A world building question: ringed planet that supports life

Oddball

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A planet close enough to it's star to support life can only have rocky rings, but those pose lots of problems for life like blocking out light, making it harder for plants to grow, thus less oxygen. Harsher winters, colder tempratures in the rings shadow, more tornados from hot and cold air coliding, and a list of other problems

But what if the rocky ring were made out of something light could pass through. Like quartz, diamond, ect. Would there still be the same problems? Would it midigate or lessen these problems? Other than creating beautifull colors in the sky from refracting light, how else would this affect the world?
 

Kupotepo

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I am still confusing, sorry. What you are asking again?
The ring swirling around Saturn consists of chunks of ice and dust.
Rings of Jupiter are just orbiting by mini planets and rock.
Rings of Uranus are probably composed of water ice with the addition of some dark radiation-processed organics.
Unless the planet is orbiting by the artificial ring. Also, it is your world, everything can happen just tell the players.


Ooooh, I will invite @Dororo here he like the space discussion too.
 
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Soulrender

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No, it should not, because space is very mysterious place where everything can be possible, let's take for example few interesting plantes:
J1407b - similar to saturn, but has rings 640 times more than saturn, so, why not use that fact to create some fictional element to support life?

Gliese 581c - located 20 light years or 120 trillion miles (192 trillion kilometers) from Earth in the constellation of Libra. The planet orbits its star at a distance of 6.8 million miles (around 10.9 million kilometers), only 7% of the 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) distance between the Earth and the Sun. You could add diamond rings for space excavation of diamonds as super duper valuable resource.

Hat-P-7b - Where It Rains Rubies And Sapphires. Located in the Cygnus constellation, about 1000 light years away from Earth. On the night side of this exoplanet, high precipitation of aluminium oxide (corundum) is found in the atmosphere. Because corundum gems are rubies and sapphires, one can describe the hypothetical weather on the planet's night side as 'raining rubies & sapphires'. The planet also suffers from violent storms, so it’s likely that these rubies and sapphires are scattered planet-wide.

Wasp-12b - A Planet That's Eating Up Light. WASP-12b is one of the darkest known exoplanets — the day side of the planet eats light rather than reflects it into space. The exoplanet, which is twice the size of Jupiter, has the unique capability to trap at least 94 percent of the visible starlight falling into its atmosphere.

Gj-504b - The Pink Planet. Beautiful pink, or should I say magenta, colored exoplanet is the resident of Virgo constellation. Its name is Gliese 504 b (but often referred to as GJ-504b) and it orbits its star at nearly nine times the distance Jupiter orbits the sun. One interesting characteristic of this planet is—it’s a newly formed planet and is still glowing with heat, which makes the surface appear a shade of magenta.

Kepler-438b - The Most Earth-Like Planet In Terms Of Radius And Mass. Kepler-438b has an Earth Similarity Index (ESI) of 0.88, the highest known for a confirmed exoplanet to date, making it currently the most Earth-like planet in terms of radius and mass. The planet was announced as orbiting within the habitable zone of Kepler-438, a region where liquid water could exist on the surface of the planet.

Tres-4b - A Puffy Planet. Located 1,400 light-years away in the Hercules constellation, TrES-4b is one of the largest exoplanets ever discovered so far (next to WASP-17b, WASP-12b, CT Chamaeleontis b and GQ Lupi b). Though it is over 1.7 times the size of Jupiter, it has an extremely low density and is categorized as a ‘puffy’ planet. The planet’s density is about the same as cork, which came as quite a shock. Astronomers attribute this to the extreme heat of 2300 °F (1260 °C) due to its proximity to the star. At only 4.5 million miles (7.2 million kilometers) away from its sun, TrES-4b is able to complete an orbit in three Earth days. This made TrES-4b both the largest known planet and the planet with the lowest known density at the time of its discovery.

Wasp-17b - Moving In The Opposite Direction. WASP-17b is one of the largest exoplanets discovered and contains at least half of Jupiter’s mass. What is more interesting about this planet is that it retrogrades the orbit, which means that this planet moves in the opposite direction of its parent star.

Now it's up to you how you use these facts to build your own world :)
 

Wavelength

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It would absorb or deflect some of the sun's energy, probably creating some weird climates (maybe the equator would be colder than other parts of the planet?). Rocks could occasionally fall out of orbit and crash into the planet, which, depending on their size and how "strong" the atmosphere is, could either be non-factors or could create catastrophic disruptions to life. These rocks could introduce different rare elements to the planet, or if they're made out of ice, could result in a planet growing slowly more watery over its history.

With all that being said, you should only consider the "real-life" cosmological implications of your planet's/universe's properties if it makes for an extremely appealing or creative worldbuilding element. Where it's inconvenient, you get to (and should!) make up your own rules (and ignore the real-world ones). That's one of the advantages of being a game designer.

Take Skies of Arcadia, for instance. Each region of the world fell under one of six moons. The moons always hung over the same region, which to my knowledge would mean they are orbiting the planet at the same rate the planet is rotating on its axis. I don't clearly remember day and night in Skies, but I think they happened at some point and it was implied they happened on the scale of hours (the amount of time a human would sleep/wake), which means that the planet is rotating at an Earth-like speed and therefore the orbit of the moons is extremely fast. The moons were also pictured as being pretty large and/or close to the planet (which made them clearly visible and gave them a lot of sway over the world's magical/natural forces). If a body that large were moving that fast around a planet-sized body, it would never take into a stable orbit. It would bend its path slightly and then go slinging out into deep space.

And who called Skies on its impossible cosmology? As far as I'm aware, no one!! I only thought of it a dozen years later when trying to come up with my own cosmology for my game-universe. Everyone just played through the game, appreciated the very cool and vivid setting with islands in the sky ruled by six colorful moons, and let it color their own experience with the game's world, plot and characters. Most people loved it. No one worried about whether those moons could have realistically been close enough to the planet to have the influence and apparent brightness that they did. The fact that the moons generally behaved somewhat like the moon we're familiar with was enough to let the mind accept their existence as a fact.

Tatooine from Star Wars is another example of an impossible (or at least drastically unlikely) cosmological setup where no one (except some very anal, obsessive fans many years later - and if you have people that care that much about your franchise ten years on, that's a great problem to have!!) cared about its actual plausibility and everyone cared about what emotions and possibilities it evoked.

Long story short - do not ever let details of the physical world universe get in the way of your worlduniversebuilding.
 

Oddball

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This is for a novel, not a game. It is a fantasy novel, but i want things to be realistic. Like it has a magic system, but a hard magic system like in full metal alchemist: brotherhood

I suppose if i am going to be like this with realism, i should find a way to weave it into interesting worldbuilding elements. I'm already thinking of ways to weave the effects it would have into the story, why not do that too?

The rocks that make the rings are things that let some light through like quartz, so maybe some areas of this planet could rain sand?
 

Dororo

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There's any actual plot reason to have such rings or you're just trying to convey a mind picture to the reader?
'cause the reader can easily survive even without such rings.
If the plot require for such rings (I mean, the plot require it for real), you can apply suspension of belief. Minovsky particles justified the entire mecha genre, you can come with Dororite, light-inert material.
 

gstv87

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..... you can always go the Star Trek Insurrection way, and make the rings beneficial to the planet, by decree.
I mean, it's your writing, and if you write it, it'll be.

from my knowledge of astrophysics, I can tell you some things:
-the gravitational pull from the rings would be negligible compared to that of the planet, which, would have a considerable gravity by itself if it's able to hold said rings, so, *tectonic activity*. Massive. And, lots of it. Forget life and civilization.... you'd have rim world survival at best.
-light from the sun would be blocked but only in a narrow area, depending on the inclination of the planet's orbit, and that would shift as the planet orbits around the sun, so you'd have overlapping seasonal changes: traditional winter/summer cycles, and light/shade cycles.
-if the atmosphere is breathable (assuming it's not a giant planet with massive quakes or volcanic eruptions, therefore, low CO2) life would have to be related to the rings' and soil composition.... so, if the rings are rocky, that means the soil is also rocky (because, if the rings were formed by projected planetary mass due to asteroid strikes, they would be related, and if the rings were formed by orbiting asteroids, then it's likely that some of that material fell down to ground and mixed with the soil), and if the rings are silicate then the soil is also silicate. Tie that to the orbit, and you'd have a stripe of land under the ring's plane that is more rocky or more silicate, therefore, plants or fungi.

all of the aspects add something and take something away.
if you have massive gravity, you wouldn't have big lifeforms, because, you can only go so far with bones and muscles.
if you have a thick atmosphere, you wouldn't have plants, but you'd have fungi.
set one aspect to be fixed, and work around that.... or, just write it "by decree" and call it a day.

I think I heard of another work that is based on a planet with rings, and the author did try to make it work, and found some interesting solutions through playing with gravity.
let me see if I can find it in the massive expanse that is the internet lol

(here's an interesting discussion about planetary rings, from Voyager)

one explanation to the existence of that planet would be...... Delta quadrant.
as in, *large unexplored region of space, that is protected by a demigod guarding a wormhole spanning half the galaxy, populated by a race of cyborgs that are at war with a race of giant cockroaches, that has a planet with a liquid life form that copies everything it touches, and another planet that spins so fast, that time moves at a different speed.*
ssssooooo....yeah.
 
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Kupotepo

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If you would like create the realistic like super realistic of earth-like planets than the requirements are really high. Not just water and light source, also the organic chemistry that make single cell organism exists.
Water, Nitrogen, Carbon, Phosphorus, and Sulphur.

 
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Oddball

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@gstv87 So, I settled on the rings being mostly quartz and a few other rocks that let light through, and only a small percentage that don't. So I guess the soil close to the rings would have more sand, and thus the plants in that region:
A: Like soil higher in sand and lower in silt and clay and..
B: like partial shade
You mean stuff like that?

Edit: Also, there are things in the universe smaller then earth that do have rings, so increased gravity isn't a requirment to make this realistic
 
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gstv87

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@Oddball
silicon-based environments in Black Mesa Xen.


the tv series and game Defiance has that art style as well.
 

Oddball

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@Oddball
silicon-based environments in Black Mesa Xen.


the tv series and game Defiance has that art style as well.
Wow. That's how it would look directly under the rings? I expected more sand from quartz breaking up sense both sand and quartz are made from silicon dioxide

I bet there would be more light under the rings though, sense they would be directly overhead and not casting a shadow on the part of the world they're over
 

gstv87

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no, that's just an alien environment concept.
another good example is Morrowind:



and, the expansion for Oblivion:



the real deal is the pair of environment + NPCs... one can't be fully appreciated without the other.
it's a lot of content to showcase through pictures.... see if you can find a gameplay, or the game itself.
but, that's the concept: trees with toadstools instead of leaves, plants with glowy fruits or spore sacks, bugs the size of a car, crystals poking out of cliff sides, etc.
 

Oddball

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@gstv87 I would imagine a world with rings would also have more intense weather from hot air coliding with cool air from the rings shadow. More intense winters, more tornados and hurricanes. Strange rain patterns, ect

That's also part of the reason why i want to make the rings out of rocks that will let light through. Cause while there would still be intense weather, it would be curved a bit.
Thanks for the feedback. Some of the events in this book are going to be tied indirectly to the effects of the rings. Like two charecters growing to like how it feels in each others arms because of a harsh winter. And the rapid advancement of science and mathmatics from people using the curvature of the rings as a refrence point and figuring out the world is round earlier. Calculating the distance to their moon. ect.
 

Marquise*

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My take would be to have all light by night the season the rings are in the sun's path because they will reflect back then ring light shining.

Also, there can be hardened dormant vegetal, animal moments. It would impact all the culture then. Might also represent danger if some resist darkness and cold to eat what is dormant.
 

Oddball

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My take would be to have all light by night the season the rings are in the sun's path because they will reflect back then ring light shining.

Also, there can be hardened dormant vegetal, animal moments. It would impact all the culture then. Might also represent danger if some resist darkness and cold to eat what is dormant.
What? speak english please
 

Marquise*

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I was referring about the light play around your planet's ring and how in the absence of light we see clearer in the reflection of a satellite, here asteroid rings. Also you know elliptic orbits gives nights and days and seasons. Play with it in reverse. The day it is dark because of planetary eclipse and the night it is bright because of the ringlights (satellite light, moon light, spacestation lght) but it is huge so it can reflects in a less blinding direct miror light.

Then it does not matter if plants develops at ringlight or at sunlight that anyway is blocked. Also, because of the reverberations, less skin cancer due to UV rays.
 

Finnuval

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Quartz would diffuse or focus light passing through it - would create spectaculair northern-light type visuals or a very diffused lighting which would have an effect on plantlife...
 

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