As time goes by, explanations for unusual things that exist in fiction get disproven. We know radiation probably isn't going to create a Giant ant that destroys everything, we're pretty sure we can't use ray guns, and the idea that falling into a black hole would put you face to face with Ming the Merciless is laughable.

Comic nerds might have guessed from the title why I'm asking, but I'm curious if there could still be any reason to latch on to to explain why superman is powered by a yellow sun, but not a red one? Does the higher temperature of a yellow sun create a higher level of some concentration of exotic particles, or once you get to the point of [solar fusion] is the output pretty much exactly the same?

Note: This question is not about superman, or his powers, just if there is any (temperature aside) meaningful difference between a yellow and red sun (that could be conveniently used by DC to still justify superman's powers).

  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this belongs on WorldBuilding.SE $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2017 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ I don't agree that this question should be moved to Worldbuilding. There's virtually no reason to migrate a question if it's not off-topic on the original site, and I can't see how this question is off-topic on Astronomy. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Jun 27, 2017 at 14:31

1 Answer 1



Small red dwarfs may be fully convective. Larger stars like the sun have a region in which the energy is transferred by radiation. So in small red dwarves, the star becomes fully mixed.

Red Giants are quite different and are large and old stars, swollen by their powerful cores.

Both red and yellow stars produce large amounts of neutrinos. Yellow stars produce more than red dwarfs because they are more powerful. Red Giants would produce more than yellow dwarfs, as they more powerful.

Nothing that could explain superman.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh, ye of little faith. Clearly the difference in the hyperspectral irradiance curve, in combination with a planet whose crust is primarily Kryptonite, is the reason Kal-El and his entire species have no superpowers at home. Freed of those effects elsewhere in the galaxy, powers re-assert themselves. $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2017 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft Actually superman loses his powers under the light of a red sun, even in the absence of Kryptonite. :) $\endgroup$
    – Sidney
    Jun 27, 2017 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Sidney ah, you are correct. My fault for not having read a Superman comic in the last 50 years :-( $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2017 at 14:43
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, that would be the source of it. I suggest putting down Aristotle and Tolstoy and pick up some actual literature. =P $\endgroup$
    – Sidney
    Jun 27, 2017 at 14:44

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