Earth-Like Exo-Moons Can Lurk Well Beyond Planetary Habitable Zones, Say Astronomers
Digital rendering of a hypothetical earth-like extra-solar moon in orbit around a Jupiter-like planet.
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“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”
Since: Mar 07
#1 May 1, 2013
That Pandora phenomenon again...
The best way is a moon of a gas giant in the life zone where the gas giant has an inclined axis preventing tidal bumping of the satellites into the gas giant. This has in fact happened @ Jupiter (no inclination) but has NOT happened @ Saturn (strong inclination).
Saturn is incidentally a feature of tidal bumping in microcosm. The disc master satellite Titan has "bumped" all the inner satellites inward toward saturn where the closest is now inside the roche limit & has produced some spectacular rings. Titan as a result of the same tidal "bump" has drifted outward from its initial position and will relatively soon collide with Hyperion.
For a "Pandora" type moon to exist for a long time in the lifezone, it must be a "disc master" satellite circling a gas giant planet with an inclined axis. A considerable drift outward into the "comet" zone of irregular satellites will eventually produce a satellite orbit inclining itself toward the ecliptic plane of the gas giant orbit. By then the bulk of the satellites inward of the disc master would be history.
A disc master satellite is likely to result from... a: a major collision between 2 planets (resulting in a hot gas giant & a disc)
b: a sweep up of a thick dust ring in trojan orbit into the satellite system late in the history of the planet's formation where a thick dust cloud forms around the planet & its inclined rotational axis (lots of dust on the outskirts).
Have a nice day: Ag
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