Frontier Giant Stars

Blue Supergiant Star

Rigel is an example of a blue supergiant star, easily seen in the constellation of Orion from the surface of Earth. It has a phenomenal output and is unlikely to be the centre of a planetary system.

Bright Giant Star

These stars have tremendous output and can only support life when the planets around it are a sufficiently long way away. This has happened in Alioth (0,4) where the planets housing humans are over 35 AU from the star. Terraforming is required to make these worlds comfortable, as the solar radiation at this distance cannot on its own generate enough energy to warm the planets.

Red Giant Star

There are a number of examples of humans settling on planets orbiting red giants, but their long-term viability is questionable. Red giants represent the stage stars pass through after they have used up all their fuel and before they become white dwarfs. Thus our own Sun will be a red giant sometime in the future. These stars undergo a considerable increase in volume which can engulf close-in planets.

Supergiant Star

It is difficult to see how any worthwhile civilisation could exist near one of these stars for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are relatively short-lived, using up all their fuel in a fraction of the time a main-sequence star like the Sun takes. This may prevent life from establishing itself successfully within the smaller time span. Secondly, these stars produce huge amounts of harmful radiation and any living being that could survive this would be remarkable.

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