However, living on a moon provides an extra dimension of complications. After all, you're not orbiting the sun anymore; you're orbiting a much closer object that has a much larger impact on the physical conditions of your world. For example, tides on Earth are caused by the gravitational pull of our moon on the ocean, but because physics is a two-way street, the Earth's gravity has a much larger pull on the moon, to the point where NASA recently observed a 20-inch bulge in the moon caused by Earth's gravity. Now imagine what the tides are like on the forest moon of Endor. Presumably, those Ewoks live way the hell away from the coast.
But, hopefully, they don't.
Gravity also plays a larger role in moon conditions thanks to the fact that giant planets like Jupiter tend to have a lot more moons than our pitiful collection of one (in Jupiter's case, 67 and counting). Jupiter's moon Io is another contender for possible human habitation, but thanks to its position, the gravitational forces from its 66 siblings also make it one of the most volcanically active places in the solar system. Make sure you take your lead umbrella.
The Concept Of Time Will Be Utterly Screwed
There are 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year, but all that's based on how fast the Earth spins and the length of its orbit. You can throw all that stuff out the window when it comes to other planets. Despite everything we just said about Mars, one thing that makes it pretty comfortable is that the length of its day is pretty close to the same as ours.
But, inevitably, some asshole will insist on implementing daylight savings time there too.
If you lived on Jupiter, though (like, in a zeppelin or something, we guess), you would have to adapt to a 10-hour day. That means you'd see the sun rise and set twice in the course of one Earth day. Or you can try to live on Venus, which hardly spins at all, and not see sunset for around 243 Earth days, which is longer than the planet's entire year.
Measuring time is one of the most crucial elements of our daily life, and we rely on it to be standard. Our sleep cycle is controlled by our body's circadian rhythm, the internal clock that tells our brain when to get tired, when to get hungry, and when to wake up. Unsurprisingly, it's programmed for a 24-hour day, and messing with that even a little causes big problems -- our health measurably suffers just from dealing with jet lag.
"The sun set at 5 a.m. ... it just doesn't make sense. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!"
Science-fiction occasionally tries to deal with this concept in an offhand way. Star Trek, for example, has some kind of standardized system called a stardate, which basically involves rattling off a bunch of random numbers and hoping the audience doesn't think about it too hard. But for a civilization living on multiple planets, the problem becomes ridiculous fairly quickly. Do we standardize all time based on Earth's rotation? Then good luck trying to keep a schedule on a planet where the sun rises three times a day. Alternatively, we could have different time systems for different planets, but that would be a nightmare for any kind of multiple-planet civilization, not to mention you could lose track of smaller details like when your birthday actually is or how old you are. Even worse if any of these planets have goddamn daylight savings.
Ready to have all your other sci-fi hopes shattered? Like traveling through time will kill you pretty quickly and that moon dust should be more appropriately named murder dust. Learn more in 6 Time Travel Realities Doc Brown Didn't Warn Us About and The 6 Weirdest Dangers Of Space Travel.
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