Total Posts:16|Showing Posts:1-16
Jump to topic:

Scenario: Earth as a gas giant's satellite.

Skynet
Posts: 674
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/6/2012 5:53:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
In sci-fi, much life as we know it thrives on terrestrial moons of gas giants. What I was wondering, is what would the challenges of life on such an earth be? What would the planetary system have to be like to have minimal interruption to life as we know it?

Scenario: Earth suddenly orbits a gas giant, which still orbits our sun.

How big would this new gas giant have to be?
How strong could it's magnetic field be to not bombard our non-polar regions with radiation?
How far/close would the orbit have to be from the planet
a) to maintain acceptable tides but not become tidally locked too soon?
b) to keep from alternately cooking and freezing as it went from the night to the day side of the planet? Would the orbit of the gas giant have to be different than the earth's current orbit?
What effect would planetary rings have on us?
What opportunities and hazards might earth being one of multiple moons present?
And anything else you care to mention.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
sadolite
Posts: 8,837
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/7/2012 12:18:27 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The reasons why this is not even worth imagining are to numerous.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
sadolite
Posts: 8,837
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/7/2012 12:30:40 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/7/2012 12:18:27 AM, sadolite wrote:
The reasons why this is not even worth imagining are to numerous.

OK I'll end that thought here and now, The magnetic feild and it's gravity holds in atmospher in place. The slightest chage in the magnetic feild and or gravity and the atmosphere would be ejected into space thus the end of all life. Mars has no atmosphere because it has a very small magnetic field and 1/6th the earths gravity. In order for there to be another planet to sustain any kind of life that exsists on earth larger than a one celled organism it would have to be a mirror image of earth with it's moon. As the moon combined with the sun dictates wheather and a number of other factors that make life possible on earth.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
Skynet
Posts: 674
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/7/2012 5:18:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Um, not sure where you're coming from. I'm not changing anything about the earth itself. I'm just putting it in orbit around a gas giant. I'm not changing the earth's atmosphere, or it's magnetic field.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
Skynet
Posts: 674
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/7/2012 5:20:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
....or it's size. I was thinking the tidal effect works on a moon as well as a planet, so this hypothetical gas giant would be making the tides.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
sadolite
Posts: 8,837
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/8/2012 8:52:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/7/2012 5:20:36 PM, Skynet wrote:
....or it's size. I was thinking the tidal effect works on a moon as well as a planet, so this hypothetical gas giant would be making the tides.

Um, the gas giants gravitational pull on an earth like planet would decimate its magnetic field thus, as I said before, causing the atmosphere to be ejected into space. You don't know much about gas giants do ya. The moons that orbit Jupiter change shape from round to egg shape as they orbit. The gravitational pull of a gas giant would cause massive earth quakes also, as all the land slides around on tectonic plates. The gravity of a gas giant would pull them all over the place smashing them into each other. Like I said earlier. The reasons to not even entertain the idea are so numerous it would take days just to list them all.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/8/2012 9:19:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Having a magnetic field is, indeed, an important part in Earth keeping its atmosphere. However, it would be a bit dramatic to say that slight fluctuations would result in Earth's atmosphere being ejected into space. Earth's magnetic field naturally fluctuates and has even reversed itself, with no ill effects on either the atmosphere or life.

Even then, we would gain some protection from the Gas giant itself. Firstly, whenever the gas giant is between the Earth and the Sun, the Gas giant would physically block solar winds (which is what would gradually erode our atmosphere away, sans magnetic field).

Secondly, we might very well benefit from being inside the influence of the Gas giant's magnetic field. The Sun is about 1,047 times the mass of Jupiter. Thus, to generate the same gravitational force between the Earth and Jupiter as is currently between the Earth and the Sun, we would have to be 32 times closer, or about 4,621,829 km. At it's shortest, Jupiter's magnetosphere extends over 7,000,000 km, so it's safe to say that we'd benefit from its protection.

All that said, the tidal forces would indeed wreak havoc on our planet. There would be unprecedented volcanic and seismic activity, spewing tons of ash into the air. This would blot out the sun, making the surface cold while, at the same time, making the underground warmer (due to the seismic activity). This is why we believe there may be life on Europa (one of Jupiter's moons). It is hypothesized that tidal forces keep the waters warm beneath the ice sheet, making conditions appropriate for microbial life.

Humans might survive by going underground, but any ecosystem capable of sustaining us would probably be destroyed, with us soon to follow.

If you enjoy such thought experiments, I highly recommend this book:
http://www.amazon.com...
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,731
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/8/2012 9:52:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Putting Earth around Jupiter would NOT work. But there could be planets capable of finding a good balance. Europa could very well turn out to be the first example. Imagine if chemical reactions to produce gas could be set off inside the planet for an internal atmosphere...
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
Skynet
Posts: 674
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/9/2012 12:23:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Yesh, sadolite, relax. I'm not that original. The idea has been entertained long before me in science fiction. I'm just wondering if it could come close to working. In Star Wars Yavin 4 and a moon of Endor in 2 of the movies are earth-like. I know, it's just Star Wars. But I'm just wondering.

As far as tidal forces, couldn't we orbit far enough away from the gas giant that they wouldn't be overly powerful?
I think Jupiter would be the worst choice for a model gas giant because of the amount of energetic particles that follow the magnetic lines of force. Every time we crossed one, it'd be a death ray crossing the earth. Ganymede has a magnetic field, but I've heard the surface radiation is still very high because it's too close to Jupiter.

I was thinking a giant more the size of Uranus or Neptune:
The weaker magnetic fields wouldn't concentrate so much radiation, and the tidal effects would be lower.
Can anyone tell me if the moons of Uranus orbit around it's equator, or if they go around on it's orbital plane?

One effect I just thought of, is when we would be on the sunward side of the planet, the night time would be very bright because of the sun's reflection off the giant's cloud cover, and the night would be very dark all the time for a few days when we were on the dark side. Solar eclipses would be far more common and have a bigger effect on climate, but would the bright nights on the opposite side even that out?
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
Skynet
Posts: 674
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/9/2012 6:08:49 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
To answer my own question, Uranus' moons do orbit "wrong" like it's rings. If the gas giant were on edge like that, the constant eclipses wouldn't be a climactic problem, but then the magnetic field of the giant would be all weird.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,731
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/9/2012 7:07:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I can see a great SimCity sequel in the making here... SimPlanet.

"Oh Noes!"

"What's that?"

"Every time I build a planet, somehow humans end up evolving and ruining everything!"
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
sadolite
Posts: 8,837
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/9/2012 10:20:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Make all the hypothetical rationalizations you want, it won't work.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,731
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/9/2012 11:09:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/9/2012 10:20:07 PM, sadolite wrote:
Make all the hypothetical rationalizations you want, it won't work.

He's right. We don't know what the % chance of an Earth-like planet is. One in a hundred? A million? A googol? Or perhaps this is the only instance of it in existence of any sort. We can say:

Large satellite: check
Habitable distance from star: check
Lots of water: check
etc.

But we don't know how long that list is. It could be incredibly long. It could also be a lot shorter than expected, but that seems unlikely.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/10/2012 6:38:09 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/9/2012 7:07:54 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
I can see a great SimCity sequel in the making here... SimPlanet.

http://en.wikipedia.org...


"Oh Noes!"

"What's that?"

"Every time I build a planet, somehow humans end up evolving and ruining everything!"
Skynet
Posts: 674
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/12/2012 6:12:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Ok. Maybe I should clear up WHY I put up this question in the first place.

I was from the outset, and still am, inclined to think that this scenario would NOT work. I think God, in his wisdom, made this planet, and us, the way we are for very good reasons. I don't know if such a place like Endor or Yavin 4 with thriving earth-like life forms is physically possible, but I am inclined to agree with sadolite that it is not.

However, places and things like Endor and Yavin 4 and Ringworld and the giant floating fortresses of George Orwell's 1984 and near light speed travel exist in our imaginations.

And sometimes, occasionally, some of us like to attempt to have a little fun with those things, and say, "what if..." the earth was bigger. What if Plato was right about Atlantis. What if people could read minds....could fly...the Axis won WWII...Hannibal succeeded in conquering Rome.

Thanks to everyone here who doesn't take this topic too seriously, and still has constructive, or at least entertaining input.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
Skynet
Posts: 674
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/12/2012 6:28:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Rob 1 bill,
You're right, we can't know for sure, and I doubt anyone here is a Ph.D., but we can make a list of factors we do know are necessary.

We need a tidal effect to keep the oceans oxyengenated, and I think with the proper distance from and size of gas giant, we could create similar tidal strength. If I'm wrong, could someone please "show your work" or give a logical case. If the earth was still spinning the same speed, tides would still change every 6 hours.

If the gas giant had a weak, or non-existent magnetic field, or we orbited far enough away, we wouldn't have to worry about it's version of VanAlan radiation belts.

If a gas giant were to have no magnetic field, would it have to be composed of mainly other gasses than H2, because technically, that's a metal, and liquid metal dynamos are what are theorized to create planetary magnetic fields. Would He be a workable substitute?

If it were mainly composed of He, that could be a boon for fusion research because of the potential huge source of He3 isotopes that close to earth.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.