
few solar radii out each one must be able to intercept
with 99% probability the brightening light heading to-
ward its’ sector of the Sun over a circle the size of Earth,
an incoming warhead at around 600 km/sec.
If practical radar range from a small set is considered
(4th power decline of echo and return) as 40,000 km then
only 66 seconds would be available to plot a firing solu-
tion and arm for a destruct attempt. More time would be
available by a telescope looking up for brightening, in-
falling objects—but there are many natural incoming
objects such as meteors, comets, etc. A radar might be
needed just to confirm the artificial nature of the in-fal-
ling object (given the short actuation time and the limita-
tions of rapid storable rocket delta-v some form of di-
rected nuclear charge might be the only feasible coun-
termeasure) and any leader would be reluctant to authorize
dozens of nuclear explosions per year automatically (there
would be no time to consult with Earth, eight light-
minutes away—and eight more back, plus decision time).
But the cost of such a system, the reliability required to
function endlessly in an area in which there can pre-
sumably be no human visits and the price of its’ failure,
staggers the mind. And such a “thin” system would be
not difficult to defeat by a competent aggressor...
A satellite system near Earth for destroying the rockets
moving to the Sun may be a better solution, but with
more complications, especially since it would by defini-
tion also constitute an effective missile defense and space
blockade. Its’ very presence may help spark a war. Or if
only partially complete but under construction, it may
invite preemption, perhaps on the insane scale that we
here discuss…
Astronomers see the explosion of stars. They name
these stars novae and supernovae—“New Stars” and try
to explain (correctly, we are sure, in nearly all cases)
their explosion by natural causes. But some few of them,
from unlikely spectral classifications, may be result of
war between civilizations or fanatic dictators inflicting
their final indignity upon those living on planets of the
given star. We have enough disturbed people, some in
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CWEEE
positions of influence in their respective nations and or-
ganizations and suicide oriented violent people on Earth.
But a nuclear bomb can destroy only one city. A dictator
having possibility to destroy the Solar System as well as
Earth can blackmail all countries—even those of a future
Kardashev scale 2 star-system wide civilization—and
dictate his will/demands on any civilized country and
government. It would be the reign of the crazy over the
Author A.A. Bolonkin already warned about this pos-
sibility in 2007 (see his interview
-0 [15] (in Russian) (A translation of this is appended at
the end of this article) and called upon scientists and
governments to research and develop defenses against
this possibility. But some people think the artificial ex-
plosion of Sun impossible. This led to this current re-
search to give the conditions where such detonations are
indeed possible. That shows that is conceivably possible
even at the present time using current rockets and nuclear
bombs—and only more so as the centuries pass. Let us
take heed, and know the risks we face—or disprove
The first information about this work was published in
[15]. This work produced the active Internet discussion
in [18]. Among the raised questions were the following:
1) It is very difficult to deliver a warhead to the Sun.
The Earth moves relative to the Sun with a orbital veloc-
ity of 30 km/s, and this speed should be cancelled to fall
to the Sun. Current rockets do not suffice, and it is nec-
essary to use gravitational maneuvers around planets. For
this reason (high delta-V (velocity changes required) for
close solar encounters, the planet Mercury is so badly
investigated (probes there are expensive to send).
Answer: The Earth has a speed of 29 km/s around the
Sun and an escape velocity of only 11 km/s. But Jupiter
has an orbital velocity of only 13 km/sec and an escape
velocity of 59.2 km/s. Thus, the gravity assist Jupiter can
provide is more than the Earth can provide, and the re-
quired delta-v at that distance from the Sun far less—
enough to entirely cancel the sun-orbiting velocity around
the Sun, and let it begin the long plunge to the Solar orb
at terminal velocity achieving Sun escape speed 617.6
km/s. Notice that for many space exploration maneuvers,
we require a flyby of Jupiter, exactly to achieve such a
gravity assist, so simply guarding against direct launches
to the Sun from Earth would be futile!
2) Solar radiation will destroy any a probe on approach
to the Sun or in the upper layers of its photosphere.
Answer: It is easily shown, the high efficiency AB-re-
flector can full protection the apparatus. See [7] Chapters
12, 3A, [8] Ch.5, (see also [9-12].
3) The hydrogen density in the upper layers of the
photosphere of the Sun is insignificant, and it would be
much easier to ignite hydrogen at Earth oceans if it in
general is possible.
Answer: The hydrogen density is enough known. The
Sun has gigantic advantage—that is PLASMA. Plasma
of sufficient density reflects or blocks radiation—it has
opacity. That means: no radiation losses in detonation.
It is very important for heating. The AB Criterion in this
paper is received for PLASMA. Other planets of Solar
system have MOLECULAR atmospheres which passes
radiation. No sufficient heating—no detonation! The water
has higher density, but water passes the high radiation
(for example γ-radiation) and contains a lot of oxygen
(89%), which may be bad for the thermonuclear reaction.
This problem needs more research.
12. Summary
This is only an initial investigation. Detailed supercom-
puter modeling which allows more accuracy would greatly
aid prediction of the end results of a thermonuclear ex-
plosion on the solar photosphere.
Author invites the attention of scientific society to de-
tailed research of this problem and devising of protection
systems if it proves a feasible danger that must be taken
seriously. The other related ideas author Bolonkin offers
in [5-15].
13. Acknowledgements
The author wishes to acknowledge Alexei Turchin (Rus-
sia) for discussing the problems in this article [18].
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Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CWEEE
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CWEEE
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with Fantastic Properties,” American Journal of Engi-
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Center Website for Solar Facts.
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[18] A. V. Turchin, “The Possibility of Artificial Fusion Ex-
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