Lets say in this solar system, there are two planets, always on the direct opposite sides of their sun.

Both planets are not capable of light speed travel or even at the advanced technological level of sending out probes into deep space.

One is closer to our society using technology with electricity,cars, computers but running on a alternative to electricity.

The other is more or less similar to the monarchies of old with kings,queens,royal advisers of sorts. But the planet is slightly different in regard that the growth of all the species is much higher, a reason might be that the oxygen content is just that high due to the make up of the atmosphere,plants and what not. As such the people are averagely 3-4M in height and with animals and creatures which are much larger, many of which have been domesticated for use on farms or for war. One separate species of the humans would be considered titans(Very large humans, averaging 7-8M in height, less intelligent,slower reproduction, sought after to be slaves by the smaller more intelligent)

The question here is, if a comet or some other external factor changes the balance these two planets are with the sun and they both become in view of each other(they begin to see this planet in the sky time and time again), possibly even passing one another once every 10 or 100 years (inhabitants don't know this). what would be the general behavior of these societies when:

  • The other planet comes into view
  • When the planet begins to get closer and closer
  • When the planets finally pass each other

Any comments or answers are welcome!


closed as too broad by Slarty, Vylix, sphennings, Azuaron, anon Nov 21 '17 at 14:30

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think your question can be answered as this is very opinion-based. "What would my fictional society do in my entirely fictional scenario?" I do not see how there could be any "valid" answer to this question. $\endgroup$ – ArtificialSoul Nov 21 '17 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ i guess a more streamlined question would be, how would a technologically advanced society and a more medieval society respond to a significant change in the astronomy of their environment. Both without extensive knowledge of what lies outside their atmosphere. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Ng Nov 21 '17 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by in view of each other? I can for example see Jupiter or Mars quite clearly from earth. Is this an astrology question? $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Nov 21 '17 at 9:09
  • $\begingroup$ Something like what we see in the sky like mars every so often. But in this case it would be as common as say every year and also they had no prior knowledge to it's existence. More of wondering how said societies will react to this new found knowledge and if it would differ greatly from one another. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Ng Nov 21 '17 at 9:10
  • $\begingroup$ In that case, model it after supernova sightings in history - sorry, it's not that spectacular, people are not idiots and go insane over this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_supernova_observation . Basically what you get is a new, very bright "star" in the sky which has happened before. Your premise makes somewhat sense, I guess they were "perfectly" aligned before, one hidden behind the sun? Or maybe only visible in one hemisphere which plays no part in your story? Of course it would happen slowly in reality, but who cares. Some people pay money to see Star Wars ... $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Nov 21 '17 at 9:15

They wouldn't know each other existed.

Based on the technology levels you described, the more advanced of the two sounds at roughly the technology level when Edgar Rice Burroughs and others looked up at the mountain ranges of Mars in the early 1900s and mistook them for canals, leaving them wondering at Martian civilization.

Even modern telescopes only get a few milliarcseconds of resolution. This means that at interplanetary distances people, machines, and buildings can not be identified. For example, even modern ground telescopes can not see the lunar landing sites.

Perhaps both societies have radio, it's not a very hard technology to discover, and the more advanced teaches the less advanced television. Then they could see each other. Even then, they may not realize the difference in their stature. The small world would see images of people about right-sized for their homes, clothes, and furnishings - because why would a race of 3-4M tall people build tiny, difficult to use stuff?

Certain wonks between the two civilizations might work out the differences, but it could lead to alternative conclusions. Why does a meter in Planet1 not seem to stretch as far as a meter in Planet2? Could be faulty measuring equipment or technique. Could be space time being stretched by gravity.

  • $\begingroup$ I see what you mean, i guess i would need to equip my thinking cap again and see what other ways the interactions between these two civilizations could be more prominent without too much advances in the technology used. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Ng Nov 21 '17 at 9:40
  • $\begingroup$ If you are willing to go a little soft on the science, Edgar Rice Burroughs used psychic travel to get his characters over to Mars (where the people were very large) in his John Carpenter of Mars series. $\endgroup$ – James McLellan Nov 21 '17 at 11:41

Assuming two planets are orbit-locked around a sun with the sun always sitting in the middle, it is not likely that a comet would deviate the path significantly enough to cause one planet to be able to see the other.

Less technological species

However assuming that happened, the less technologically advanced species would see the new planet as a religious event. In the same way that the sun was considered Apollo, god of the sun by the Greeks, lore will call the planet the birth of a god, and likely one related to the sun in some way as the planet would seem to appear to exit the sun.

It would significantly change the culture of religion. While many would likely already be religious, seeing the presence of this new planet be "born" from the sky would be a hard thing to deny by the non-religious. And such religion takes a strong foothold among culture. If there is more than one religion, each religion will have its own explanation for the event, so all religions would benefit from the event.

Religious leaders would gain enormous power, like if the pope suddenly became king of the realms and the kings would be overshadowed. Very few people would remain non-believers and fewer still would see the planet as a planet with inhabitants. It would be a constant uphill battle to convince anyone that it is a planet, and even then, any such a person would risk being named a heretic and lynched for crimes against the church.

You mentioned also a titan species. They too would likely have their own religion, and the smaller species might even take advantage of this to enslave them (promise them heaven for their unwaivering service for their new god in the sky).

This religion would also be likely the result of many crusades between those who have differing beliefs (though nobody would deny the existence of the planet).

More technological species

The more technological species would likely realize it to be a planet in the sky as they would most likely have a basic idea of their own planet orbitting the sun. It would be a focus of intense research and if this species weren't interested in space exploration before, they would be after this.

Religion would exist in this world too, and some would believe it to be a religious event as in the other world, but most would not. The vast majority would believe that it is a worthwhile venture to attempt to understand more about the planet.

Eventually probes would be sent to attempt contact or determining more information about the planet and the probes would likely determine that the planet is inhabitable and could possibly sustain life due to the presence of methane gas, however no direct sign of life would be determined. Due to the fact that the planet is still mostly hidden by the sun, it would make direct sending of signals difficult, so a second probe would have to act as a relay for the probe orbiting the sister planet.

Meeting of the species

Should these two species ever meet, the less technological species would assume them to be gods of some sort, and no amount of convincing to the contrary would make them believe otherwise. Teaching the less technological species new technology would create wild growth, but it would also create widespread famine and suffering to those who would be on the receiving end of the negatives of this new technology. For instance, replacing horses for cars would directly cause the demand for resources skyrocket and therefore you'd see miners worked to death. Also carriage transport services end up without a job in the new economy and them and many others would be without a job. Religion would continue to be heavily influential despite the knowledge that the planet is a planet and not a god, and many religions would renounce the more technologically advanced species which would create many bloody wars.

In short, it would be chaos.

  • $\begingroup$ You are making a lot of very strong statements without explaining why you think any of them will happen. While I think that your answer is somewhat intuitive and at least consistent with a lot of fiction we are seeing, I don't think it is worth much without an insight into the reasoning for why you, just one example, think that the titan race will enslave somebody because they see a star. Tbo, I think what you are proposing is a possible scenario, but you are selling it as if it was the most likely one $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Nov 21 '17 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ i'm guessing he was saying that the smaller race would abuse the titans based on the "religious" events that happened, i would take the things mentioned into account and possibly make good modifications to what i have in my head. As for very well thought out reasons, it would be great to have but i guess fiction is fiction. I like the whole Religion/science thing. Might be to cliche tho. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Ng Nov 21 '17 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 While I appreciate the constructive criticism, it seems fairly evident that this is only one possible scenario. If I named them all, I'd have a book for an answer. Also, I do think this is a likely outcome, however, OP is always free to deviate from this in whatever way suits him. It is fiction afterall, and Mark Twain said it best, "The difference between fiction and non-fiction is that fiction has to be believable." $\endgroup$ – Neil Nov 21 '17 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ I have no reason to doubt that you think like that, however I have seen answers like this understood by the OP in the manner I am suggesting before. But this is a minor point, my main point was your lack of reasons. You are suggesting a possible story, but anyone can think of a possible story. The question is not what could happen in a book but what would happen in reality (or it would be off-topic on WB). Your answer would be so much better if you would state why you think the things you wrote $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Nov 21 '17 at 11:01

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