If the Moon were replaced with some of our planets.
Special Thanks to: Yeti Dynamics for his great Project
This is a visualization of what it might be like if the Moon was replaced with some of the other planets at the same distance as our moon
In order show:
Mercury is intentionally left off as it isn't Much bigger than our Moon (and hence is boring)
Everything is correctly scaled. The Axial tilts are not particularly accurate.
the moon that flies in front of Saturn is Tethys. It is Tiny. but *very* close
Dione would be on a collision course, it's orbital distance from Saturn is Nearly identical to our Moon's orbit around Earth
Titan, which is Larger than our Moon, is outside the orbit of Dione
on Jupiter, you might be able to make out the 4 big moons, They all have orbits larger than our moons orbit. but I stuck them on the far side of jupiter so that they could be seen so it looks as if they are closer (to Jupiter) than they really are.
Video creation method
I created an Earth Moon system in 3dsmax, with accurate sizes and accurate orbital distances.. I than matched video of the real Moon with my video camera, against my model. I also researched the correct FOV of my video camera. I used both methods to verify my Virtual camera's FOV (around 47 degrees). I next modeled up the rest of the planets in proper scale (Real values) set at the distance of the moon (also real values), created the animation of them rotating around, and composited the whole bunch.
Scales used in Visualization:
Celestial Body Radius (in km)
Neptune: 25,269 (equatorial) 24,340 (polar)
Uranus: 25,559 (equatorial) 24,973 (polar)
Jupiter: 71,490 (equatorial) 66,854 (polar)
Saturn: 60,268 (equatorial) 54,360 (polar) (not including rings)
Distance to Moon 384,000km
Faq: (will expand as needed)
1, We would not be engulfed by Jupiter or any other planet, Jupiter's radius is 71,490 km and the distance to the Moon is 384,000km
2, Saturn is not larger than Jupiter. Saturn + RINGS is larger than Jupiter
3, We would suffer from really really horrible tides, and Volcanoes And some pretty bad Radiation from Jupiter. It *could* strip away our atmosphere, but haven't done the math. Eventually our planet would become tidally locked (that is the same side of Earth would always face Jupiter. we would Still have some bad tides and volcanoes from being in a slightly ellipitical orbit, and from the other moons of Jupiter, and the Sun having tidal influence. I have not calculated how bad the Tides would be. A Simple guess would be at Least 300 times more exaggerated than they are now, This figure could be way off, it's simply an educated guess.
4, We would not be in the rings of Saturn. Or to rephrase that, we would not be in any of the Visable rings of Saturn, There are some very very faint rings that strech out far that we would be in, but i did not model them.
5, We would not be crushed by the Gravity of Jupiter, This is not how orbiting works!.
However, at the Roche limit, we WOULD become a new ring system, The Roche limit is *about* 36,000km above the "surface" of Jupiter or 106,000km from the center of Jupiter. So, to reiterate if the center of Jupiter was 106,000km away from the center of the earth, Our planet would become a new Ring system of Jupiter.
6, I did not model the Ring of debris around Uranus (this faq will be deleted in a few days)
7, This is not an ad for any beer company, no one has endorsed me, or this animation, It's just the traffic that drove by.
8, There is Ring Shine on Saturn, but it is very faint, the Rings are reflecting light onto Saturn in the animation. The moon that flies by is Tethys
9, I love Pluto, and Mercury. They are left off because they are too small. Pluto is smaller than our Moon, and Mercury is not significantly larger than our Moon.
10, The "Sun" i used for lighting the planets is slightly off from reality, this was done so that they weren't totally dark and boring
11 FOV is about 47 degrees
12 Orbiting! Yes! we would be a moon of Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. They are much more massive than the Earth. Venus is about the same size of the Earth and we would orbit around a center point between us
13 Rotation rates and axial tilts are not accurate to anything
14 Radius of the Sun is 695,500 km, and hence if it were where our Moon is, we would be engulfed by it