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I imagine that if we could transform the Moon into a beautiful planetary ring around Earth, wouldn't it be spectacular! Problem is the feasibility. Are there any practical solutions?

Option

I think blowing up the Moon is the only viable option but wouldn't it also spell disaster for Earth, too? With all the debris from the leftovers of the Moon they will eventually form a ring around Earth, will they?

Objective

Transform Earth to look like Saturn. I couldn't care less about the Moon as long as it does not obstruct the planetary ring.

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  • $\begingroup$ possible duplicate of What would be the consequences for Earth if the moon disappeared? $\endgroup$ – ArtOfCode Apr 21 '15 at 7:59
  • $\begingroup$ @ArtOfCode someone edited my title anyway I've included my objective to my question. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Apr 21 '15 at 8:12
  • $\begingroup$ Actually; there's already a theory that, without some serious orbital cleanup proceedures, we'll eventually end up with a ringed Earth without touching the moon simply due to orbital trash from rockets and satellites piling up! This will naturally be quite a thin ring, though, not a Saturn-esq ring. $\endgroup$ – eharper256 Apr 21 '15 at 8:27
  • $\begingroup$ @eharper256 I heard Japan is planning to clean up these space junk $\endgroup$ – user6760 Apr 21 '15 at 8:54
  • $\begingroup$ This will likely render huge swaths of the Earth uninhabitable to humans as the Sun's gravity will take the place of the moon. $\endgroup$ – JDSweetBeat Apr 21 '15 at 13:05
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No need to blow it up, just give it a gentle push to the edge of earths Roche Limit. The gravitational pull will slowly tear it apart and create an awesome ring. I've grown tired of the moon anyway, so I endorse this plan. Risk of huge chunks of the moon crashing into the earth is a minor concern.

This article covers your question quite well

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Blowing up the Moon would create quite enough debris on orbits steep enough to fall on Earth and end all life. Leave our Moon alone.

Let's develop a good, strong drive and fetch a plenty of small asteroids into Earth orbit, somewhere between LEO and GEO because the satellites are very useful.

Crash them into each other gently, to break them apart into multiple meteorite-sized chunks, without spreading them by much. There, you have your ring.

Alternatively, decelerate the Moon gradually, until tidal forces are strong enough to overcome its gravity, tear it apart and let it form a ring.

Easy mode: Get the Chinese to launch four-five more of their anti-satellite rockets. (yes, even 2 should suffice; we're close enough for that!) This should increase the amount of space junk past the chain reaction threshold, as satellites hit by space junk explode into more space junk, very quickly turning the Earth LEO into a massive, shiny cloud of debris, and preventing all space travel for a next century or so.

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  • $\begingroup$ Love your spelling of 'Chineese'! $\endgroup$ – sydan Apr 22 '15 at 12:51
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Converting the Moon into a ring would quickly make this world uninhabitable. Unbeknownst to most people, the Moon performs a function vital to mortal life on this planet--it churns the ocean, preventing trillions of tons of defunct organic matter from becoming a floating morass of stagnant foam--a rotting biohazard--emitting hundreds of quadrillions of cubic feet of toxic fumes, which would kill nearly all land-based and aviary life, in addition to making the sea unlivable for nearly all life forms except for some hardy detritivores. Instead, the ocean tides exerted by the Moon's concentrated mass making daily cycles around the earth performs a tremendous and necessary service by waterlogging that organic detritus and sinking it to the bottom of the ocean, where it is converted into useful petroleum in great quantities daily.

Even if one could gather the destructive force necessary to cause the disintegration of the Moon, it would make this planet unlivable within a matter of days.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting, but without the moon organisms would evolve to adapt to the toxic fumes or use them. After all, oxygen used to be a toxic fume and killed most life on Earth back in the days. $\endgroup$ – TheDyingOfLight yesterday
  • $\begingroup$ Not that simple, not that easy. Case in point: We have observed no evidence of life on any other planet in the solar system, differences in proportions of toxic gases, etc. notwithstanding. $\endgroup$ – pygosceles yesterday
  • $\begingroup$ We have not looked properly for life elsewhere in the solar system. The oceans of Europa and Enceladus, where we saw traces of organics leaving for the surface; martian life would probably be endolithic and we haven't drilled down a lot on Mars, yet there is odd seasonal methane; cell membranes which will work at the cryogenic conditions of Titans surface have been proposed and we see traces of what is predicted to be present if something was to metabolize on the moons surface. $\endgroup$ – TheDyingOfLight yesterday
  • $\begingroup$ Hoping for an exception doesn't seem to be the most viable model for life and the sustaining thereof... $\endgroup$ – pygosceles 17 hours ago
  • $\begingroup$ We currently got a sample size of one, Earth. Statistically you can't draw a relevant conclusion from that. You can assume the mediocarcy principle and say Earth is a normal example of a life earing planet. Or you can assume the anthropometric (observer) principle and say that we see life on Earth because it is the only place and thus dataset we as a limited observer can get. We mess up the dataset we observe. The only interlectually honest conclusion is to say we don't and can't yet know. $\endgroup$ – TheDyingOfLight 16 hours ago

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