# Tag Info

60

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 is theoretically possible to send waste now into the Sun. However, the primary issues encountered commonly with waste is economic and logistical. Waste is not ...

58

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, not a good way to hide. Do you have any idea how fast orbital velocity is? Low Earth orbit is about 17500 miles per hour. Imagine doing that while still ...

41

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 165 K; cold but not cold enough that you couldn't insulate it trivially. So in this region, pressure and temperature are not a major concern. At this altitude ...

38

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 some specific gas giant to use for examples. Feel free to look up the relevant data for any other gas giant, or come up with your own. For the case we are ...

34

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 Jupiter's immensely powerful magnetic field and form a plasma torus. The density of the plasma is higher close to and ahead of Io. Saturn is like a smaller Jupiter, ...

33

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. (The star is a similar size to our sun but I didn't check the brightness so I don't know for sure if it's in the habitable zone). You can explore the known ...

29

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 you explicitly said "Jupiter" and not the Jovian system, I will set aside the 67 moons or thousands of asteroids on the L4 and L5 trojan points. Jupiter has a ...

23

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. Most Helium on Earth is Helium-4 (two neutrons and two protons at its center)...on Earth it's a silly ratio of 99.999986% Helium 4. However Jupiter has a ...

19

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 Jupiter, when it first finished an initial phase of contraction, was quite high, at around 25000K. At this temperature, it would have a small habitable zone ...

18

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 the trash down and get it out of the planet's orbit, allowing it to fall into the atmosphere. As long as you have cheap and plentiful energy resources and ...

17

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 planet to its star. Since you haven't specified anything about the star itself, I'll go with our Sun for simplicity's sake. Also for simplicity's sake (or to retain ...

13

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 field and their own initial velocity, tend to collect in certain regions. The main source of charged particles in e.g. Earth's Van Allen belts is the solar ...

12

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 itself. The pressure is so great that the sphere begins nuclear fusion, and it beings to emit light. An accretion disk forms. The protostar begins to collect ...

12

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 because Saturn's a gas giant; it's because the spacecraft burned up upon entering Saturn's atmosphere. The same things happen with meteors, and would happen ...

11

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 from the surface area of the event horizon. Based on Wikipedia's 'crude analytic estimate', the equivalent temperature $T$ is given by \frac{\hbar c^3}{8\pi ...

11

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 orbital semi-major axis is 1.8 million km; so this gives a wide range of potential orbits for an Earth-sized planet. A planet larger than Jupiter, perhaps one ...

11

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 ago as a cheaper method of sending cargo to space. The main benefit against rockets is that, as most of the energy is provided by the mass driver, the ship won't ...

10

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 it has a large, massive, turbulent atmosphere that's constantly moving and changing. This means that its atmosphere undergoes differential rotation, a ...

10

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. Helium-3. Getting it out of Saturn's more shallow gravity well would be smarter, but if you're in the area anyway ...

10

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 molecular weight: $\mu=2.22$ Primary atmospheric constituents: H (89.8%), He (10.2%) In other words, if you want to float close to the surface, you're in a cold, ...

10

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 System, this reference plane is the the ecliptic, such that Earth's orbit is contained in this plane (and thus it has an inclination of zero). Most of the ...

10

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'll ignore the situation of putting the Moon at the L1 Lagrange Point, it wouldn't be in orbit around the planet, and L1 is not long-term stable): The Moon's ...

9

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 atoms reached escape velocity. Assuming your type-2 civilization started a fusion reaction, the fusion wouldn't continue unless they actively kept it going, ...

8

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" of radiant energy from its star. too close and it would be too hot; too far, too cold ("too hot" and "too cold" generally having the ...

8

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 like the Sun. Put your planet in orbit round it. Don't make it a moon of a gas giant, that gets complicated. Have an unusual feature: a large belt of fine dust ...

8

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 much unavoidable for the case of a large moon (even in systems with many moons, like Jupiter's Galilean satellites). It looks something like this: If you were ...

8

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 Jupiter. https://www.space.com/29248-jupiter-auroras-volcanic-moon-io.html Jupiter's auroras, which are sparked by particles from the planet's moons as well as ...

8

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 matter for its equator in bursts. The heavier elements don't travel as far and form the inner rocky planets. The lighter elements travel farther, forming the ...

8

What you've described is the most expensive way possible to rid a world of waste, but yes, it can be done. However, human nature (with regrettably rare exception) is to use the simplest, cheapest solution possible. So unless your story includes an explanation of either... Why it's cheaper and more efficient to ship waste to Saturn over, say, dumping it ...

7

Rigid-frame partially-vacuum airship So you are correct in saying that a helium or hydrogen blimp wouldn't work on a gas giant. However, if you can make a vacuum or near-vacuum, you'll have much better luck. Of course, the pressure pushing in on the balloon means you need a rigid shell. This is the concept of the vacuum airship. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

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