Solar sauce: How to make a sun.

If I had to choose a religion the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god

A cloud of hydrogen slowly forming into a star

-Napoleon Bonaparte

Serves – approx 7 billion

Prep time – 10 billions years

Cooking time – A few seconds


  • 3 parts Colossal Hydrogen gas cloud
  • 1 Part free Helium gas
  • A cloud of dust
  • Trace elements – season to taste
  • A pinch of gravity

This is a great little recipe that will last a long time if placed in a void-like vacuum and is a helpful addition to many other recipes. The best thing about it is that it’s self heating; just combine the ingredients then retreat several million kilometres and enjoy the show. First of all you need a good baking platform; we like to use a Big BangTM brand universe. This great little platform comes as an undefined, hot, very dense state that when activated will expand fairly rapidly. It will probably keep on expanding past the size you need but don’t worry too much about this: it’s just something the maker added to confuse the scientists that come later. It will actually provide you with a lot of laughs in about 14 billion years. Anyway, this expanding platform is awesome, though can be a little controversial: some people prefer Steady StateTM brand universes and a few still use the slightly antiquated God-Clicked-His-FingersTM model. Use whichever you like but we’ll be using the former so it’ll be referenced herein.

Fire up your Big BangTM and in the ensuing super expansion you’ll need to locate a huge cloud of hydrogen gas. There should be plenty of the stuff floating around out there so no worries here. Hydrogen, the smallest and lightest of all the elements, will at this point comprise nearly one hundred percent of the universe’s normal matter mass and even in a few billion years will still make up 75% by weight; so it’s a nifty little midget. A few seconds after the initial resounding clap of creation that led to the universe a large proportion of the gas will have started to revolve into massive clouds that will later form the various galaxies that populate the universe. You’ll need to select a galaxy to nurse your sun in. You have a few choices; you can go for spiral, elliptical or irregular: we suggest staying away from irregular galaxies as the interference from other galaxies might one day destroy every single particle in your solar system in a massive combination event. These are great for star formation but not so great for existing stars. Once you’ve got one you’ll need to find a position to organise your hydrogen cloud. Not too close to the centre but not too far out either. That way you strike a nice balance between excess radiation and warping from gravitational effects. About 2 x 1028 tons (that’s a 2 with twenty-eight zero’s queuing up behind it) of hydrogen should do the trick though really this step is a bit like guess work. You might end up with a smaller star than you wanted but if necessary you can always add mass later by simply creating a smaller star and then crashing it straight into your original: like a game of solar marbles. This cloud will most likely already be revolving around a central point depending on how quick you were in getting to it. This revolution will speed up and draw in all sorts of goodies as it forms its own gravitational field. You’ll get a spattering of dust left over from the Big BangTM and a pinch of trace elements birthed in other, older stars. Other than hydrogen the only real mass that you’ll get is from helium. Much of this will be created as the hydrogen disc revolves and pressure builds up.

The cloud should be revolving in a massive elliptical spiral that will slowly contract. This can basically be put down to the fact that as gas forms in the centre it creates it’s own gravity, drawing in more gas, and on and on until in a few billion years or so you’ll get a nice sphere with a pancake-like disc wrapped around it. At this point you’ve got so much gravity going on in the centre that it’s getting damn hot. In a rather splendiferous snap of matter, nuclear fusion kicks in and boom: you’re done. You have a star. This approach will work the majority of the time but occasionally you’ll have the odd hiccup. Some scientists have argued that our star didn’t quite cough into life like this but rather, perhaps before it got to this point, a massive influx of heavy atoms and radiation from a nearby dying star tottered over and gave it a kick. It’s a little difficult to know but I like the idea. It’s kind of like the Bond movie saga: when one star gets old and useless they get ousted, and ritually consumed, by a new one that then rises meteorologically to fame.

This star is a great asset to your burgeoning universe. Because the Big BangTM recipe from earlier only creates lightweight atoms you’ll have a hard time getting anything done without at least a few stars in your repertoire. Every single atom heavier than lithium was made in a star just like yours. Atoms like hydrogen in the centre of your star fuse, in a process called, unsurprisingly, fusion. They add little neutrons and protons and hyperactive electrons and, like everyone that does nothing but sit around in the sun, they gain weight. They slowly get fat and either leave as atoms like carbon and oxygen, or if they’re really lazy will hang around to become big, fat-ass bastards like iron and gold.

The star will have left a lot of hydrogen behind. This sits in, you guessed it, a disc that will now be orbiting your new solar giant. All this matter goes by the name of the accretion disc. This chewy pikelet of creation is full of goodies from the collapse of other stars like ice, dust and Charlie Sheen. These will come in handy later if you decide to collect a few planets and the like. Though the mass of all this will only be less than one percent of the mass of your star is varied and full of chunks. Yum.

The other thing that you may have noticed by now is that that star of yours is pumping out some serious heat. Like a really large amount. It’ll be approximately 5505oC which is, curiously, exactly the same temperature as Fire-crotch Lohan’s leg intersection. Like a young actress it will keep getting hotter and hotter until it hits a certain age, 30 for the actress and around 10 billion for the sun, at which point it slowly looses energy and thus hotness. During this ten billion years though you’ve got plenty of options for side dishes and entertaining. If you do decide to add a few planets and such from the remaining matter in your accretion disc then this heat will be great for everything from weather to incubating life. The light that your star is chucking out will be pretty handy here too though it could be argued that it isn’t entirely necessary, after all plenty of life evolved has evolved without life, though photosynthesis is what really sparked up a the boom of life. This light does give you some working illumination: just try carving a glacier in the dark! The light itself is part of the energy thrown off by plasma, which is the state that hydrogen lives in when it’s in a star. Plasma forms when the electron and the neutron in a hydrogen atom don’t interact as closely as they do here on earth. Light is one of the many cool results.

And that’s about it. A star is born. Give yourself a pat on the back and have a sit down. We recommend pairing your sun with: planets, navigation, liquid water, life and weather. It works great in a stir fry and is a beautiful addition to outdoor photography. Feel free to rate this recipe and share with friends. Enjoy.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by James Hoggs on February 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Haha Charlie Sheen. The man.


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