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I always loved the part in 2001 where Jupiter becomes as star.

Has anyone ever suggested placing power generating stations high in the atmosphere of gas giants, and beaming the energy to colonies on the moons?

How much energy would a laser on one of the gas giants need to put out to heat up an entire moon to Earth-like temperatures? Would it be conceivable to generate enough energy in-situ on gas giants that it would make economic sense to send it by laser to other parts of the Solar System?

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  • $\begingroup$ Upper atmospheres of gas giants are mostly hydrogen and helium. I can't imagine how a buoyant power generation could be made. Balloon lofted infrastructure might be viable on Venus but not in the atmosphere of gas giants. $\endgroup$ – HopDavid Sep 16 '17 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ Heating the surface of icey moons would cause the ice to sublimate. There might be hospitable regions if you burrow below the surface of the icey moons. Although my crude models seem to indicate pressure becomes prohibitive before temperature gets nice. $\endgroup$ – HopDavid Sep 16 '17 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ If you can do what you suggest you would have better solutions to the problem. $\endgroup$ – GdD Sep 16 '17 at 19:34
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    $\begingroup$ I have heard it suggested to heat Jupiter's moons from the gas giants atmosphere. Though it makes more sense to do it much closer, in orbit of each moon. On the part about sending power via laser from the gas giants to other parts of the solar system. The losses in transmission and collimating (focusing) issues would make it impractical. It would cheaper to send the hydrogen from iceteroids or the ice giants (Uranus/Neptune) to the part of the solar system and create the heat there. $\endgroup$ – Brooks Nelson Sep 17 '17 at 2:19
  • $\begingroup$ If you submit that as an answer, I'll mark it answered. $\endgroup$ – Stonecraft Sep 17 '17 at 5:09

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