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Questions tagged [moons]

For questions pertaining to natural satellites, such as our own Moon.

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3answers
2k views

Can a planet still function with a damaged moon?

I'm thinking of having a world that has a moon that's been partially split (so not fully halved) with the debris slowly separating from it. At night you'd see the split moon mainly and lots of ...
3
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1answer
73 views

Brown Dwarf Star vs Gas Giant as parent for habitable moon

I seek to build a habitable moon of a giant planet, thus I looked at the Rouche Limit Equation to figure out how to get the biggest possible Hill Sphere for my moon to exist in. $r_H = a(1-e)\sqrt[3]{...
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3answers
186 views

What international (or in this case, interstellar) laws would apply to the theft of a planet's moon? [closed]

I'm writing a story about a team of rebels and pirates who band together to steal a resource-rich moon from a solar system governed by a corrupt, oppressive regime. Some world context: The moon has ...
2
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3answers
174 views

What would increasing the gravity of a moon do to its planet?

If I terraformed a moon to have enough artificial gravity/atmosphere to support life, would they end up just crashing into each other? Is there a way to not have this happen, e.g., increasing distance ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Farming on the moon

Let us assume that I built a dome on the moon's surface. That dome is pressurized and has nuclear-powered lights to deal with the long lunar night (or is in one of the poles). I also have water, ...
15
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7answers
3k views

If a planet has 3 moons, is it possible to have triple Full/New Moons at once?

In the story I created, the Kingdom of Oneirou has 3 Moons--Artemis, Rahu, and Zorya--all of which have their own independent lunar cycles. However, it's officially stated as early as Chapter 2 or 3 ...
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2answers
84 views

A pair of similar celestial bodies coming near each other

In my conworld I have two moons (they could be planets if desired as long as they can stay 'close' to a larger nearby body) of habitable size. I want to reality-check and provide an explanation for ...
11
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4answers
1k views

What factors affect how many moons a planet can have?

A moon is just a natural satellite - something orbiting a planet - so I'm interested in what kind of factors influence how many moons a planet can have, and how many moons a planet will actually have. ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Is it possible to ice skate on an ice moon/world?

If you found out a way to produce a smooth icy surface on an ice moon like Ganymede, Enceladus, or Callisto, what kind of challenges would someone face if they tried to start ice skating? I figured ...
0
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2answers
81 views

Tides on a Super Close In Moon

I have a moon covered in liquid water that orbits a super-Earth very closely. As you might imagine, the tides are incredibly strong on this moon. However, it is tidally locked and so does not ...
0
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1answer
120 views

What would the moon look like if its orbit was highly inclined?

How would the phases of the moon change depending on the inclination of its orbit with respect to its primary's equatorial plane? Earth's moon has an orbit that is rather close to the ecliptic, but ...
14
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4answers
5k views

Would mining huge amounts of resources on the Moon change its orbit?

Imagine that humanity builds mining facilities on the moon. We know that the moon has Helium-3 which could be used as fuel for fusion reactors. Also, there are a lot of other resources which could be ...
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votes
3answers
138 views

Earth like planet with two moon like satellites

I was thinking about this world with different ancient factions on war. The war caused both of them and most life on the planet to die, I was thinking about one of the moons getting shattered as a ...
7
votes
5answers
233 views

160 Year Solar Orbital Period & 1.9 Year Moon Orbital Period - Is it possible?

A defining factor of my world is the hardships inhabitants have to face when surviving long seasons. Due to the extreme length of a year, time is largely measured by moon cycles. I need to make sure ...
7
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5answers
273 views

Describing what the world looks like in UV and IR [closed]

In my world I have introduced two super powers, and both can be accidentally acquired by an otherwise normal human: one is to see infrared and the other is to see ultraviolet. I am aiming to have that ...
9
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1answer
184 views

To make a blue moon, what element does it need?

We know that Mars has a reddish color, because its ground consists of iron-based compounds. The moon is grey-whiteish because it consists mostly of silicon-based compounds. What element should the ...
2
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1answer
207 views

Only changing the mass of the moon, how much can lunar mass increase before the Earth becomes uninhabitable?

Bonus: How much would the increase in lunar mass increase average tides? & which factors would cause the Earth to become uninhabitable?
10
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5answers
291 views

Tides with 3 Largish Moons

I would like to have an Earth-like planet (~Earth gravity, ~Earth day, ~Earth year, and liquid water oceans) with extreme variance in its tides. I want the lowest tide to reveal about 30 miles of ...
3
votes
5answers
253 views

How can this habitable planet have a moon with a naturally occurring atmosphere?

Assuming the planet is earth-like, with more surface water and atmospheric oxygen, and within the habitable zone of a sun-like star, how can a moon orbiting this planet retain a thick atmosphere? The ...
5
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2answers
225 views

What's the biggest, most spectacular asteroid collision the moon could save us from?

An asteroid collision big enough and fast enough to see a massive ejection of rock and moon-chunks, from the surface of the earth AND not wipe out the population of the planet. What size and speed of ...
6
votes
2answers
135 views

Temperature and climate “under” the gas giant in a tidally locked moon

I've begun the laborious (but fun!) process of putting another world together. Known constraints include: Habitable, (super-)Earth-sized, tidally-locked moon to a gas giant; the giant, where visible,...
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1answer
280 views

In a world with 12 moons but NO sun, how to define a day? [closed]

I made the map of my fantasy world before thinking about the physics, as you can see bellow the art! I'm interested to understand how to decide which moon is in the sky at a given moment, if it's ...
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13answers
3k views

How to increase a moon's gravity?

I am building a sci-fi universe where humans have colonized the moons of Jupiter. They are very small and thus have low gravity. In fact, some of them have gravity equal to less than 5% of Earth. ...
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4answers
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Could we use both speed and heat to penetrate Europa's ice?

Could we fire a heavy, long (e.g., 50 meters), spear-shaped object into Europa's icy-surface from space and then, when momentum stops, gravity gradually moves weights down inside copper tubes the ...
5
votes
5answers
329 views

What are the day and night fluctuations for a moon orbiting a planet the size of Jupiter?

In a nutshell, I'm trying to build a world with erratic day/night cycles. To get the erratic days, I'm working with a habitable moon. It takes 3 full earth days (72 hours) for the habitable moon to ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

Determining this horseshoe/co-orbital moon's possible orbital periods

I've been working on a system with a habitable moon (Moon A) for a story, and I'm now trying to populate the other moons around the parent planet. I'm considering placing one (Moon B) in a co-orbit, ...
13
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18answers
4k views

How can a moon have an ever-changing face?

Imagine an inhabitated planet like ours with a moon of the same projected size in the sky. The moon has visible structures of colors or darker and lighter areas. Every evening when the moon gets ...
3
votes
3answers
228 views

How does having 3 moons change a planet?

I'm working on a story that takes place on a world that has 3 moons. At least 2 of the moons are the same size. They align extremely rarely. Otherwise, it's an earth-like planet. There is one ...
7
votes
1answer
106 views

Co-orbits and Tides

I've seen many questions about tides and tidal variations on a wide variety of interesting single star, multi star, single planet, binary planet, single moon, multiple moon, and even ring system ...
7
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1answer
112 views

Could a Moon have its own “Rings”, like Saturn's, without the Host Planet having them?

I'm currently fleshing out a sci-fi universe and always looking for fun new locales to populate it with, and I saw this phenomenon in a video game I've been playing recently, and it made me curious... ...
29
votes
5answers
6k views

How deep must be a pit on the moon to hold atmosphere at 1ATM on the bottom

In my world I would like to create a pit on the Moon filled with air. How deep would the pit need to be to get 1 ATM of pressure Could the pit maintain the air or would it be lost to space? If it ...
6
votes
1answer
345 views

Does my plot point centered around eclipses make sense?

My main antagonist is an infant Great One that's been imprisoned below the Moon's surface and I want its influence and physical form to have a weakness to direct sunlight which, I think, gives me a ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

Time in relation to life in the Jovian System

I'd just like to preface this with the fact that I'm super new and I apologise if this has been discussed in some way previously (I have looked at similar topics but they haven't quite given me the ...
6
votes
3answers
108 views

Anchoring a Deimos base

Some astronauts have just arrived in Mars orbit! They're fixing to set up a small refueling station/outpost on Deimos. One problem, how might they keep their small habitat and associated structures ...
13
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3answers
2k views

Gravitational anomaly (Mascons) creating water-hills

A scenario in the far future -- The moon has been successfully terraformed. All problems have been worked-out, from flinging volatiles into collision course with the moon, up to creating and retaining ...
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2answers
87 views

What would be the mathematical formula to figure out a person's weight on a world bigger or smaller than Earth?

Okay, trying to figure out this math guys! This may be simple math to some of you, but not me!!! I googled various ways of asking this question and got some good results, but I'm looking for a simple ...
27
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12answers
9k views

Would gas giants work as waste disposal sites?

In my novel, the many moons of Jupiter and Saturn have been colonized, but I'm running into some logistical problems - namely, waste disposal. My first instinct was to dump it on-moon; while this is ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Can giant planets in the habitable zone have rocky moons?

My question is in the context of a fictional super-Neptune that lies in the habitable zone of its host star system. Giant planets only form beyond the Frost Line of their protoplanetary disk, and ...
22
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13answers
4k views

Always a full Moon for the Emperor - Can this be achieved with solar panels and LEDs?

The Emperor of the World wants there always to be a full moon. His Scientific Advisor (the SA) comes up with a plan. He plans to cost out the venture, hand it over to the Keeper of the Treasury who ...
94
votes
6answers
22k views

Would a Moon made of water pose a threat to Earth during eclipses?

Is a moon made entirely of water possible? Could a planet made completely of water exist? I was inspired by the above questions to ask the following: Assume that our current Moon is replaced ...
24
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10answers
2k views

How can spacecraft manufactured on the moon be powered?

Background: The moon has been selected as the base for human space exploration. Rather than ship tonnes of material out of earth's gravity well, interplanetary spacecraft and space stations will be ...
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4answers
141 views

Moon take off without rockets

Take-off in a craft with rockets allows a gentle acceleration that doesn't kill the occupants. Given that the Moon has no atmosphere: Is there any current technology that would allow safe takeoff ...
7
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2answers
192 views

Could the TRAPPIST-1 planets have moons?

The TRAPPIST-1 planets are all very close to each other and thus are subjected to strong gravitational forces amongst each other and to the red dwarf they're orbiting. Would it be possible for them to ...
5
votes
1answer
259 views

Is there a relationship between apparent moon size and orbital distance around an earth-analogue?

I would like to give my imaginary earth-analogue planet multiple (natural) moons. Is the orbital period of such moons at all related to their size (or apparent size)? In other words, am I free to ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Could this moon of a gas giant orbiting a neutron star support life?

Making the following assumptions: 1. The three moons of the Gas Giant are safe enough distances from and massive enough not to pull each other apart or send themselves careening into the void. 2. ...
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0answers
42 views

How would an extra moon affect the tides? [duplicate]

In my world, I'm planning to add a second moon which would be positioned closely to the first. I was wondering what effect would that have on the tides?
3
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1answer
347 views

Feasible star + planet + moon combo? Did I miss anything that makes this system wildly unstable or otherwise impossible?

Here's what I've come up with: The star: A main sequence star, roughly a sol analogue Younger than Sol (say 3-3.5 billion years old) roughly the same starting mass as Sol, but has had less time to ...
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2answers
139 views

Earth Orbit Extreme Change

So recently I got slated for missing some glaring obvious flaws in my story on here, which I really do appreciate. I'm approaching the question from a different angle though, in two parts. What ...
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1answer
106 views

Earth Exploded, Orbiting and double moons

I have a scenario which I am too poorly knowledgeable to address, I'm hoping for some expert input. I'm currently writing a novel, in which a large section of Russia/EU continents were blown up in a ...
3
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1answer
157 views

Can Europan ice cracks sustain complex ecosystems?

Europa's surface is marred with huge, curved cracks, called lineae, which may - depending on the thickness of its icy crust - expose the subsurface ocean to sunlight. Pictures like the one above (...