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 Post subject: If Earth Had Rings (and other Sci Fi concepts)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:59 pm 
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So I saw this article posted on Facebook and had to share it, because it's already helped me consider how planetary rings would affect their populace, and what the required arrangement of satellites and binaries would have to be for them to form.

So, I'm figuring this could be a Sci Fi concept discussion and development thread, free to all forumites.

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 Post subject: Re: If Earth Had Rings (and other Sci Fi concepts)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:38 am 
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Interesting question. Life on Earth would be vastly different without the moon, however, if it would even exist at all.

Obviously there's the moon's influence on the Earth's gravitational field and the tides, as well as the calendar. All of which are much more substantial to life as we know it than a person might initially be inclined to think. But I'd like to point out one other thing.

See all those craters peppered over the Moon's surface, many of which are easily large enough to be seen with the naked eye, from Earth?

Each of those is something that didn't hit our planet, because it was instead pulled into the Moon's orbit.

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 Post subject: Re: If Earth Had Rings (and other Sci Fi concepts)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:05 am 
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Well, see, that's assuming that the moon didn't form, when, if the earth had rings it'd be entirely possible that another moon existed and was torn apart into said rings. I think the article itself assumes that the moon would still exist. I thought about this mainly in looking at Ax and Crethia, to determine that Ax would always be lit fairly well. Ax's rings would keep the planet lit during its night by reflecting light, with the darkest possible being during an eclipse by Crethia, which would shadow the rings. Crethia would itself reflect a lot of light back at Ax, and likewise, and so would the moons. Aluthar tend to sleep on their own schedule, as a result, without light playing a role: their midnight is more akin to our twilight.

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 Post subject: Re: If Earth Had Rings (and other Sci Fi concepts)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:14 am 
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Hmmm. I see, I guess I misunderstood the point of the article.

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 Post subject: Re: If Earth Had Rings (and other Sci Fi concepts)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:54 am 
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Yeah, but I mean, the point that the article assumes is just one possibility from a hell of a lot of them, so it's certainly possible that if Earth had rings but no moon it'd be a lot more scarred, or that we'd see a lot more extinction events, or even both, and it's good to think about that, because that's why I posted it here: to promote thought. What if a planet had rings, but no moon, and suffered impact events quite often? Not severe enough to destroy it, but enough that other species grew to despise the rings, particularly if they managed to evolve far enough to become scientific creatures and deduce that a moon would protect them. What if it were a moon with rings that itself orbited, say, a gas giant, whose immense gravity caused huge tectonic activity? Enough that smoke was constantly belched into the air, and the rings, by blocking light from a significant portion of the planet (say it had an angle that meant there was the night side but then also a hemisphere kept dark at all times by the rings) made it possible to actually live on the planet. Imagine, conversely, a very distant planet, where the rings reflected enough light back in that the planet could be lived upon, despite being very cold and with no tropical areas.

Then imagine, instead of rings, there was a huge moon whose effect on the planet's tides were astronomical. It orbited slowly, but the tides it bought were basically a tsunami. That's where I start, and then I go and do a bit of research, and try and find something that I can work with that isn't also stupid.

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