I was thinking of adding rings to my planet and I wanted to give them a proper origin, so I thought about getting rid of the moon closest to the planet since I would still have one and it could make for some really cool catastrophe or influence in old cultures (something like an ancestral phoenix God present as a moon, reborn as a "sky-belt").
I've documented myself on the topic. From what I've learnt the Moon, here on Earth, has a lot of influence beyond just the oceanic tides: It brightens the nights, keeps the planet from rotating too fast (what protects us from shorter days and very fast winds) and balancing it's rotation so our axial tilt doesn't go nuts (protecting us from a lack of seasons and the possibility of solar radiation coming in right through what would become sun-facing poles).
Once knowing how much of an impact the existence of these natural satellites has on a planet I'd like to ask: How much of an impact would losing a moon have on my system? I'd like to know if the ring replacing the moon will have much impact on the planet. For example, if it doesn't have much of a difference in going from two to a single moon.
Notice since most of the moon's mass would still be there in the ring (what (maybe?) would that mean there's less of an impact due to the even gravitational pull)
Some useful information:
- Planet's mass is 1.3 that of Earth.
- Planet's radius is 1.1 that of Earth.
- The destroyed Moon's mass is about half of Earth's Moon.
- The destroyed Moon orbited the closest it could to the Roche Limit.
- The furthest (now only moon) is our Moon's mass approx.
- The furthest moon radius is 1.2 that of our Moon.
- The furthest moon orbits 400 000 km above its planet's surface with very little eccentricity.
I don't know about the utility this may have for an answer but for the moon's destruction the plan was to front crash a big enough asteroid so its velocity lowered enough to enter the Roche limit, letting gravity work its magic.