Questions tagged [planets]

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

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15
votes
7answers
2k views

Can realistic planetary invasion have any meaningful strategy?

The sea is used as an analogy in space travel, and sometimes it works well. Ships sail on long journeys, between distant lands, across a hostile medium. But these analogies tend to break down when it ...
15
votes
15answers
4k views

What would influence an alien race to map their planet in a way other than the traditional map of the Earth

I was looking through a bunch of different ways we can shape a map of the Earth and it got me thinking. We map out planet as a stretched rectangle with NSEW as Up Down Right Left, with the Equator ...
9
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5answers
2k views

Which place in our solar system is the most fit for terraforming?

Far in the future technology has evolved to the point that humanity is able to try and terraform something in our solar system. The moon is out, since it's too close to earth and therefore to risky, ...
5
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0answers
60 views

What's a Good Sphere-Mapping Resource?

After reading the help sections for asking questions, I am now confident that my question does in fact appear to be on-topic and in scope for this website. I currently use a page called PlanetMaker ...
0
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1answer
40 views

Maintaining Earthlike Gravity on other Worlds/Stations [on hold]

I am writing my first short story in science fiction and am struggling with the issue of gravity. TLDR: What would it take to make a planet match Earth's gravity (e.g. Titan (yes, it's a moon but ...
29
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17answers
7k views

How could a planet have one hemisphere way warmer than the other without the planet being tidally locked?

I would like a planet that's a tropical paradise on one side but covered in ice and glaciers on the opposite side, whether it be the Southern-Northern or the Western-Eastern hemisphere. I know it ...
6
votes
1answer
56 views

Creating a Realistic-Looking Rocky Moon

Originally I was going to ask for help in the process of designing moons in general, but this is such a vast topic that I decided to narrow it down. I'm trying to create rocky moons or planets. I ...
12
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3answers
4k views

Can planetary bodies have a second axis of rotation?

Is it possible for a planetary body to have a secondary axis of rotation? For example let's say there's an Earth-like body that is spinning with its North Pole facing the Sun. Imagine that the North ...
2
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1answer
74 views

A desert planet with temperate polar regions could sustain how much plant-life? Any?

One proposed type of desert planet is one in which the equator and the "tropics" are harsh, hot deserts, but the polar regions are temperate, habitable, and lush with life. You can see an example of ...
4
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1answer
85 views

Tidally Locked Planet, Weather

If the polar cap of a tidally locked planet was all ocean, what weather patterns would emerge? The ocean couldn’t be half frozen/half boiling, right? I need a weather pattern so the planet isn’t just ...
3
votes
3answers
140 views

Would an exoplanet highly rich in Iron (and other metallic properties) have any effects on technology?

Im working on a story about a new exoplanet discovery and its subsequent "Near Future" colonization. The planet is close to its parent star. As such, I have decided to give it a sizeable molten iron ...
1
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1answer
62 views

Gravitational and Electric Forces in the Movements of Planets

Now that we know about the electric nature of the cosmos, the question arises: "How much are planets affected by electric forces while moving through the universe?" We have been taught that the ...
7
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3answers
175 views

How Can I Explain A Giant Equatorial Gash

I have a moon in my story that has a thin, deep gash or canyon that lies on its equator and spans the entire moon. My original idea involved the sudden orbital decay of a ring system, caused by a ...
0
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0answers
42 views

Explaining Planet Colors/Compositions [closed]

I want to be able to explain: the coloration of my planets when I create them, but I don't have enough knowledge on the colors of elements or chemical compounds. I have done extensive research into ...
-5
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4answers
143 views

Human colonies beyond Pluto (on a potential ninth planet)

To be able to colonize another world, there are some requirements; the harvesting of energy, enough recourses, handling of the environment (pressure, temperature and gravity and so on) and ...
9
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1answer
943 views

If we were to assume the shape of planet Popstar from Kirby is kept that way artificially, how would the shape affect its day/night cycle?

Making a semi-realistic Kirby Alternate Universe (AU) here. Popstar's shape is a result of a member of this powerful race using secret magics to alter reality in this AU. What would its day/night ...
6
votes
3answers
289 views

Can a planets magnetic field be strong enough to make floating continents?

I have a planet similar to Venus(similar size and atmosphere) that has floating continents in the atmosphere due to strong magnetic fields. If it is possible, what would the continents need to be made ...
3
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4answers
229 views

Is it realistic to have a livable planet with a quarter the size of Earth, but with the same gravity?

So in theory, I would want this planet to have the same everything as earth besides the radius (and anything that affects how radius plays into gravity). I know the density of this Planet X would have ...
6
votes
2answers
102 views

How could a planet have traveling geographic poles?

I want to build a world that has its geographic poles travel like the Earth magnetic poles do. What is a plausible way to do this? (besides giving it two suns that is)
12
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4answers
3k views

Why would one hemisphere of a planet be very mountainous while the other is flat?

Background I just read this question about how to get a planet to have one hemisphere with tropical climate and one with polar climate. The (not yet accepted) answer with the highest score ...
5
votes
1answer
52 views

Changing air composition on another planet

Hypothetically speaking, if we would find another planet, the size of Earth, with atmosphere as dense as Earth's atmosphere is, and we would insert (in some hypothetical way) nitrogen, oxygen and CO2 ...
9
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6answers
669 views

Can there be a unique planet visible each different month?

In my world, ten is an important number that shows up frequently. In the solar system my world belongs to, there are ten other planets beside it, and there are ten months in a year. I know next to ...
6
votes
2answers
398 views

How would our skies look if our sun was a white dwarf instead?

What I'm using your information for: My planet is small, has a thicker atmosphere than earth and it's orbiting a white dwarf. The main reason I chose it to be a white dwarf is that I read somewhere ...
1
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2answers
107 views

Can a planet mostly covered with water exist in a perpetual sunset?

I have read many posts about planets in perpetual sunset or twilight. Tidal locking, perpetual sunset at the poles of a planet with zero axis tilt, and so on. Great information by the way. This ...
30
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9answers
6k views

Can there be plants on the dark side of a tidally locked world?

In my story, there is an Earth-sized planet orbiting a red dwarf, tidally locked to its parent star, with large oceans like Earth, two moons similar to ours and a thick atmosphere to distribute heat ...
9
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1answer
183 views

What is the fastest an earth-like planet can spin and still support life, and would it be possible to launch space-craft from it?

I was wondering, if a planet in similar size and mass to earth would have, from its creation, been spinning at this hypothetical planet speed limit (with it somehow staying in once piece) could life ...
2
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2answers
909 views

Life on a planet orbiting a blue giant

Would it be possible for life to evolve on a planet orbiting a blue giant? If so, what kinds of life forms? Could some sort of humans evolve there? How long would it take?
6
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2answers
125 views

Longest “linear” natural formations

In an effort to gain inspiration for planetary formation and, at the same time, inspiration for governmental/territorial boundaries between residents of said formed planets, I've recently encountered ...
5
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4answers
865 views

Can this planet in a binary star system exist?

In a certain star system, Star B orbits Star A. Planet C lies in between the two stars and also orbits Star A. Planet C and Star B share an orbital period, and are at roughly the same places in that ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Earth like planet, more surface area under water?

Planet: earth like, half the radius of earth, gravity is .7g. Assuming this is possible and humans live on this planet, would it be possible to have 90% of the planets surface area be under water? ...
20
votes
13answers
7k views

A non-technological, repeating, phenomenon in the sky, holding its position in the sky for hours

Is this physically possible? A non-technological phenomenon visible in the same position of the sky, for 18 hours of a day using the other 6 to do whatever, rise and set, just be impossible to see, ...
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0answers
73 views

Super dense planet? [closed]

What's the most dense a planet could be and still be livable? How does water factor into the overall density of the planet. Is something like an osmium or iridium core even be possible/realistic? If ...
5
votes
3answers
146 views

how could I move an earth sized planet? [duplicate]

How could a Kardeshev II level society move an earth-sized planet at high speed, without killing everything on the planet and access to all of the resources in a solar system similar to our own? what ...
33
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18answers
6k views

How could a planet have erratic days?

I want to describe a world where one doesn't know how long the day will be. It can be anywhere between 18 and 30 Earth-hours. Would such days be possible in our reality?
9
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6answers
4k views

What would happen to a planet that was electrically charged?

If a planet had such a large imbalance of protons and electrons that it possessed a net negative or positive charge what would happen to it and its solar system? First, could it be stable, or would ...
-2
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0answers
31 views

What would a bromine based atmosphere planet be like? [duplicate]

OK, some of you may recognize this from a previous question, but now it's refined. After seeing this video by Artifexian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwauz9uIl9M, I thought I should take a stab at ...
5
votes
1answer
85 views

Terraforming a tide-locked planet

Over several hundred years, a tide-locked, but otherwise Earth-like, planet orbiting a red dwarf is terraformed. The terminator is a very habitable zone, in terms of temperature, atmosphere, etc. ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

How to find the density of a planet and its core taking into account the gravitational compression in them?

Consider a planet $P$ of radius $r$ larger than Earth, whose mass is $r^3$. By the square–cube law, this planet will have the same density as the Earth... assuming that the gravitational compression ...
7
votes
3answers
124 views

Can my planet have a very thin atmosphere only at the poles?

While thinking about Starfish Prime's answer to the question Algae using UV light from auroras for photosynthesis, I considered the possibility of an alternate Earth which has a normal, Earth-like ...
20
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6answers
4k views

What effects could a hole in a planet have?

On a planet with Earth-like attributes in every way, including physics and geography, what repercussions would there be for a relatively deep 'dent' in one quadrant of the spherical body? This is only ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

How has Venus held onto its atmosphere [closed]

Without its magnetosphere, how has Venus held onto its atmosphere, when Mars lost its atmosphere and water when its magnetic field was turned off?
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Will my planet work? (size, gravity, atmosphere)

I was going to sort this all out beforehand, and then write the book, but when the writing flows... you make hay. I am a perfectionist/details-oriented person, but you lose me on math/hard science. ...
14
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13answers
4k views

Planet Vanishes - How does this affect the orbiting starships?

In the climactic final battle Faction A engages Faction B on Faction B's planetary base, both in orbital and ground combat. Realizing they can't win, Faction A activates a device that transports and ...
4
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3answers
119 views

How to find the radius of a planet given its internal composition?

Consider a planet very similar to Earth, with the same radius and the same mass. In a very simplified model of its interior, 70 % of its mass is magnesium silicate and the remaining 30 % is iron. This ...
12
votes
3answers
210 views

Is a carbon planet with seas of methanol on its surface scientifically possible?

I am creating a carbon planet with seas of methanol on its surface, but I am not sure that this is possible. It is predicted that carbon planets are depleted of water, since the available oxygen ...
20
votes
0answers
320 views

Plausibility of helium dominated atmospheres on super-Earths

I've been using this helpful diagram a lot for worldbuilding. Now I came to think about the fact that helium is more massive than hydrogen, thus a scenario where hydrogen escapes, but helium is ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

How different would the internal composition of a carbon planet be from that of Earth?

My idea is a carbon planet 50 % larger than Earth and with 5 times its mass (approximately), but I set these values ​​after investigating those of several discovered exoplanets and none of them is ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
404 views

Aliens blew up Pluto so we would stop debating whether or not to call it a planet, what happens to Earth? [closed]

It seems the Fraxians, an alien race from Alpha Centuri, have been secretly watching our television ever since we started broadcasting it (well technically I suppose 4.367 years after we started ...
-1
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4answers
277 views

Can huge planets be seen from tiny planets?

Imagine a habitable, water covered, small earth-like orb in space. Let's call it P. From its surface, you see 2 large glowing masses, different sizes, in the sky, let's call them Bs. They are not ...