Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Building Another Earth

NASA have an ambitious plan to capture an asteroid and put it in orbit around the moon which will be exciting enough if they can achieve it but it does make me wonder about how we can reshape our Solar System.
Each 365 days the Earth orbits the Sun traveling 940 million kilometers or 584 million miles around our star and it doesn't return to that place in its orbit for another year so that space is for all intent and purposes empty.
Jupiter meanwhile shares its orbit with a whole bunch of asteroids which move around the Sun with the planet, one group ahead of Jupiter and another other group behind in its orbit.
As this shows that planets or planet-like objects can be in the same orbit, i do wonder what it would be possible to manoeuver into the Earths Orbit.
Venus is almost the same size and density as the Earth and would be ideal as a second Earth but somehow dragging it 23 million miles to our orbit may be too much and i couldn't even begin to imagine either how we could drag a planet out of its orbit and into ours or what knock-on effect it would have on other things.
The alternative would be to guide as large as possible an asteroid into place and then build it up as necessary.
The Earths orbit is in the Goldilocks Zone, we know that at an orbit of 93 million miles from the Sun we can have liquid water and if we can't get the size of planet the same as Earth, we could get the mass using heavier material to terraform our new orbital partner.
With our best brains working on the details such as the required mass to create to enable it to hold onto its atmosphere and where in the orbit to place it in relation to the Earth, we could 'build' a second home orbiting our Sun exactly where we want it knowing it could sustain life.
While a spare Earth would solve many problems, i don't know what effect if any it would have on Earth so might be better to stick with Plan A and just build on the Moon for now and leave the planet creation for future generations and more advanced technology.

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