I intend to base my story on a habitable earth-like planet, which faces major apocalypse that forces it to be a moon of super jupiter and tidally locks itself. If this is to happen, how would it be possible scientifically?

EDIT: Let us assume the planet to be moved is our Earth orbiting in Mars' orbit and it is to be incorporated in Jupiter's orbit as its moon. Could this scenario be possible theoratically?

Also suggest the changes to be made to the mass of sun, earth, and jupiter, and distance with respect to each other so that such a merger can happen with minimum impact on the habitability of earth so that it could support complex life forms orbiting around the gas giant.

  • $\begingroup$ It will take at least tens of millions of years, and more likely hundreds of millions, for the planet to tidally lock to its new primary. It's a very slow process. $\endgroup$
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ Science based magic is usually bad idea. Do you really want a magic answer? Because with magic you can make anything possible, by definition. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 9:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ very similar to this question: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/82415/… $\endgroup$
    – wetcircuit
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not looking for a magic based answer. I just intend to know if such scenario is possible. I intend to base my story on a tidally locked moon where the day-night cycle is around a week. I'm just looking for possibilities to build the backstory where the inhabitants are aware of the fact that the moon they live on currently was infact an habitable planet before and the environmental conditions were quite different. Unfortunately, my understanding of orbital physics is very limited, and I'm not much aware of the process or possibilities of such merging and how would life on that moon be if th $\endgroup$
    – user39269
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ And welcome to Worldbuilding! Take a look around the existing coupus of knowledge — you’ll be delighted and amazed and what's already been covered in depth. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 12:26

1 Answer 1



'm curious how you intend to move your planet into a new orbit, but if we assume you have that kind of tech at hands it's feasible you can control the spin of the planet as well. If you tune that properly to the energy output of your gas giant (since they emit more energy than they receive on general Source

So overall it could be a rather smooth transition with the assumptions made, though if the day-night cycle alters some problems could occur for life that depend on this characteristic.


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