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Questions tagged [planets]

For questions about any large astronomical bodies classified as planets, and their effects on their systems.

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Life on a Gas Giant?

I know of the conceptualized "Sinkers", "Floaters" and "Hunters" that Carl Sagan and Edwin Salpeter of Cornell conceived of - as possible life forms that might inhabit a gas giant. At the time they ...
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Moon Day Lengths

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 ...
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Distance between star systems

I'm writing a story that will eventually escalate from being focused on one planet to the entire star system that planet belongs to, and finally to a big story involving the two nearest star systems ...
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Desert planet with forests at the poles

I'm thinking up a Mars or Venus type planet where the poles (or one pole) has a forest growing out of it due to a device that is used to make the planet more habitable by creating a oxygen friendly ...
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How can I destroy a planet with antimatter?

So I found the base of these pesky rebels on this planet and I am tasked with destroying the planet to eliminate the rebels once and for all. Unfortunately, my death star has malfunctioned and has ...
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Could a terrestrial planet have water for a core?

There’s a planet called eaglypt whose surface is 100% barren desert. However, there is a twist: the planet’s core consists of liquid water, and there are a few places where this water seeps through ...
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Building a full-sized Lego Earth - what would it look like at various levels?

Lego representations of Earth have been made at various scales, for example this one: Suppose Slartibartfast made a full-size Earth from Lego (including the oceans being represented as solid blocks. ...
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Stellar and magnetic parameters for creating polar radiation hazards

I've got a generally earthlike planet, but my goal is to make radiation exposure in the polar regions a much larger hazard than it is on Earth, while not being an issue in other regions. Nothing ...
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2answers
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What 4D shape could best fit a looping world?

I have an idea for a world such that the world itself is like a large loop. The best way I can think to describe it is going step by step through the "loop". Imagine a planet-like object; a sphere ...
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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 ...
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What would happen to the Earth if it were suddenly transported to a completely empty void? [duplicate]

The entire planet Earth is suddenly teleported (never mind how for now) to a completely empty space. No sun, no moon, no stars or other planets. There's absolutely nothing out there and it appears ...
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How long would it take to recover from a galaxy-wide war? [closed]

The Great Galactic War has ended. The evil Tatian Empire has been destroyed, and a new power, the Aurean-Ishga Republic, has risen from the ashes. However, there has been tremendous damage done to the ...
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Maximum realistic salinity level with thriving aquatic environment?

I'm trying to create a planet which environment is not immediately lethal to humans, (reasonable oxygen level) however after closer inspection turns out not to be specially Earth-like. One issues is ...
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Underground Atmosphere

I have a terrestrial planet that is similar to Mars in many ways, a desert-like surface, thin atmosphere, and inhospitable to large flora and fauna as we know it. This planet has ceased tectonic ...
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Downsides of a Magnetosphere stronger that Earth's? [duplicate]

It is clear that a planet that possesses a weaker magnetosphere than that of the Earth will present issues (such as less protection from stellar radiation) to a potential human colony. However, are ...
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Can a solar flare or coronal mass ejection cause a planet to heat up? [duplicate]

There is this setting I wish to use of a planet tidal locked to a red dwarf, in a Goldilocks/habitable zone/distance, that gets turned into, mostly, a desert due to a coronal mass ejection or a solar ...
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How can you prevent a theocracy from being inevitable when religious leaders have power over nature?

In this world, religious leaders of a world religion practice a form of ritual magic that is essential to human existence. Certain rituals must be performed at certain times for nature to function ...
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Plausible reasons for multiple hot seasons in one solar year

Setup: A planet generally with an earthlike climate, although slightly wetter and warmer as a general rule, with a little more oxygen in the atmosphere, but habitable by unmodified humans. Still has ...
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1answer
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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... ...
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What would an earth-sized world be like if shaped like Ultima Thule?

Recently, pictures taken by the New Horizons space probe were released depicting the unusually-shaped object Ultima Thule. Now, suppose there was an world the size of the Earth, but in the shape of ...
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What kind of food would be common on a tropical rainforest/ocean planet? [closed]

I have an alien planet with the entire world landmass arranged in two giant rings roughly 10 degrees north and south of the equator. Everything above sea level is beach or tropical rainforest. The ...
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Let's plot a course between Earth and Gor

We know that Gor, or Counter-Earth, is not stable in a long-term sense. Let's handwave that away, or assume that we are dealing with a temporary span of time in which the instability is immaterial. ...
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Can planets collide and not melt together?

Ok so I've been going around on the internet trying to figure out whether or not when 2 earth like planets of similar densities and makeup collide is it possible for them to bounce off of each other ...
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1answer
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What could prevent a planet from possessing magnets/electricity?

Without changing a planet from being habitable for humans and keeping a similar ecosystem why could intelligent races never access electricity? What systems need to be erased from the planet to not ...
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2answers
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Which unique features should have a habitable planet originating from atmosphere stripped waterworld?

Premises: red dwarfs tend to have violent sun storms in their early years, thus are expected to strip atmosphere of planets that may be in their habitable zones; water worlds (including planets with ...
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Suppose I have an Earth sized planet whose oceans are made of pure glass - what would be the effect of striking said oceans with nuclear bombs? [closed]

This question was prompted to me by my answer I gave to this question. In it I stated that an Earth sized planet would satisfy the criteria if it's oceans were made of glass or at least regions of ...
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1answer
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What are materials that could give an atmosphere a deep blue color?

Here's some rough WIP pixel art of the planet I'm trying to create just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about color wise. I'm referencing the dark blue that you see at the poles of the planet. ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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Planet Orbiting a Red Dwarf

I'm trying to create my planet orbiting a red dwarf, honestly I've thought other scenarios but it's like every answer opens new questions. I'll just say what I want my planet to be and I'd like your ...
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1answer
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Is a planetary 'temperature inversion' plausible?

It was disputed in the 1940s-50s whether Venus had a hot surface and cool cloud layer or a cool surface and hot cloud layer. As I recall, both were considered at the limits of plausibility at the ...
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A planet with different gravity

I am trying to find an explanation to a planet in which the gravity is not constant, thus allowing some continents to be situated 2-3 km above surface while others are "grounded" on the surface. The ...
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2answers
302 views

How far out can a pre-telescope human society (naked eye observations only) detect planets?

There are many questions on WBSE that cover most aspects of building a planetary system. (some examples below): Creating a realistic world(s) map - planetary systems How many planets should I have ...
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What size would a planet have to be such that I could throw a tennis ball into orbit?

If I was affixed to the surface of some solid spherical body in space (so as to ignore effects like me floating away), would it be possible for me to throw a tennis ball so that it went into orbit ...
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Is it possible to place a permanent probe on Uranus?

Before anyone points the finger saying this is a tasteless joke, there are some actual good reasons to pick that specific planet for exploration among the giants in our solar system: Smallest mass ...
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If the earth is not flat, are we walking uphill or downhill? [closed]

If the world isn't flat and a person is walking around it from east to west. Is he walking downhill or uphill ? (This a stupid question on many levels, but I'm looking for intelligent answers.)
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How would an advanced civilization on a space station not be able to explore the planet they orbit without significant time between each expedition?

Extremely advanced civilization on a computerized space station orbiting a desolate uninhabited planet. There are no other known civilizations within this station's sphere of observation. Not many ...
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Naturally maintaining an atmosphere being stripped by a brown dwarf‘s magnetosphere

In this scenario we have a brown dwarf with a powerful magnetic dynamo from metallic hydrogen. The magnetic field is modeled after Jupiter’s but just three orders of magnitude more powerful. ...
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Plausible? Mechanics of Floating Continents/Islands on Gas Giant (with sea) [closed]

Just thought of how a gas giant would have the physics to entertain floating islands/gigantic landmasses + a floating sea of water. Pretty much just wrote down whatever i could think of. Basically, a ...
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How to create matter in a solar system [closed]

I looked to see if anything like this was asked, but can’t find. So a star is formed, the sun for instance., and creates a gravitational force on its own. After a billion years a kuiper belt ...
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Could a gas giant have two earth sized moons in binary orbit around it

I’m trying to create a system where a gas giant has two moons in binary orbit with each other. I’m trying to get that James Cameron look with the gas giant on the horizon, but also have a equally ...
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50% O₂ 25% Neon 23% Nitrogen and 3% trace gasses?

Could an atmosphere of 50% O₂ 25% Neon 23% Nitrogen and 3% trace gasses be survivable for a human being at the similar or slightly less atmospheric pressures as Earth?
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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 ...
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Climate checking my map

So I've decided to come here to see how my map would be effected by climate. Notes: The planet has a 10° axial tilt, it's a little smaller then earth, and has earth like conditions. So my questions ...
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2answers
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How long would a flat Earth last?

As we all know the Earth is flat. Once upon a time a group of explorers set off with the idea of proving that the world was round and that there was a route to the spice islands the other way, but the ...
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1answer
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Can someone help me with ocean currents? I'm really confused

I've been working on a constructed world which started out as the home of an alien race from a sci-fi story I'm writing but just became a pure world building project. As you can see from the map it ...
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2answers
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Equation to get the size of a crater created by a meteor strike?

Im trying to find the equation to the the size of the resulting crater created by meteor strike when I have the mass, volume, diameter, density, velocity and kinetic energy of the meteor Can ...
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Blackhole Effects on World [closed]

An Earth-like planet orbits a Sun-like star. That whole system closely orbits a black hole, closely enough that the time shift is 100 to 1 (meaning 100 minutes pass on Earth while only 1 minute passes ...
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Is a Titan-like planet with Earth-like gravity plausible?

For my hard sci-fi story, I would like to have a planet similar to Titan (very cold, nitrogen atmosphere, methane seas) but with a surface gravity in the region of 1g. Could this occur, or would the ...
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4answers
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Would a hot North pole and cold South pole, would it be possible? [duplicate]

So would be possible to have a Hot (Tropical or Arid) North pole and a Cold/polar South pole with a certain planetary set up or geographic set up. I'm open to many ideas, as long as they make this ...
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1answer
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Could life be living in Europa? [closed]

The ice is so thick that no probe sent from Earth can detect life under the ice. Radio would not work well under the ice so we could not communicate with Europians if they are advanced. What would ...