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DONUT PLANETS
Posted: Posted August 18th
Edited August 18th by Louis De Pointe du Lac



Ok lets talk about donut planets. This is a type of planet that has never been seen but is theoretically possible. If during the creation of a planet the colliding planetoids form a gravitational dance around each other in just the right way, they could coalesce into a toroid or donut shape instead of the usual sphere. Now this shape would be extremely delicate and since over the course of billions of years planets tend to get bombarded with asteroids and comets its not very likely (but not impossible) that one such shape would last long enough to grow into a planet.

BUT if one did this planets gravity would be weird to say the least. Picture something like our moon. Now instead of it going around our planet in a circle, picture it bobbing up and down through the hole in the middle of the planet. This is a theoretically possible orbital pattern for a donut planet. It could also orbit the donut in a figure 8 pattern. If a moon did go around the planet like our moon, then it wouldn't be a spherical orbit but more of a pair shaped orbit or rounded along the edges and a little widened in the middle where there's no matter and therefore no gravity to pull on it.

Now if you happened to live on the "hole" side of the donut planet then things would look similar to Halo. You'd actually see a vast (but rounded) landscape rising out of the horizon, soaring through the sky, arcing overhead, and then falling back into the horizon behind you. However if the donut planet is directly facing its sun at a horizontal angle, or an angle congruent with its rotation, then the inside of the hole would be an eternally dark frozen wasteland. But if that is not the case then it would be possible, depending on the angle of the donut relative to the sun to have two day times and two brief night times - with the sun rising and setting as well as eclipsing behind the opposite side of the donut ring.

As I said earlier donut planets, while possible, are highly unlikely. Their formation would be a 1 in a billion chance. But of course there's a lot more planets out in space than a billion. So maybe a few of them look like this.

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There are 6 Replies

haha wow it looks like He (capitalized because i'm referring to the Creator) went to jared's, the galleria of jewelry

Posted August 18th by poptart!

everybody get ready to do some crimes! it looks like the police officers of our community are gonna be occupied for awhile@!

Posted August 18th by poptart!

a clever The Simpsons joke



Posted August 18th by poptart!

But of course there's a lot more planets out in space than a billion. So maybe a few of them look like this.

Ca-n YOU give me an example of how a torus shaped planet would come țo fruition?

Posted August 19th by Brandy

Im Göring to pay YOU the complement ANd Say YOU know how planets are formed. Knowing this how îs this Even theoretticaly possible? ITS as possible as YOU Boeing able to walk on water

Posted August 19th by Brandy

Well from what I understand toroidal planets are a stalemate between two fundamental forces of physics - gravity and centrifugal force. The latter wants to throw things outward along the plane of its rotation while the other wants to crush everything into a central point. If during the formation of a planet there was a clump of planetoids spinning fast enough then gravity wouldn't be able to crush them into a point, but centrifugal force wouldn't be able to throw them off either. Thus both would have to settle for them getting crushed into a ring. Now planets form from rocky material crashing into each other into bigger and bigger clumps. This would mean the material would have to crash in such a way as to increase the centrifugal force steadily with the increasing gravitational pull, and without destroying the ring. Like I said 1 in a billion chance.

Depending on the rate of centrifugal force increase vs the rate of gravity increase, this could result in perfectly shaped donut planets, thick donut planets with a small hole, thin donut planets with a large hole, and ugly unevenly distributed donut planets with beady bulbs of landscape here and there.

Additionally once the heavier elements in the donut planet had a chance to sink towards the ring-core with the lighter elements rising towards the ring-surface, the planet would have a fairly stable enough structure for its spin to slow down some. Of course this is only the case for well-formed donut planets. The more fugly ones would need to maintain a faster spin to prevent from breaking apart.

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1974ApJ...190..675W

Here's a scientific journal on their formation.

ITS as possible as YOU Boeing able to walk on water

Two questions about that - how light is the gravity and how cold is the climate? ;)

Edited August 19th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
Louis De Pointe du Lac
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