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59 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 ...
flox's user avatar
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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, ...
JDługosz's user avatar
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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 ...
kingledion's user avatar
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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 ...
user's user avatar
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36 votes

Thorne Zytkow Planets $-$ Can a Gas Giant have a Neutron Star core?

Star Eats Planet Painting by Dana Berry for NASA The star is 400 times as massive as the gas giant with 400 times the gravity. The gas giant does not swallow up the star. Instead the star ...
Daron's user avatar
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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 ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
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 ...
Thucydides's user avatar
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29 votes

Plausibility of a gas giant moon

This is an interesting question. I'd argue that the answer is only a maybe through standard moon formation channels, but a clear yes if you accept more exotic pathways. The giant planets in the Solar ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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24 votes
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Terraforming a gas giant by freezing the "gas" and "liquid" and removing it by huge impacts

There are a number of problems. First, Jupiter has it's own heat source. So cooling it is a challenge. Cooling it to solid hydrogen temperatures, about 14K, is pretty much not going to happen. The sun ...
BillOnne's user avatar
  • 2,535
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. ...
Twelfth's user avatar
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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 ...
Mathaddict's user avatar
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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 ...
user's user avatar
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15 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 ...
kingledion's user avatar
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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 ...
Cadence's user avatar
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15 votes

Thorne Zytkow Planets $-$ Can a Gas Giant have a Neutron Star core?

A gas giant with a neutron star at its core is impossible. The gravity of a neutron star is pretty strong. It would end up swallowing all the matter of the gas giant, turning it into nuclear pasta. ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
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14 votes

Thorne Zytkow Planets $-$ Can a Gas Giant have a Neutron Star core?

Type Ia supernova A Type Ia supernova is usually created in Binary star systems when the white dwarf pulls enough matter from its sister star onto its surface to achieve Chandrasekhar mass (critical ...
Gillgamesh's user avatar
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14 votes
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Everyone knows not to look at the sun. What about a gas giant?

We have a sun-like star and a planet at earth-like distance from the star, with paper-like albedo. Therefore looking at the planet when there aren't any clouds is like looking at an equivalent solid ...
g s's user avatar
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13 votes

Thorne Zytkow Planets $-$ Can a Gas Giant have a Neutron Star core?

The Roche limit around the neutron star that size is going to entirely contain the volume of the gas giant. So the mass of the gas giant will be shredded into rings and eventually be consumed by the ...
Michael Richardson's user avatar
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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 102k
12 votes

General characteristics of an "aircraft" for gas-planet atmospheres?

Here's a great place to start: Interplanetary Cessna - XKCD What If? As a human on Earth, you have a great advantage in determining what you need, in that the Sol system has 4 gas giants of its own, ...
KeithS's user avatar
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12 votes

Terraforming a gas giant by freezing the "gas" and "liquid" and removing it by huge impacts

Good enough for a video game. Or a Star Wars movie. But practicalities: aside from the amount of heat you would need to dispense with to freeze J into a solid ball, I wonder about /When the ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
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 ...
kingledion's user avatar
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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 ...
José Franco Campos's user avatar
11 votes
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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'...
notovny's user avatar
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11 votes
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Would a Gas Giant be a feasible option for in-atmosphere fighting?

No In order to be able to have a "conventional dogfight", the atmosphere must be thick enough that the control surfaces of the hypothetical fighter aerospace craft are able to interact with ...
KerrAvon2055's user avatar
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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. ...
o.m.'s user avatar
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10 votes
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Life on a rogue planet

Your world is the equivalent of Jupiter's moon Io, which has tidally induced heating and volcanism. Then when the volcanoes go off, the charged particles they blast out provoke huge auroras on ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 102k
10 votes

Should we use 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 ...
BillOnne's user avatar
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