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Old 08-20-2011, 09:10 PM   #1
isf
 
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Default Planetary Romance and the outer planets

Under the theory that the planets got older as you went out from the Sun, how do the outer planets like Jupiter and Saturn fit into this scheme?

For the Steampunk Mars game that I'm running; I think that I am going to have them be the cthulhu like planets with enigmatic aliens and things that are weird (like DnD's Abberrations- Illithids, Beholders; or the Mi-go from the Mythos). I'm open to any other suggestions or ideas.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:19 PM   #2
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Under the theory that the planets got older as you went out from the Sun, how do the outer planets like Jupiter and Saturn fit into this scheme?
Really they don't. Even in the 19th century people could see that they were a different sort of celestial object. You have Asteroids (really old, blew up like Krypton), Mars (old and dying), Earth (coming into its prime), Venus (primitive and savage), and Mercury (barely starting to cool enough to have the possibility of life).

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Old 08-20-2011, 09:55 PM   #3
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Really they don't. Even in the 19th century people could see that they were a different sort of celestial object. You have Asteroids (really old, blew up like Krypton), Mars (old and dying), Earth (coming into its prime), Venus (primitive and savage), and Mercury (barely starting to cool enough to have the possibility of life).

Bill Stoddard
That would explain why my google-fu failed me :). I was hoping for some strange theories or speculation that I had missed.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:58 PM   #4
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That would explain why my google-fu failed me :). I was hoping for some strange theories or speculation that I had missed.
Actually, if you take a look at Other Worlds, by Garrett Serviss (available via Project Gutenberg), you will find a really strange and cool theory:

Now, the history of the solar system, according to the nebular hypothesis, is a history of cooling and condensation. The sun, a thousand times larger than Jupiter, has not yet sufficiently cooled and contracted to become incrusted, except with a shell of incandescent metallic clouds; Jupiter, a thousand times smaller than the sun, has cooled and contracted until it is but slightly, if at all, incandescent at its surface, while its thickening shell, although still composed of vapor and smoke, and still probably hot, has grown so dense that it entirely cuts off the luminous radiation from within; the earth, to carry the comparison one step further, being more than a thousand times smaller than Jupiter, has progressed so far in the process of cooling that its original shell of vapor has given place to one of solid rock.

A sudden outburst of light from Jupiter, such as occurs occasionally in a star that is losing its radiance through the condensation of absorbing vapors around it, would furnish strong corroboration of the theory that Jupiter is really an extinguished sun which is now on the way to become a planet in the terrestrial sense.


(Serviss, by the way, more or less created the edisonade in 1898 with his novel Edison's Conquest of Mars, an unauthorized sequel to The War of the Worlds.)

How cool is that? Not a cold Jupiter, but a hot Jupiter, not yet cooled to solidity, though sufficiently cooled to be no longer luminous. And possibly with life-bearing satellites.

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Old 08-21-2011, 12:41 AM   #5
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Actually, if you take a look at Other Worlds, by Garrett Serviss (available via Project Gutenberg), you will find a really strange and cool theory:
I'm reading this now. They have a couple of his works at Gutenberg; I'll have to read the rest.

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(Serviss, by the way, more or less created the edisonade in 1898 with his novel Edison's Conquest of Mars, an unauthorized sequel to The War of the Worlds.)
I had read this earlier this year but did not think to look for any other works by him.

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How cool is that? Not a cold Jupiter, but a hot Jupiter, not yet cooled to solidity, though sufficiently cooled to be no longer luminous. And possibly with life-bearing satellites.

Bill Stoddard
I'll have to ponder that for a bit; the game is set on Mars but I want a better idea of the history and scope of the background.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Planetary Romance and the outer planets

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How cool is that? Not a cold Jupiter, but a hot Jupiter, not yet cooled to solidity, though sufficiently cooled to be no longer luminous. And possibly with life-bearing satellites.
Bill Stoddard
Since the outer planets are much older and the gas giants have all cooled enough to mostly stop producing light; any ancient civilizations on them have had to deal with their local sun going dim or out entirely?

Do I have this nebular theory correct?
1 Nebula starts contracting and cooling off leaving rings.
2 The rings cool off and form planets
3. the planets go from suns to gas giants to rocky bodies through cooling and contracting (the differences being size and age)
4. planets may cool and contract enough to explode like the fifth planet

Having read some his other stuff; it is interesting on what they got right and what was spectacularly wrong; dismissing the idea that craters on the Moon and Mars could be meteoric and instead are seen to be volcanic, firmly considering the canals on Mars as confirmed fact, and others.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:06 PM   #7
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Do I have this nebular theory correct?
1 Nebula starts contracting and cooling off leaving rings.
2 The rings cool off and form planets
3. the planets go from suns to gas giants to rocky bodies through cooling and contracting (the differences being size and age)
4. planets may cool and contract enough to explode like the fifth planet
The quote Bill found introduces size and Laplacian contraction into the mix. This means large planets cool slowly while small ones cool quickly.

So for any planet somewhere between your stage 2 and 3 there is an incandescent gas phase (like the Sun) to a dark gas body phase (Gas giant) to a warmish (internal heat) solid matter phase. This would proceed to a cold rock phase with an airless/watrterless condition.

Mercury would have cooled the quickest but started the latest. Jupiter would ahve started before Mars but Mars would have cooled far faster so unde trthis theory Mars is much "older" in geological terms than Jupiter. Mars is also much older geologically than Earth and might easily be moving out of an internal heat phase to cold rock.

The exitence of the Moon is a problem for nebular cooling theroy. Double planets would not hapen naturally and indeed modern theories of the Moon's formation are decidely catastrophic.

I do not believe your stage 4 is inherent in the process. It would stop at the cold solid stage. Even as late as the early 60s SF writers were having the lost fifth plaent be destroyed by various cosmic catastrophes such as the actions of Valentine Michael Smith's elder Martians.

It is only sometime in the mid-60s that everyone gave up and had the initial formation of any planet between Mars and Jupiter be aborted by Jupiter's gravity.

The Galilean moons of Jupiter have much the same problem as Earth's Moon. They obviously came from somewhere else and being small should be geologically old, all other things being equal. All planetary moons would probably have to be captured in this theory.

That measn the earlier you are and the fewer moons you have to explain, the better.

A key actor is elapsed time. The 1700s mathematician Rene LaPlace deduced that the source of the Sun's energy could be explained by the Sun shriking 1 mile per year. This would mean that he Sun had only 400,000 years left. Beign a million times smaller than the Sun the Earth would have contracted and cooled in only a handful of years.

So an important thing to remember si not to look too closely or apply to many modern numbers to this theory. It will not hold up well.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Planetary Romance and the outer planets

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Do I have this nebular theory correct?
1 Nebula starts contracting and cooling off leaving rings.
2 The rings cool off and form planets
3. the planets go from suns to gas giants to rocky bodies through cooling and contracting (the differences being size and age)
4. planets may cool and contract enough to explode like the fifth planet
That's the way I understand it. In effect he's sort of regarding the gas giants as a kind of "brown dwarfs." Of course when he wrote that they didn't really know about fusion and assumed that the heat of a celestial body came entirely from the conversion of potential to kinetic (thermal) energy during gravitational collapse.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Planetary Romance and the outer planets

read Lin Carters planetary romances set on Callisto. To be perfectly honest the Moons of the outer planets make a better setting for Planetary Romance.
One could even make the multiple settings for various moons and have your Victorian or Even Atomic Horror characters move about them in their Aether Flyers. With Jupiter or Saturn taking up as much as 25% of the sky that would be a spectacular backdrop for derring-do.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Planetary Romance and the outer planets

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or the Mi-go from the Mythos.
Yuggoth is Pluto
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