Questions tagged [moons]

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

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How would a moon in geostationary orbit appear to wax and wane?

I've been working on my story planet and have come up with an unlikely but possible scenario to help explain some of my stories origins as well as myths and folklore. Over the last day or so, I've ...
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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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Could a moon have its own satellites visible from the planet it orbits?

Say you have a planet and the planet has a moon: could the moon have visible satellites as well? I don't mean a gas giant planet, I mean something habitable by humanoids or humans. Will the moon's ...
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What would happen to Earth if the Moon was destroyed?

In the movie Oblivion, the Moon has been destroyed by invading aliens. Several shots of the moon show what is left: If the moon was somehow shattered like this, what would the effect be on Earth?
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Why build space habitats on/within moons?

Consider yourself a decision maker for a fledgling space infrastructure project. You've been tasked with establishing the first few extraterrestrial colonies for your species. What aspects of the ...
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How does one calculate the tidal heating of a satellite?

I've been searching for hours, and most formulas I can find use complex/imaginary numbers or variables that I don't know or can't find out (such as the imaginary part of the planet's love number, ...
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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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Moon occasionally appears much larger in the sky

Is there a way for a moon to usually appear relatively similar to our own moon, but occasionally appear much larger from the planet's surface without causing natural disasters due to extreme ...
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What are the expected impact on Earth ecosystems by mining activities in the Moon?

While we develop space travel technologies, the Moon will always be the first destination. By its proximity to Earth is the obvious target to test our technology. Before we can establish some kind of ...
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What kind of Gas Giant has a "safe zone" between the radiation from a star and the radiation from a gas giant planet?

This is a progression from my first question, here (if this is too similar to my original question, please let me know of a better way to address this, as I am not getting the answers I need on that ...
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Get/Keep Air on the Moon!

We like the moon. It's close, you can see your home from there, low gravity well, so you get easy mass drivers to orbit for fleshing out your spacer economy, plus you can do fun things in pools. It'...
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What effect would three moons have on ocean/landscape formation?

I'm building an alien world for a game mod, and want to avoid any blatant mistakes from a world-building perspective. The world has three moons visible in the night sky - two on one side near each ...
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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 ...
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Countering the threat posed by a rogue Moon-spanning AI

It is the not-too-distant future in an alternate timeline, and humanity has an implacable new enemy: a rogue AI occupies Earth's Moon, and has dedicated itself to our extermination. I want this ...
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Is it possible to have a Earth-like planet with a red moon, similar to the color of Mars?

With Mars' color coming from the iron oxide, is it possible for such a small body without an atmosphere to support that color?
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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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Why did US government hide the discovery of an ancient civilisation on the moon? [closed]

July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong sets his foot on the moon surface. He declares : "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind". But what history books don't mention is that, as he ...
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What is the largest possible appearance of a celestial body in the sky?

In SciFi Art we often see planets/moons/stars fill enormous amounts of the visible sky. I'm wondering what the theoretical limit for this is realistically, since there are maxima for the possible size ...
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What are the parameters of a planet having multiple moons?

I'm not sure if this question belongs here or over on Physics Stack Exchange. The Earth and Moon are unique in the Solar System in that the Moon is a significant size compared to the Earth, at 1/4 ...
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How would life on the satellite of a Super-Jupiter be? Is it even possible for such a satellite to be habitable?

Recently I had an idea for a world setting. A large part of this world focuses around a habitable satellite the size of Earth orbiting a Super-Jupiter. The fact that it's a moon is pretty integral to ...
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How can you make a stable configuration including a moon that has a moon?

A moon is, fundamentally, a rock that's caught in the gravitational field of a bigger rock (a planet) and drawn into an orbit. Some of Saturn's moons, for example, are speculated to be debris from ...
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How can Ganymede have an Earth-like gravity without us having realized it?

Imagine a small primitive humanoid civilization that developed independently in caves under the surface of Ganymede. We can assume there's enough light that filters through the crystalline surface to ...
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Can a moon orbit a planet's southern pole?

I am interested in the idea of a moon orbiting only the southern pole of a planet. Could it theoretically be possible (though unlikely) that a moon would, for instance, orbit a planet parallel to the ...
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What would a planet with no moon look like?

Consider a planet identical to Earth except that it has no moon. How long is the complete day-night cycle on this planet? I've heard that having no moon would speed up the planet's rotation, ...
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How can I set a moon on fire?

So, for reasons which may or may not pop up in a later question of mine, I need to light a small Moon-like moon on fire. Well, sort of. See, I need a small object capable of emitting a lot of light - ...
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A world with a moon orbiting much closer than ours

The world I am envisioning is a rocky planet with oceans, plate tectonics, atmosphere, and several other similarities to our globe. The mass and size is roughly equal, but its moon is orbiting much ...
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If you have multiple moons, do they behave in a standard way?

There are various questions about the stability of multiple moons, how they affect tides and so on, but I don't think this one has been covered here: If my planet has two moons, assuming they have ...
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Can a moon "skim" a ring?

Picture a planet identical to Earth, but with rings. It has a satellite similar to the moon, except smaller; I'm not sure how big it needs to be but distance from the planet is more important so ...
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Can a planet's moon rise at the same time every night?

Is it possible for a planet's moon to always rise at the same time of the night? And in this way be used as a timekeeping device? What if there are two moons?
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Day and night temperature on an Earth-like planet with longer rotational period

DISCLAIMER: This question was closed on Astronomy Stack Exchange as off topic, so I'll try my luck here. I'm trying to understand the climatic effects of the far future scenario of an Earth-like ...
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How to calculate hour angle of a moon?

I am trying to construct a standing stone calendar for my world Jasmi, located at latitude 53.8 degrees South. To do this, I need the hour angle of moonrise and moonset for my world. The problem is ...
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Horseshoe Orbits

I'm envisioning a series of moons in orbit of a super-earth (ideal) or gas giant. If technically workable, the super-earth would have earthlike gravity, the mass and size aren't important. If it's too ...
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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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What would make the moon flicker?

Maybe it was a trick of the light or a strange cloud, or just not enough sleep. A couple nights ago I could have sworn that thin crescent moon flickered. Which led to an interesting question - what ...
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Could a planet have a naturally occuring moon at one of its Lagrange points?

Would it be possible for a planet to naturally have a moon or large natural satellite at one of its Lagrange points? If so would it then also be able to have a second moon that would be orbiting this ...
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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. ...
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If Earth and the Moon's Relationship Were a Bit Closer

Back home, Earth's moon is 2159.2 miles wide and orbits 238,900 miles from its parent. But let's pretend that the moon is 2500 miles wide and orbits 200,000 miles from Earth. Would the nightscape ...
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What are the requirements for an atmosphere retaining moon with a stable orbit around an Earth-like planet with non-destructive tidal forces?

For story writing purposes I would like a realistic setup where there is a planet with close to earth conditions in terms of gravity, relative position to the sun etc. However I aim to have a much ...
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Can one or multiple moon(s) pull the sea around my planet?

I'm building a world which is 50% covered by the sea. For approximately half the year, the sea covers one hemisphere; for the other half it moves to the other hemisphere, leaving the first a dry sea-...
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Can a planet without one or more moons be habitable?

My titled question was, can a planet without one or more moons be habitable? In more depth, how would that planet be affected overall, without the moon to affect the tides and without providing light ...
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Is helium 3 lucrative enough to justify the mining of the moon?

I've been trying to come up with a scenario in which space stations and lunar bases are established but are considered controversial. I sort of figure that if corporations started mining the moon that ...
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Effects on the Earth if the moon was at 1/10th current distance?

According to Wikipedia and this answer, the Moon is orbiting the Earth at a distance around 20 times greater than than the point where it would break up. As far as I can tell, that means in a ...
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Open sea navigation on a tidally locked moon

On a tidally locked gas giant moon (which is otherwise earth-like - see this question for pictures) how would medieval sea navigation techniques differ from Earth? I presume that compared to Earth, ...
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What is the minimum level of technology to enable interlunar civilization?

Definition: Interlunar adjective Of or traveling between moons. I'm (as far as I can tell) inventing the term interlunar to describe travel between moons in a single planetary system. Travel ...
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How long would this eclipse last?

For a moon orbiting a gas giant which is in turn orbiting a star, I want to know how long the eclipse would last for an observer standing on the moon when the planet passes between the moon and the ...
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What is the maximum orbital time for my moon around my planet?

I fear the math involved is beyond my capabilities on this one. I have what I consider to be more than a Layman's understanding of the physics involved, and I believe I can follow the math well ...
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What does my moon colony need?

I have a group that's building a moon colony. The final end goal is a self-sufficient colony of at least 1 million humans. They have access to one million metric tons of lift per week at nominal ...
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Earthquake modeling on a fictitious extraterrestrial moon

Thanks in advance for any input you can provide! I have a moon called Vieneo http://www.risetvp.com/Vieneo which has some geological modelling of faults and epicenters over some range of time: What ...
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Could a gas giant's moon have stable rings?

The planet orbits a supermassive gas giant, almost double the size of Jupiter. But the planet orbiting it is also supposed to have rather large rings in my story. Question: Is it possible for a moon ...
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Could we mine the Moon if we replaced the taken mass?

There is the strong theory that the Earth and the Moon were part of the same core at one point. This would lead one to believe that there are precious minerals under the surface of the Moon. Metals ...

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