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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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13
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2answers
417 views

Impacts of a stellar Jupiter

In the book 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke, Jupiter is turned into a star. Presumably this is done by making it more dense, so if Jupiter were to reach that density and become a star, what ...
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2answers
1k views

Life on a planet with multiple gas layers

Could a terrestrial planet have a stable set of layers of atmospheres, and could different lifeforms evolve within those different layers? This question is inspired by the diversity found on Earth. ...
28
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5answers
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Can a planet have a figure-8 type of orbit around two separate stars?

Could a planet have an orbit in the shape of a figure 8 around twin (possibly binary) stars? Mostly curious about the physical possibility of such an orbital arrangement; is it stable over a long ...
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6answers
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How long does terraforming take if you have to build the planet from asteroids?

I'd like to set a story in our solar system with Earth and the inner planets becoming uninhabitable and a new planet being required. If human beings decided to build a world by making slight ...
5
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2answers
297 views

Gas Giant with Small Moons within the Gas? [duplicate]

Suppose a gas giant is incredibly large with a super dense, solid core that hold the gas around it like an atmosphere. Would small moons be able to exist within the gas, assuming the gas has little ...
36
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5answers
6k views

Can a planet realistically have multiple suns?

Several science fiction books I have read (including, IINM, Nightfall by Asimov) have featured planets with several suns. Some worlds where this happened wrought interesting effects on the inhabitants ...
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6answers
3k views

Living Planet Possible?

Although a question about how large a living thing could be has been asked and answered, would a being such as Mogo from DC's Green Lantern series be possible? Mogo is the size of Earth roughly can ...
4
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3answers
761 views

Generating a magnetic field for planets with iron-cores that is revertable?

I'm looking for a solution to generate a strong enough magnetic field for planets with iron-cores - in my case, Mars - to keep the atmosphere from getting blow away by the solar winds (and ignoring ...
6
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1answer
553 views

Is it possible to terraform a hot planet?

I want to make a hot planet habitable for mankind. It could be a planet in the habitable zone like Venus or outside of the zone like Mercury. These are just examples. Someone said here: Terraforming ...
47
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2answers
4k views

What would the sky look like from the surface of a planet with rings?

What would a planet's rings look like from the surface of that planet? Would the rings be perceived to be stationary or move across the sky, and would the alignment of the rings relative to the axis ...
12
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1answer
570 views

What effects would there be for a hole in Earth

Imagine the Earth is struck by a laser/magic beam capable of piercing it and leaving a lasting hole. What effects would observed? Would there be a difference between the hole(s) being made in the ...
8
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4answers
458 views

What kind of effects would be seen on Earth if it was pulled from orbit?

Imagine the Earth is sucked into a wormhole powerful enough to pull it out of it's current orbit. the ones who created the wormhole wanted to move earth to protect it however didn't want their actions/...
9
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2answers
850 views

Varying Gravity

Suppose a very large planet orbited a star or other spacial body in an oval shaped path, similar to Earth's but closer to induce a varying gravity during orbit. The planet has a large gravity well ...
12
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3answers
949 views

Would co-orbital planets with very similar convergent evolutionary paths be possible?

Picture, if you will, four planets sharing the exact same orbit and orbital speed, and separated by exactly same distance from each other. Each planet is the same size and roughly the same ...
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3answers
1k views

Terraforming a very cold planet?

One of the solution to make a cold planet habitable for us is to increase the greenhouse effect. It works with planets like Mars that are inside the habitable zone but would it be enough for a planet ...
13
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3answers
7k views

Terraforming a gas giant into an habitable planet

Is it possible (for humans)? My main concern was heavy gravity because they are much bigger and heavier. But it appears that in our system, the gas giants (but not Jupiter) all have a similar surface ...
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 ...
14
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1answer
2k views

What would be the effects of traveling faster than light on a worldship?

Assuming a civilization has the technology and capability to build a worldship, a planet that doubles as a spacecraft, installs an FTL drive on it and has the energy to power it, what would the ...
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7answers
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What would push a civilization to terraform a planet considering the complexity of this process?

Terraforming is the process of transforming a celestial body to become habitable by Earth-like life. Even when I try to imagine an advanced civilization, the cost, time and complexity to terraform a ...
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2answers
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How would a planetary nebula affect a planet?

Let's say I have a binary star system. The planet is orbiting the smallest star similar to the Sun at 1 AU, the same Earth-Sun distance. The other star is located at around 50-100 AU from the Sun ...
25
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8answers
4k views

Can an atmosphere englobe a planetary ring?

Would it be possible for the atmosphere of a planet to reach beyond its planetary ring so that earth-like biology could develop on some of the asteroids there? This question is mainly about whether ...
4
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1answer
811 views

What are the factors influencing the temperature of my world?

The question is rather simple, the answer is more complex. It is to answer why some places are colder than others. Example: North America is colder than Europe at the same latitude.
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7answers
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How much technology for a ring-world to work?

There is this setup that I've seen a few times of a ring-shaped world where people live on the inner side. My question is: what is the minimum advancement of technology for such a thing to happen? So ...
5
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6answers
612 views

What complications would arise from a world with an internal atmosphere and environment?

For a long, long, long time I have had a concept of a world that exists on the inside of a hallowed-out sphere. The basic construction of the world is like this: It is a large world, at the center ...
21
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7answers
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Hollow planet with another planet inside it

I was wondering what would happen if there was a planet with a "shell" of stone entirely surrounding it (not connected, just held in place by gravity), with a few holes all the way through the outer ...
23
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5answers
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Is it possible to advertise on the moon?

I remember a cartoon about some spy guy. In that cartoon they did mass media by projecting from the surface of the earth to the moon in the night sky. Would that technique be possible? Could an ...
9
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3answers
776 views

How would the global environment of a completely urbanized city-planet be affected?

Related: How would a completely urbanized city-planet support its population? How a completely urbanized city-planet be maintained? Why would a completely urbanized city-planet exist? The properties ...
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8answers
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What environment would make leaves light blue?

What environmental effects (if any) would ever cause blue to be a colour that a plant would choose as an evolutionary advantage? Bonus: I'm looking for light blue plants as a preference. EDIT: ...
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5answers
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How could you dig a hole through the fluid mantle of a planet?

The Question of the Tunnel through a Planet grinds my mind. How could you dig a Hole through the fluid mantle of a planet? Would your walls not constantly break and collapse on you after the 15-20 ...
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4answers
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What political structure would develop within an interplanetary civilization?

Conquest and discovery has been an important part of developing the global political structure of today's Earth. After we expand and settle other planets, whether within the same solar system or not, ...
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4answers
417 views

How realistic is it that cultures on different planets influenced each other?

If two (or more) planets are within travel distance from each other and they often trade with each other, how likely is it that these planets cultures influence(d) each other? For example: On planet ...
9
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2answers
999 views

Life on an Earth-like planet with solid core?

How big a difference does the Earth's liquid outer core and mantle make for the evolution of complex life? If all of Earth's parameters would be the same, but it had a solid interior just like Mars, ...
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10answers
2k views

Would there be any reason to bore a tunnel entirely through a world?

I am looking to have a Tunnel drilled through a world and deal with the physics of What happens in the centre of a planet, what happens with the heat at the core and whether it is faster to travel ...
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3answers
26k views

What determines the length of a day on a planet?

The length of a day on different planets in the solar system varies a lot. For instance, Mars' day is about the same length as Earth, while a day on Venus is equivalent to 243 Earth days (source). ...
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2answers
416 views

What Effect Does Moving the Magnetic Poles of a Planet Have?

On Earth the planet's magnetic poles line up fairly well with the geographic poles. This makes things like navigation very straightforward as all compasses point to (roughly) the north pole. However ...
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4answers
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How would two planets with identical but perpendicular orbits affect each other?

I'm exploring this idea for a fantasy world, and I was wondering how these planets would affect each other. The system would feature orbits in all three dimensions, not relatively flat like ours is. ...
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6answers
632 views

How can I create an enormous crater?

My world has a huge crater (4400 miles in diameter) on a world that's roughly earth equivalent (so a circumference of 25000 miles). The native population doesn't need to know how it was formed but it ...
15
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2answers
552 views

Ratio between planet-size and terrain elevation?

Let's imagine we have an algorithm that produce an elevation-map for a sphere. I wonder if the ratio between the planet radius and the delta between the highest and lowest altitude is a constant or ...
36
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8answers
9k views

How extensive could a habitable twilight zone be on a tidally locked planet?

If a planet always faces the same side to the sun, so that it has a permanent night side and a permanent day side, it will have a twilight zone in between the two sides. This will be a band around the ...
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5answers
2k views

How critical is it for life that a planet remains within the habitable zone at all times?

Important note: The orbits in the diagram are elliptical. They have low eccentricity so they appear to be off centre circles but they really are ellipses with the star at a focus. The habitable ...
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4answers
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What would a planet spinning fast enough to allow geostationary orbit near the surface look like?

From an answer to a previous question of mine: A planet spinning fast enough to allow geostationary orbit near the surface would result in odd side effects. Any object at rest on the equator would ...
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9answers
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How could a Dyson Sphere be destroyed through natural causes?

I would like to destroy a Dyson Sphere so it leaves big chunks of scrap metal with no habitable zones left, but still with enough structure to hold building-sized blocks. The destruction shouldn't be ...
23
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2answers
1k views

Settings formed by Uncontrolled Terraforming of Venus and Mars via Portals

If two circular portals of 2 meter (arbitrary) diameter were created allowing uninhibited flow between surface atmospheres of Venus and Mars, what would be the environmental effects on the two planets?...
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5answers
21k views

What factors determine a planet's gravity?

In Science Fiction we often see the protagonists exploring all sorts of strange new worlds with no apparent discomfort to the variations in gravity. What factors determine how strong the gravity will ...
71
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20answers
6k views

Is it physically possible for a planet to have seasons of different lengths?

Those of you who have read Game Of Thrones will know that in the GOT world seasons do not have a fixed duration, e.g., a winter might last three times longer than the previous one. I find most ...
58
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14answers
33k views

Would the human body support living on planets with a greater gravity than Earth?

I once read a novel about a prison-planet which was chosen to make the prisoners suffer. One of the different "tortures" was a gravity three times higher than that on Earth. Would the human body ...
16
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5answers
4k views

Would a human individual adapt to a change in the day-night cycle?

I'm thinking on the colonizing of another planet by humans. The conditions of this planet are quite different from Earth, and particularly the day-night cycle is much larger. In my fictional planet, ...
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5answers
2k views

What physical and social effects could two stars cause?

Suppose a planetary system works in such a way that there is a rotating planet in the direct centre of a binary star (the star system's centre of gravity, also known as barycenter), such that the two ...
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8answers
2k views

Are “planet of hats” realistic?

Planet of hats is the name of a trope where all inhabitants of a planet share a defining characteristic, of which there are many sub-tropes like environment or economy. I'd like to focus on the ...
106
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6answers
28k views

How would having multiple moons affect tides?

We know that planets can have multiple moons, sometimes quite a few (like Jupiter). Assuming that a planet with several moons were habitable in the first place and has significant oceans (greater ...