Red Dwarf stars like our closest neighbor, Proxima Centari, are provocative
. especially if they heat a habitable planet and are close enough to travel
to (using the EMdrive ?).
This conjecture comes up today due to input from SciFi and SciAm concerning
a recent fictional tale that turned out to be nearly true. You can read
about that in the cite below, but there is further possibility that they
don't go into. No surprise. After all this is SciAm, what did you expect?
The least massive red dwarf has a few % the mass of the Sun but the
temperature and pressures to support hot nuclear fusion is still there.
However, if cold fusion of the type involving "ultradense hydrogen" is real
(Holmlid effect) there is the outside chance that we will find a warmer
Jupiter out there to fill in the gap between red dwarf and cold gas giant.
Maybe this is already found, since there is a little known class of large
planets called "roasters".
Back to Proxima Centauri, which is located just 4.2 light-years away and is
only a little larger than Jupiter in diameter but more massive. Its planet
is the about the size of Earth and is likely to be habitable. The smallest
known dwarf star is a bit smaller. But if we dispose of the requirement of
hot fusion as being the only heat source, then there could be another
category between gas giant and red dwarf, which is the "roaster" category,
yet without a nearby star to keep it hot.
In fact, although the cloud temperature of Jupiter is a chilly -145 degrees
C, the temperature near the planet's core is a rather toasty 24,000 degrees
C . which ironically is far hotter than the surface of the sun. Go figure.
If a Jupiter-like planet had a larger iron-nickel core so that the hot zone
is moved closer to the surface, then the cloud temperature could become
balmy, due to more internal heat. The moons of such a Hot Jupiter would then
be where to look for life.
Since Jupiter probably has a solid hydrogen core, it is indeed possible that
unbeknownst to most cosmologists - one contributory heat source already is
due to LENR. But if not, there still could be a more massive planet, or a
less massive red dwarf, which is heated by the Holmlid effect (defined as
ultra-dense hydrogen exposed to semi-coherent radiation on a catalyst).
By Jove, you heard it first on vortex.