Can a black dwarf be suitable for manned exploration, once it cools down? And potentially used for space mining?

  • $\begingroup$ I would add to the answers below, what is the purpose? A Carbon-Oxygen crust wouldn't make for very interesting mining. Mine a planet's ring system for anti-matter. Mine a gas giant for Helium 3. Mine a low gravity rocky body like Mercury or Mars or heavy metals. I don't see what a black dwarf would have to offer, even if it was possible to mine one. All the good stuff would be towards the core. $\endgroup$ – userLTK May 15 '18 at 2:43
  • $\begingroup$ Well there's no specific purpose except potential exploration. $\endgroup$ – Jay May 15 '18 at 3:35

A 1 solar mass, Earth sized black dwarf would have a surface gravity of about 360 000 g which probably rules out manned exploration by anything we would normally think of as human. For similar reasons, mining would be quite challenging.

Another obstacle is that the Universe is not old enough to have produced any black dwarves yet. The oldest white dwarves still have a surface temperature of thousands of Kelvins.

Indeed, if humanity is still around when they have formed, visiting and mining them will probably be easy.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for your optimistic view of future technologies. Personally I doubt whether we could either fabricate materials strong enough to operate in said gravitational field, or bombs powerful enough to eject materials from the dwarft. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft May 14 '18 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ Will we ever get past such dense material? $\endgroup$ – ElectricSupernova May 14 '18 at 14:59

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.