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Crash Mercury into Venus

Give Venus a moon, better spin, and magnetic field.
  (+7, -5)
(+7, -5)
  [vote for,

Take the planet Mercury, crash it into Venus at just the right angle so that the ejecta forms a single large moon. We will also want to cause a more habitable spin for the resulting Neo- Venus, and a molten iron core so it has a nice magnetic field. The correct angle and velocity required can be determined by computer simulation.

[edit] A realistic method for moving the orbit of a planet is to gradually add (or remove) energy from the planet's orbit using a large number of asteroid flybys. I believe this has already been seriously proposed as a method for moving Earth farther out from the gradually heating Sun over the next 500 million years, but I can't find a link at the moment.

JakePatterson, Sep 06 2004

This is probably how Earth's moon formed http://www.spacedai...news/lunar-01d.html
[JakePatterson, Oct 04 2004]


       Hang on a moment. Are you planning to use mercury as a new core for venus?
RobertKidney, Sep 06 2004

       I suppose we're going to do this by harnessing the power of vampires?
RayfordSteele, Sep 06 2004

       RK: The moon would be formed from the ejecta from the collision, which would be mostly material from the outer layers of Mercury and Venus. The energy from the collision would also melt both planets, and as the Neo-Venus cools its crust would solidify, but it would maintain a molten iron core for a long time, just as Earth has.
JakePatterson, Sep 06 2004

       To be sure, it wouldn't be habitable for a while, but if we follow up by crashing a substantial number of icy bodies from the Oort Cloud into it we might be able to get it to a habitible stage before the Sun goes all red giant on our asses. Oh, and moving Mercury would be good practice for when we have to move Earth out of the way of the expanding Sun.
JakePatterson, Sep 06 2004

       Right, I think I get you now. The new moltern core is just some of old venus heated up. And mercury survives in some form. Right?   

       In that case, could we then catch mercury, and put it somewhere near earth? The raw materials that could be mined would be quite valuable.
RobertKidney, Sep 06 2004

       If you're going to start playing solar marbles, I think rearranging the asteroids would be a better bet. Mercury will be too useful a platform for studying the sun.
DrCurry, Sep 06 2004

       And testing high-factor sun creams.
spiritualized, Sep 06 2004

       you could use my mars moving method to get it there
schematics, Sep 06 2004

       [RK]: Mercury would be good and gone, but it could result in an increase in mass of Venus from four fifths that of Earth to about the same, plus the creation of a large moon which would help stablize Venus's rotation.   

       [DC]: I am talking about long timespans here, there would be plenty of time (like, a million years) to use Mercury as a platform for studying the sun before it would be crashed into Venus. The sun is getting hotter, and if we do nothing our oceans will be boiled off into space within 500 million years, so if we want to stick around this solar system we had better figure out how to move planets around well before then. We could move Mars into a long orbit around Jupiter, and for bonus points the plane of its new Jovian orbit should be perpendicular to the plane of its present Solar orbit. While we are doing that, we could be gradually moving the orbits of Earth and Neo-Venus farther from the sun.   

       [schematics] I took the liberty of annotating your idea with a more realistic method for moving planets, which I will add to the body of this idea as soon as I click OK on this annotation...
JakePatterson, Sep 07 2004

       PLEASE . . .I beg you!: Don't do anything to Mercury until after NASA's Messenger mission is completed in 2013 or so. I have plans for that planet. . .
Moonguy, May 16 2008

       Ummm.... If you're going to cool Venus off with bodies from the OOrt cloud, why don't you just send them into the planet at an angle, and use them to alter the rotation of Venus. A lot of little changes will be easier to correct mistakes on than one big one.   

       Besides, we're still grieving the loss of Pluto from our planetary list. No need to cause another tragedy. The astrologers will go nuts!
ye_river_xiv, May 17 2008

       //The astrologers will go nuts!// Just for that, [+].
pertinax, May 17 2008

       //If you're going to cool Venus off with bodies from the OOrt cloud, why don't you just send them into the planet at an angle, and use them to alter the rotation of Venus.//

The posted idea is much better. You only need one asteroid to transfer momentum from Jupiter to Mercury, and you do this millions of times. You can only add linear momentum this way, not angular, so that's the point of moving Mercury out to smash into Venus. Getting enough comets out of the Oort cloud to directly change the rotation of Venus would be far more difficult.
ldischler, May 17 2008

       Why don't we put all the planets, and the major asteroids, into the same orbit as Earth? Then they'd all the right temperature to live on and we'd solve the population crisis.
phundug, May 18 2008

       Population crisis? Did someone start a crisis without telling me? I'm really hurt. . .
Moonguy, May 20 2008

       Why is it important to give Venus a moon? If you want to speed up Venus' rotation rate, first find a rate we can live with - something closer to the 24-hour spin we all know and love but easier to attain. Then, build two very tall towers (carbon nano-tube structures derived from Venus' atmosphere would be my choice for material) on directly opposite sides of the planet. Each tower would siphon atmosphere from the bottom and eject it at altitude, causing an accelerating effect. It would be a miniscule effect, but it builds up with time. Still, the overall effect is less traumatic than colliding asteroids and/or planets on to a planet that has already seen more than enough abuse.
Moonguy, May 20 2008

       I understand your point. If we want to terraform Venus, we may have to give it a moon like ours by knocking a nearby small planet (Mercury) into it much like the Earth's might have been made. I've seen that science channel show "what if we had no moon?" that presented all the benefits of having a natural sattelite, from catching metorites to helping generate a magnetic filed. Venus may need such stuff if it's going to be habitable.
the great unknown, May 22 2008

       What's so great about planets? I know we have one and it's the best one, but is that the best way? Seems like a lot of mass for the amount of living space and you are left with no easy exit. Ring worlds seem even more dangerous, but maybe one with some natural gravity and some added with spin.
MisterQED, May 22 2008

       Why planets? Large-scale civilizations need large-scale resources to function. In an age of 'reduce, reuse, recycle' we often forget that growth requires that new resources be available at costs that do not inspire sticker shock.   

       What I do not understand is why we want to treat Mercury as if it is somehow has nothing to offer but mass for use in ATTEMPTING to give Venus an Earth-like environment. Suppose we make the attempt and it does not work? We lose a whole planet - and everything it has to offer - without gainfully changing Venus.
Moonguy, May 22 2008

       but why do the large scale resources have to be spherical? If we progress to the point where we can move planets, I'm just wondering if we can then look at a different configuration of land mass. A ring world would give you lots more usable land and an easy way to come and go.
MisterQED, May 22 2008

       //easy way to come and go// Go where? You've taken all the planets and converted them into a ring! There are subtle issues at work here: humans are used to a world that is mysterious because we constantly discover things we did not know about. Constructed worlds (rings, cylinders, spheres and, yes, glass-encased asteroids) are all about limitations - just so many square kilometers, metric tonnes, cubic meters etc. Natural planets are also limited in the geometric sense, but they are able to provide inhabitants with a sense of open-endedness that I doubt could ever be manufactured.
Moonguy, May 22 2008


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