I assume people get into world building for all sorts of reasons, and I can confidently say that an interest in space was NOT my way in. I’m much more of a human ecology type world builder, interested in how different geographic environments might shape and influence human behaviours and cultures. I’m not an astronomy oriented world builder:
The thought of reading up on orbital physics, planetary science kind of jargon intimidated me (Tidal locking?? Lagrange points??). Until! I found the glorious Artifexian YouTube channel.
I’m a total Ravenclaw and love learning new things, so the channel was a great because it kind of felt like walking through a workbook of astro calculations for world builders. And that’s ultimately the best thing about these guys, it’s that they communicate to fellow world builders who want to know how our world’s physics work in order to build hypothetical fictional worlds.
So I had three physical conditions for my world:
- Have a habitable planet or moon where it’s closest satellite looks really large and impressive like in those SciFi illustrations.
- Maybe have two moons?
- Have the world made mostly of cold climate dry biomes.
Point three I’ll talk about in another post, so let’s talk about the satellites. The main reason I wanted the large Moon was because it looks cool (1 point to the rule of cool vs realism). Additionally I like how it instantly makes things more alien and vast. The reason for having a secondary moon is also basically the same, but I got sold on the idea of cultures building systems of meaning around two moons… gets my creative gears heard in motion!!
So then my quest to calculate how this would work… Being the kind of person who likes to have some basic understanding of fundamentals and how things are built up, I started with building the sun, a so long at system, then my habitable planet, then it’s satellites. B that took a while weekend haha NO REGRETS. I got a great intro into basics of orbital physics, interest and appreciation of space etc. The sad thing is though probably that the calculations I did have small errors on my part, and ultimately the very large moon-thing wouldn’t really work with real gravity and physics BUT WORLD BUILDING 😀 At least there’s some kind of conceptual logic that I can accept, which is maybe all that really matters from a world-building-for-story point of view.
I also built some calendars based on the oribtal particulars of this planet. Will put that up next time 😀