Author Topic: Can this hypothetical star system work?  (Read 2496 times)

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Offline Yuu

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Can this hypothetical star system work?
« on: May 15, 2011, 06:22:27 pm »
I'm planning on making a star system, you see, and I wanted to know if the arrangement I made could actually hold out against real physics.



The system is basically a Sun-like star orbited by several gas giants, one of which has a large moon with life on it.


The first planet is a Saturn-like gas giant about 2 AU away from the star.

It has a highly visible and large set of icy [or rocky, in case 2 AU is far too close, I'm not sure] rings. Additionally, it has a single large moon wedged inside a gap between the ring's two halves.

Said moon also happens to be the one that bears life on its surface.

It is a tidally locked mostly-oceanic [9:1] world with a mass of 6 to 7 Earths. The atmosphere is supposedly thick enough to compensate for the planet's distance from the star as well as its position as a moon, though I'm not really sure just how thick it must be.

It has no axial tilt, possessing a mostly uniform climate on all latitudes. Altitude, rainshadows and other non-latitude based climates still exist, though.

Land is composed mostly of mountainous strips that are sprinkled about [though still with enough space to sustain advanced societies]. Additionally, there is supposed to be one continent on the planet-facing side, whose inland is basically a super-sized Atacama desert with another ring of mountains inside that keeps a self-contained rainforest from leaking outside [basically ocean>land>mountain>desert>mountain>rainforest].


The other gas planets are more or less just like the first one. What I want to know about them is how far must they be to not screw with the planet-moon system established so far.

Additionally, just how many additional gas giants can be added to this hypothetical star system?


That's basically it.



Any thoughts?



Offline Kitkat

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Re: Can this hypothetical star system work?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2011, 08:31:52 pm »
Gas giants have been found far closer to stars than Earth even, so don't worry there.

It doesn't need a thick atmosphere to be hot, think about Io orbiting Jupiter. The tidal forces on the moon are so strong that they mash the planet around, heating up so it has constant volcanic activity. SO you don't have to worry about habitability.

If you make the gas giant's distances around the intervals that they are in the Solar system, you should be okay!
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Offline UFO King

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Re: Can this hypothetical star system work?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2011, 08:38:23 pm »
Rocky rings sound more plausible. Other than that this looks pretty good. Seems like you did your homework for this one! Remember Hot Jupiters and how close they can get to stars, though. I think that the planet-facing side would get a bit less sun than the other half if it's tidally locked, and a thick cloud cover would obscure things even more. Any creatures down there would probably not be very reliant on vision if at all, so keep that in mind. The thicker a substance is, the faster sound travels through it, so hearing is a better idea for a primary sense. Oh, and any species would most likely be short and muscular due to the strong gravity. As for the number of gas giants, I think 2-5 sounds about right, but at large enough distances.
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Offline Yuu

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Re: Can this hypothetical star system work?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 04:56:34 pm »
Thanks guys!   :)

Some time this week, I'll try and post a diagram to show things more precisely.

Also, I was planning on a creature that uses primarily vision, with explorers from the non-planet facing side getting quite a shock from the Jovian when they reach the other side. How should I tweak the atmosphere to make this viable?


It doesn't need a thick atmosphere to be hot, think about Io orbiting Jupiter. The tidal forces on the moon are so strong that they mash the planet around, heating up so it has constant volcanic activity. SO you don't have to worry about habitability.

Isn't Io volcanically active because of the other moons' resonance preventing it from forming a circular orbit, though?   ???

This particular moon's Jovian doesn't have other moons, and the planet has "an almost circular that it's practically negligible" orbit.   :-\


If you make the gas giant's distances around the intervals that they are in the Solar system, you should be okay!

Yay!
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 04:59:19 pm by Yuu »

Offline UFO King

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Re: Can this hypothetical star system work?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 06:54:35 pm »
Just thin the atmosphere; I think that'll work. And a gas giant with only one moon sounds rather implausible.
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Offline Yuu

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Re: Can this hypothetical star system work?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2011, 08:03:51 pm »
Just thin the atmosphere; I think that'll work.

I guess so.


And a gas giant with only one moon sounds rather implausible.

Indeed, I've been having some doubts about that too.

You think adding in several Tethys or so massed moons wouldn't mess with the habitable moon too much?

Offline UFO King

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Re: Can this hypothetical star system work?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 08:16:35 pm »
Not really. Look how Europa and Titan are faring.
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Offline Yuu

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Re: Can this hypothetical star system work?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 08:25:40 pm »
Good point.   :)