Could stars form this way?

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solidsnake

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If i dumped a HUGE amount of potato chips, or tube socks, or dead woodchucks out into space...would they be drawn together gravitationally and form a star? Stars form from gas and dust this way due to gravity, right? Would stars be able to form from other stuff, as long as there was enough stuff to create the critical amount of gravity?
 
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green_meklar

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Enough of these various objects would certainly fall together into a clump and compress each other out of their original forms and into a solid mass. Some of them may even shine with the heat generated by this pressure. However, in order to get fusion going, you need light elements, so while potato chips and woodchucks might start up a nice fusion reaction, a whole lot of lead fishing weights probably isn't going to cut it.<br /><br />In other words, you have to overcome two main problems. One, having enough of the stuff (which doesn't look too likely in the near future for the objects you described), and two, having stuff with at least some hydrogen in it (helium doesn't form molecules, and lithium is too heavy to fuse in most stars). <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>________________</p><p>Repent! Repent! The technological singularity is coming!</p> </div>
 
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Saiph

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If they bound gravitationally (which is likely if you dump enough) they could act as a seed in a sufficiently gas filled region to attract enough hydrogen to get things started.<br /><br />Stars, afterall, are thought to begin forming from very sparse clouds of the finest dust imaginable. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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vogon13

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That initial flash of heat and radiation is going to make for quite a bit of stink coming out of the upper layers of dead wood chuck . . . . <br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/tongue.gif" /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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green_meklar

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>If they bound gravitationally (which is likely if you dump enough) they could act as a seed in a sufficiently gas filled region to attract enough hydrogen to get things started.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Mm, I suppose that's true too. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>________________</p><p>Repent! Repent! The technological singularity is coming!</p> </div>
 
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vogon13

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(sorry to post this)<br /><br />Would the salt particles have been electrostatically charged by rubbing the inside of the bag?<br /><br />Might not actually be demonstrating something there that could happen in the universe?<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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It precisely <i>is</i> something that occurs in the Universe. It's reasonably assumed that the initial attraction between fine particles and dust in space that leads to the formation of larger accumulations of matter is Van Der Waals forces.<br /><br />For larger agglomerations, Gravity takes over as the primary attractive force.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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Likely, I think. Although, truth be told, not one class I ever took dealt with salt grains in space. <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><br /><br />Go figure. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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Yeah, the planet where you alternately sneeze uncontrollably, and then crave lot's of liquids.<br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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alkalin

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A little salt and pepper and some roasted woodchuck. Yum. Only one thing might make it better and that is finding the planet that has all the beer.
 
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vogon13

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I meant the plastic bag would not exist in space.<br /><br />Particles can and do rub against each other, but would they be as nonconducting as a plasitc bag? <br /><br />It just seemed the plastic bag itself might be enough to skew what's going on.<br /><br />I dunno . . . . <br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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Salt, IIRC, ionically bonds well with itself. Something to do (again, IIRC) with an electron imbalance. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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Saiph

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conducting or non-conducting isn't the issue here vogon.<br /><br />In nature there are many ways for atoms on space to become charged (positively or negatively) by interacting together or with ambient light. This alone will allow clumping just like the salt in the bag.<br /><br />Also, the Van Der Waals force allows for electrostatic attraction of even neutral particles...because even an atoms will have a more positive side, and a more negative side becaue the electrons aren't evenly distrubted about the nucleus. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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shydn

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<font color="yellow">If i dumped a HUGE amount of potato chips, or tube socks, or dead woodchucks out into space...would they be drawn together gravitationally and form a star?</font><br /><br />My response: You're a coconut.
 
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