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Moon Heaters

Apparently, alternating gravitational pulls can trigger frictional heating.
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
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This is another idea in the realm of galactic engineering.

"How a moon that hangs in the frigid depths of the solar system could keep water in a liquid state is not much of a mystery. Too small to have a molten core and too far from the sun to feel even a flicker of its heat, Enceladus does have other moons — principally outlying Tethys and Dione — orbiting nearby. Each time those moons pass, they give Enceladus a gravitational tug, which causes it to flex slightly. Do that enough times — and the 4 billion years the solar system has been around is more than enough — and the pulsing moon heats up in much the way a wire hanger does if you bend it repeatedly back and forth. That explains both why the water stays liquid and why it's repeatedly squeezed up through cracks and into space, where it flash-freezes into icy mist."

This is from an article about Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons that apparently has nutrient rich water and plumes of ice crystals jetting into deep space.

The idea is to orbit very massive spheres around otherwise icy and uneventful moons in the hopes of triggering aqueous biological reactions. The spheres can be mined from useless nearby planets.

daseva, Jun 30 2009

More about this interesting moon. http://www.time.com...238,00.html?cnn=yes
[daseva, Jun 30 2009]

(?) This "nearby useless planet" was once mined to produce a moon http://thehostess.f...arth-from-space.gif
[normzone, Jun 30 2009]


       So you would expend horrible amounts of energy to put moons into orbit around other moons, where the only purpose is to sloppily meter out that energy via tidal interactions?
ldischler, Jun 30 2009

       If by 'sloppily' you mean 'potentially capable of generating life', then yes. This should, imho, be one of the biggest arenas in the realm of future space exploration/engineering: exploiting natural phenomena to make foreign bodies more better for living/generating life.
daseva, Jun 30 2009

       No, by "sloppily" I mean that you wouldn't have any control over where you put the heat, as opposed to just putting heaters into the crust and bypassing putting the energy into moonlets.
ldischler, Jun 30 2009

       I'm not opposed to futher suggestions, but I think actually you might want some tidal action for other reasons, too. Throwing a few space heaters under the ice isn't going to provide proper mixing, for example.
daseva, Jun 30 2009

       The most economical way to create a moonlet is to tweak some enormous thing out of the Oort cloud into a collision course with Enceladus. If you do it right, you could create a moon in the same way our own moon was created.
ldischler, Jun 30 2009

       A fine idea [Idischler], I'd like to incorporate that on other moons, perhaps. Saturn has like 58 moons, it could be a good place to practice.
daseva, Jun 30 2009

       Have we discovered any moons which already have moons orbiting them?   

       It's true. The heating phenomena isn't formed from moonlets but simply nearby moons.
daseva, Jun 30 2009

       ''Have we discovered any moons which already have moons orbiting them?''   

       A moon can have a moon if it orbits within the Hill sphere, but I don't know of any in the solar system.
ldischler, Jun 30 2009

       We do, but we're not telling.   

       If you want to heat up a moon, use a forced quantum singularity. It's quick, it's cheap, and it's ever so much fun to watch.
8th of 7, Jun 30 2009

       Very cool. Thank you.
L4 and L5 are kind of hard to wrap my head around but I think I get it.

       Last question on the subject; is there any way to even tell if there is an object at Earth's L3 orbit without sending a craft out there? Gravity pertubarions maybe?   

       Earth has an off-center elliptical orbit: L3 along the ellipse is probably visible at some point during the year(?).   

       [edit] I'm an idiot, nevermind.
FlyingToaster, Jul 01 2009

       Pertubaryons, shirley?
daseva, Jul 01 2009

       My place has two cats, a trombone, and a bugle, but nary a lion nor tuba, so I guess its urbanity is undefined.
spidermother, Jul 01 2009

       <just when he thought it was safe to stop using a spell checker...>   

       3 cats nobody will admit to ownership of, a synthesizer, hammond organ and rhodes piano all in various states of repair/reassembly = ?
FlyingToaster, Jul 01 2009

       [SpiderMother], you can use these figures:   

       .0045 Lion/Bugle
.0100 Lion/Houscat
.3125 Tuba/Trombone

       Which clocks you in at a solid .0464 Lions/Tuba. For reference, the average household in New York City has .071 LPT, and in 1972 one gentleman got arrested by setting the world record and living for a year in a place with five real lions and a harmonica, until one day he played "love is strong" off key and they ate him.   

       And I'm a little more shaky on yours [FT], but you're definitely stacking on your denominator. The fact that the cats are homeless helps, though.
daseva, Jul 01 2009

       DX-5, had a Matrix-12 too but traded it for a car (and yes first thing every morning I do kick myself).   

       cat's aren't actually homeless, they do live here. But if I included the couple strays that wander in and out I'd probably have to include the raccoon too.
FlyingToaster, Jul 01 2009

       heheh, the thought of 3 mx1000's in a mix just made my hair stand on end; I rented one a decade or two ago for an industrial track; really nasty sound (in a good way), how's it mix with the M/P ?   

       DX probably going to Craigslist, same thing, hate to see it go to waste, but cranked right up fine last time I pulled it out of the flightcase 5(?) years ago.
FlyingToaster, Jul 01 2009

       huh!... they sound sweeter than I recall; mostly I used the 'raw electronic' patches for basslines and heavily effected random lfo stuff for ambient. That's a guitar controller on the VL ? sounds like a keyboard.
FlyingToaster, Jul 02 2009

       Sounds pretty good, [IT]. Fit for a lounge bar on a habitable moon, perhaps?   

       Nah... forget it, ya'll keep goin'.
daseva, Jul 02 2009

       For some reason I keep misreading this as 'mean hooters'
kindachewy, Jul 02 2009


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