Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Double Earth Planet System

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This Scenario has been playing around my head for some time. What would it be like if the moon turned out to have more mass, and developed life on its own?
Some scientists argue that our planet is a double planet because of the apparent size of the moon compared to its larger sister.
For this scenario to work, our moon would need at least half the size of the earth for it to hold its gases and water, even then, it'd be a tricky balancing act.
Lets just say the moon had 70% the mass of the earth, and a comparative iron core to stimulate magnetsim. We could assume that the chances of the moon supporting life would be great.
If the moon had such mass, then the barycenter of both earth and the moon would be beyond earth's diameter, and thus be a true binary planet. It would also be orbiting farther than our current moon due to the equilibrium of the two planets tugging on one another. Even today, our moon still moves further away from us until it reaches that equilibrium until no further gains are made.
Im certain that if this scenario ever took place, life as we know it would be different from what we currently have, but it is a fantastic scenario nonthe less.

If one planet developed intelligent life ahead of the other, then the intelligent beings (ie Humans) could colonize and populate the moon. It would be a relatively short trip (a couple of weeks) and no need to bring in massive amounts of provisions, given the abundance of resources there.
Ofcourse with our current technology, it'd still be a challenge since additional fuel would have to be shuttled to the moon in order for the explorers to make a return trip, or alternatively, just produce it on the moon from gathered resources.
Every voyage brings in inherent dangers: predatory animals could have evolved on the moon, and being eaten by them would be catastrophic.
Also, the thinner atmosphere might take some time to acclimatize to due to its lower gravity. Alot of variables exist, but wouldn't it be fantastic? I wouldn't mind living in such a world of wonder.