My story takes place on the moon of a large gas giant planet. I have been trying to decide on a way for the moon to be as Earth-like as possible, but I have now decided to ask the community for help, because I can't seem to figure it out.
It should be a very stable system that has been in place for billions of years, and should be comparable in age to the real-life Earth system.
The Earth-like moon should:
- Be able to support life
- Have Earth-like climates
- Have yearly change in seasons
- Have differences in temperature at different latitudes (ie. hot at equator, cold at the poles)
The list shown above is ordered from most important to least important. So being able to support life is the #1 most important detail. The first two are non-negotiable and should be included in any solution provided.
These are the two scenarios I have come up with, neither of which seem to satisfy my conditions:
The Earth-like moon is in orbit around gas giant Planet A. The Sun is much hotter than our Sun, which allows Planet A to be further from the Sun and yet still inside the habitable zone. The change in seasons occurs due to the distance variation that results from not being directly orbiting the star. However, as a result the temperature changes at a global scale every year. I'm not sure how this would affect the climate and weather. The poles are roughly the same temperature as the equator.
The Earth-like moon lies in the L1 Lagrangian point of gas giant Planet A. Change of seasons, temperature differences between latitudes, and climates are all Earth-like. As viewed from the Earth-like moon, Planet A has no phases and is always full, setting as the sun rises and rising as the sun sets. However, this formation is unfortunately not scientifically plausible, as the L1 Lagrangian point is very unstable.
How can I have an Earth-like moon orbiting a gas giant?
My goal is to make the moon as similar to Earth as possible within the realm scientific plausibility. I am open to any ideas the community has.
Answers should not say things like "that's not possible" without offering an alternative scenario. My goal is for the moon to be as Earth-like as possible; it doesn't have to be 100% identical to Earth in every possible way.