60 votes
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Would gas giants work as waste disposal sites?

What you suggest is possible, but the solution is a major problem, for larger reasons. We have sent probes to crash into Jupiter. It is physically possible to send waste into a gas giant. Just as it ...
  • 20.1k
57 votes
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Is it possible to orbit inside a gas giant?

It would lose speed due to drag and fall in. If you're thrusting to maintain speed, just fly like a plane and don't try to orbit. The hypersonic speed of orbital velocity would be conspicuous anyway, ...
  • 68.7k
41 votes
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Could you float a boat on a gas giant?

Analyzing Jupiter First off, since Jupiter doesn't have a surface, the 1 bar pressure altitude is commonly referred to as the surface. Surface temp (from a NASA fact sheet) is, in that case, around ...
  • 84.5k
39 votes

Is it possible to orbit inside a gas giant?

Like JDługosz wrote, what will cause problems in the scenario you describe isn't so much your orbit as the fact that you are within the gas giant's atmosphere. I'm going to use Jupiter here to have ...
  • 28.7k
34 votes
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Is a Jupiter-sized planet plausible in a habitable zone?

We have already found exo-planets matching this criteria. For example HD_100777_b has a mass just slightly higher than Jupiter and orbits its star at the same distance from the sun that our earth does....
  • 76.2k
34 votes
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How to explain planetary rings pulsating?

Io and Jupiter have a very special relationship. Io is a volcanic moon, which ejects charged particles. Due to its relatively low gravity (~0.18g), the particles escape, but they get trapped by ...
30 votes
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What would be the first thing humans would mine on Jupiter?

Skimming various gasses from the Jovian atmosphere or using superscience to extract metallic hydrogen from deep below the surface only taps a small amount of the potential resources available. Since ...
  • 97.1k
23 votes
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Can a gas giant have its own habitable zone?

It's possible, but heat generated by the Kelvin-Hemlholz mechanism may be too variable to complex life to develop solely as a result of this source of heat. This paper suggests that the temperature of ...
  • 45.7k
23 votes

What would be the first thing humans would mine on Jupiter?

Mining metallic Hydrogen might be a possibility, but I am unsure what happens when you move it out of the pressure and what goes on from there. Second and probably more fun for a story...Helium-3. ...
  • 24.2k
18 votes

Would gas giants work as waste disposal sites?

The problem is energy Since you're on the moon orbiting the gas giant, both you and the trash are moving at the moon's orbital speed around that gas giant. And it takes a lot of energy/fuel to slow ...
  • 12.1k
17 votes
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Earth-like Moon around the Gas Giant. Eclipse length?

For the TL;DR, see the bottom of this answer. Okay, so first of all, the orbital period of the gas giant around its star is $256 \times 24$ hours, and I'd like to establish the distance from the ...
  • 28.7k
15 votes
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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?

First, it's important to discuss what radiation belts are and how they form. Radiation belts are formed by charged particles that are trapped by a planet's magnetic field and, due to the shape of that ...
  • 33.3k
13 votes

Is a Jupiter-sized planet plausible in a habitable zone?

Absolutely. This would only take a few simply steps, and a small bit of luck. Here's how it could happen: A protostar forms from a collapsing gas cloud. A giant sphere of gas and dust collapses upon ...
  • 97.8k
13 votes
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Can a habitable moon rely on the magnetosphere of its parent planet for radiation protection?

Jupiter's magnetosphere encompasses all of its Galilean satellites Jupiter's magnetosphere has a dipole moment 18,000 times greater than Earth's and encloses all four of its major moons. Callisto's ...
  • 84.5k
12 votes

Would gas giants work as waste disposal sites?

Yes, but for a different reason. This is basically what happened with the Cassini probe, which was sent to crash into Saturn in 2017. However, the reason the probe was successfully disposed of wasn't ...
  • 97.8k
11 votes
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Smallest Black Hole to 'heat' a Gas Giant

First off, I'd like to plug JoeKissling's answer here, which I used as a basis for mine. Radiation pressure Hawking radiation emitted from a black hole acts as blackbody radiation, emitted equally ...
  • 84.5k
11 votes

Would gas giants work as waste disposal sites?

The solution you are looking for is a mass driver. In essence, they are a giant electromagnetic gun that would accelerate a mass past escape velocity and send it to space. They were proposed decades ...
11 votes
Accepted

Is it possible for a moon to stay on the same side of its planet relative to the sun?

No, it's not possible for the moon to always be between the planet and the sun. For the moon to be in a stable orbit around the planet, and always be in front of the sun, two things must be true (We'...
  • 2,799
10 votes
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What if Jupiter's rotational period was equal to that of the Earth?

I have one major point to make: A good portion of Jupiter does not complete one rotation in 9.8 hours. Jupiter isn't like a giant ball of rock. It's called as "gas giant" for a reason, which is that ...
  • 97.8k
10 votes

What would be the first thing humans would mine on Jupiter?

Hydrogen, water, ammonia, all skimmed from the atmosphere rather than mined from the surface. Ammonia contains nitrogen, so with the water and a carbon asteroid you can start building greenhouses. ...
  • 100k
10 votes

Could you float a boat on a gas giant?

Let's look at some key Jovian atmospheric characteristics: Density at $P=1\text{ bar}$ (i.e. the surface): $\rho_J=0.16\text{ kg m}^{-3}$ Temperature at $P=1\text{ bar}$: $T=165\text{ K}$ Mean ...
  • 97.8k
10 votes
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How do I design the solar transit of a hot Jupiter?

Why are transits so rare? Essentially, you want a low relative orbital inclination. A body's orbital inclination is the angular difference between its orbital plane and a reference plane. In the Solar ...
  • 97.8k
9 votes
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Is it possible to transform Jupiter into micro-star?

Take a look at this question. Apparently Jupiter doesn't have enough mass to sustain a fusion reaction; it requires a lot more mass even for a small star. If heated enough it would even lose mass as ...
  • 1,782
9 votes

Details needed for day cycle of lunar world orbiting a gas giant

The spins of all large moons in the Solar System are locked to their host planet, meaning that they always show the same face to the planet. This is sometimes called "tidal locking", and it's pretty ...
  • 3,369
9 votes

Are there any plausible 'alternative' methods of planetary formation?

We can go with an old disproven explanation that I found in an outdated science textbook I saw in high school: Star Farts During star formation, as the star's spin increases, it throws off ...
  • 18.9k
9 votes
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Could harvesting antimatter from a Gas giant's van Allen Belts be feasible?

Feasibility is in the eye of the beholder Recommended that you refer to the NASA paper (pg 31.) that looked at this topic in more detail than you are likely to find in other places. In short, expected ...
  • 21.2k
9 votes

Justification for using Saturn as a future base for colonization

Saturn has an escape velocity of 35.5 km/s compared to Earth's 11 km/s. It means you need about 9 times the energy to get to orbit. The maximum temperature is 151 K, which is about 30 degrees colder ...
  • 919
8 votes

Can a gas giant have its own habitable zone?

Really awesome answer by ckersch. I want to add in some math to get an idea of how large this kind of habitable zone would be. Formulas are from here and here, if you want to investigate them further, ...
  • 97.8k
8 votes
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Naturally making a gas giant moon habitable

Since you want this planet to be more or less Earth in orbit around a gas giant, let's do that, as a gedankenexperiment, and see what shakes out. Currently, Earth is in the "Goldilocks Zone"...
  • 6,161
8 votes

How to create a "twilight" world around a red dwarf star

So, what you want is a planet where there's very little light, but it isn't terribly cold. There's an easier way to get this, and it's more interesting. Take a normal F- or G-type star, pretty much ...
  • 20.6k

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