Ok so i created a gas giant with 10 Jupiter masses and like 9 moons between 0.8 and 1.5 earth masses. All exept the most distanced of those moons are tidally locked to the gas giant and their axial tilt thus would be shared with the gas planet.

Further Assumtions:

  • This Gas Giant is the most massive object in the system besides its actual star. Thus there is no other equally massive object nearby that stablilizes its axial tilt (real live equivalent: the moon stabilizes the earths axial tilt) to some degree.

  • The gas planet orbits its star in 10 Earth years and has a semi major axis of 3.5 AU.

  • I assume that i already found a setup of orbital resonances between the moons that their orbits are stabilizing rather than disturbing each other.

  • I expect that because of the lack of a stabilizing factor to the gas giant that its equator and the one of all the affected moons will shift drastically up to a point where their polar areas are turned towards the sun while the opposite region is "looking" away from it. Creating a temporary "eyeball planet" effect, until the planetary axis goes back from a vertical to a horizontal equator.

The Question

  • Can I setup this system in a way that on each of the tidally locked moons there is an cycle of ice ages and hot ages that is still suitable for complex life forms?


  • For example I'm expecting to find dense atmospheres on the moons that can create powerful circulations between the cold and hot polar region during these periods in order to mitigate the effects on its potential live forms. -I'm expecting biological or non-biological factors that can change Albedo or have other effects on the climate that can temperate it
  • I expect life forms that are more capable of migrating to temperate zones.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "Those moons are tidally locked to the gas giant and their axial tilt thus would be shared with the gas planet": Why? Consider our own Moon: Earth's axial obliquity with respect to the ecliptic, that is, Earth's orbital plane, is about 23°. The Moon's orbit is inclined about 5° with respect to the ecliptic. The axial obliquity of the Moon is about 7° to its orbital plane, or about 2° to Earth's orbital plane, or about 24° to Earth's equatorial plane. Where do you see this shared obliquity? $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Sep 21, 2023 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ So tidal locking does not mean that they have the same axial obliquity. Then I'd consider this question to be answered. Thank you $\endgroup$ Sep 21, 2023 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ I should note, 9 Earth sized moons is not going to happen realistically speaking. Thats way to much mass for simple accretion, and the orbits would not be stable. If you placed Earth into an orbit around jupiter, it would clear out every single moon in a matter of a few decades $\endgroup$
    – ErikHall
    Sep 21, 2023 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ Ten jupiter masses is getting into brown dwarf territory. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Sep 22, 2023 at 4:05


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