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A habitable two-"star" "Solar" system - Gtx0 ?>


A habitable two-"star" "Solar" system
Posted: Posted December 3rd, 2008 by chiarizio
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Imagine a star like the Sun, orbited at about 1 AU by a planet like
the Earth which has a satellite like the Moon; and also at 5.2 AU by
a planet like Jupiter.

Now imagine it also has a companion star with about 1/30 of the mass
orbiting at about 26 AU. That's closer than Neptune. If the Sun had
had such a companion Neptune would never have formed; Uranus probably
wouldn't have formed; FAIK Saturn might not have formed. Would
Jupiter have formed?

According to at least one source, to be called "a star" it has to
have a mass of at least 1/20 a Solar mass; so this companion would be
a rather heavyish "brown dwarf" instead of a "star". Jupiter is
about 1/1047 of a Solar mass (maybe it shouldn't be that precise?),
so this companion would be about 35 times as massive as
Jupiter; "brown dwarfs" start at about 10 time the mass of Jupiter,
so this companion would be at least about 3.5 times as heavy as the
lightest "brown dwarfs", but about 2/3 as heavy as the
lightest "star".

That means that it would look like a glowing red object. ("red
dwarfs" look white, not red).

Would it outshine the alt.Moon, as seen from the alt.Earth? (I don't
know which way to bet.)
Would it look bigger than the alt.Moon as seen from the alt.Earth?
(I'm betting "no".)
Would it appear as a disk or as a point? It would probably look
pointlike if it subtends less than half a minute of arc, and disklike
if it subtends more than half a minute of arc.
What would be it's actual radius?

------------------

More important, really:
How would it affect life on the alt.Earth? How would it affect
culture? How would it affect navigation? (etc.).

There are 9 Replies

First question that comes to my mind is: would it screw up the orbits of all the planets?
Might need to run a simulation.

Posted December 3rd, 2008 by Leo
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Leo
 

First question that comes to my mind is: would it screw up the orbits of all the planets?
Might need to run a simulation.
It's 26 AU away from the "Sun", and "Jupiter" is 5.2 AU away from the "Sun", so it's five times further away than Jupiter; plus it's only 1/30 the mass of the Sun (35 times as massive as Jupiter). So, I don't think it would screw up the orbits of the planets Jupiter, Mars, Earth, Venus, or Mercury.
My bet is that it would prevent Neptune from forming at all, or break it up, or kick it out, or kick it in.
It could prevent Uranus from forming, making it another, outer, "asteroid belt".
I don't know what it would do to Saturn.

Posted December 4th, 2008 by chiarizio
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Oops, that's right, it's gravitational influence to the Earth2 will be only slightly stronger than that of Jupiter2 to the Earth2.
Little is known of stellar system formation, could the presence of such a big chunk of matter there have caused weird changes to the overall dynamics of the system at the beginning?
As for the cultural influence, would it be the King of the 'wandering stars'? The enemy brother of the Sun2, waiting to rise the army of the gods against him?

Posted December 4th, 2008 by Leo
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Leo
 


As for the cultural influence, would it be the King of the 'wandering stars'? The enemy brother of the Sun2, waiting to rise the army of the gods against him?


Possibly both. However I have no clue what it would look like and it would probably add heat to Earth2's biosphere, even if not as much as the Sun2. So I wonder how much warmer Earth2 would be?

Posted December 4th, 2008 by bloodb4roses
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On another forum some of my questions were answered, or, at least, I got some good bets.

Put it at 30.1 AU and it's the same distance from the Sun as Neptune. Possibly Neptune could then be in an L4 or L5 position relative to the brown-dwarf companion. (Though odds are Neptune wouldn't have formed at all; perhaps it would have become some "Trojan asteroids"?)

I don't know what it's diameter would be, but, if it were about 3.3 times the diameter of Jupiter (a big "if"), its "apparent diameter" would be about 3/5 the "apparent diameter" of Jupiter. As far as I know, Venus is the only planet that appears as a disk to the naked eye as seen from the Earth; so the brown dwarf companion would also have to be seen as a point.

If its diameter were about 32% of the diameter of the Sun (a different "big if"), its "apparent diameter" would be about 1.07% the "apparent diameter" of the Moon or of the Sun. I'm pretty sure that would still make it just a point.

However, it's "year" would be the same as Neptune's year *here*; between about 163 and about 165 Earth years.

It would be the second-brightest object in the sky; it would be the third-most-important-looking object after the Sun and the Moon.

I don't see how it could affect Earth biology "much"; nor could it affect navigation; but surely there would be stories about it. During some parts of Earth's "year" it would be visible during daylight, even when it appeared to be close to the Sun, for most of the day; during the other parts, it would be the brightest star in the night sky, even when it appeared to be close to the Moon, for most of the night.

Also, once there was a civilization which kept its own history, folks would notice its period was 163.75 or whatever years.

I wonder how many of the stories would be affected by its color? It would appear to be a bright, glowing red. ("brown dwarves" look red; "red dwarves" look white.)

How much heat it would provide is a good question. When the Earth is between the Sun and its companion, nights would be warmer; when the Sun is between the Earth and its companion, days would be warmer (though not by as much) and nights wouldn't be warmer. Could this either moderate or exaggerate the seasons?

I still think it would break Uranus up into an additional asteroid belt. I still don't know what it would do to Saturn.

And a lot of that is still guessing.

As for the cultural influence, would it be the King of the 'wandering stars'? The enemy brother of the Sun2, waiting to rise the army of the gods against him?
The only differences an Earth-bound observer could detect between the brown-dwarf companion and any other visible planet are; it has a longer period than any of them, and it shines with its own visible light instead of reflected light.
So, in a way, it would be the "king of the planets", just as you said.
I don't see, though, why they would classify it with the sun and the moon, rather than as the most special planet; maybe they would if it gave enough light to read by during the night?
My own thinking is that it could be a drop of the Sun's blood from some time in the past when the Sun suffered a (minor? at any rate non-fatal) wound (since healed?).

Possibly both. However I have no clue what it would look like and it would probably add heat to Earth2's biosphere, even if not as much as the Sun2. So I wonder how much warmer Earth2 would be?
I like these questions but I don't have answers; (at least not yet).
Can anyone shed light on these questions?

Thanks. :)

Posted December 4th, 2008 by chiarizio
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Possibly both. However I have no clue what it would look like and it would probably add heat to Earth2's biosphere, even if not as much as the Sun2. So I wonder how much warmer Earth2 would be?


You could pull a Sirius mythos and attribute the "dog days of summer" to it, perhaps, although one wonders after how many years the cycle would get off since it's orbiting a primary instead of merely traveling through space at a distance (as Sirius is).

Posted October 16th, 2009 by Linguifex
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As for the cultural influence, would it be the King of the 'wandering stars'? The enemy brother of the Sun2, waiting to rise the army of the gods against him?


Something like this is where I was going in the thread on stellar masses a few weeks back. I have it written up, but I didn't post it because I didn't much like it. Based on old thoughts I had back in the day when I first dreampt it up.

Maybe I'll post it here later.

Posted October 19th, 2009 by Xuanzang
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Thanks, Xuanzang, Rorschach, Kinetiq, and bloodb4roses, for reviving this thread and injecting new ideas into it.
I want to make a better response but I'm already 12 minutes overtime so it'll have to be tomorrow.

Posted October 19th, 2009 by chiarizio
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Bump

Posted March 23rd by chiarizio
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