“Lord of Light! Come to us in our darkness. We offer you these false gods. Take them and cast your light upon us. For the night is dark and full of terrors.” -Melisandre, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice

Imagine a world where you know that winter is coming, but you don’t know when, or for how long, or how severe it will be. Sounds like fiction, doesn’t it? In our own solar system, where planets orbit a single star in elliptical, well-separated orbits, this is extraordinarily unlikely. But if a binary giant planet existed in the habitable zone, and a world like Earth orbited both of them like an inner moon, it could give you exactly the effects you’re seeking.

Double planets, in theory, can come in a wide variety of sizes and orbital ranges. Any smaller worlds orbiting both of them, at a greater distance, would keep a steady, stable orbit, but would rotate and tumble chaotically. Image credit: NASA / Norman W. Lee and Stephen Paul Meszaros.

A large, massive double planet would exert irregular, differential gravitational forces on an external moon, causing it to tumble, rather than stably and consistently rotate on its axis. It could create large variations in seasons, which will be unpredictable in duration and onset. And it could, at least for parts of the world, plunge some of the regions into incredibly long, cold, dark winters.

From the surface of a world orbiting a giant binary planet, two worlds, one potentially larger than the other, would be visible for half the time, on average. At night, they’d be far and away the most prominent features in the sky. Image credit: DasWortgewand of PixaBay.

If you think the night is dark and full of terrors now, wait until you see what it’s like on a world where you can’t even predict the seasons!


  1. #1 Sinisa Lazarek
    July 20, 2017

    Would there be dragons? 🙂

  2. #2 Elle H.C.
    July 20, 2017

    This more like Cixin Liu’s book The Three-Body Problem:

    “The Trisolaran world is a stellar system with three suns, the Alpha Centauri System, whose trajectories are entirely unpredictable, because they are an example of the three-body problem from physics.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three-Body_Problem

  3. #3 CFT
    July 20, 2017

    Oh thank heavens. I was afraid Ethan was about to delve into rule 34 for the multiverse nonsense. It is interesting to note that for something supposedly well understood, three body problems in gravity are not well understood. Good thing our universe only contains two objects…er…..well…

  4. #4 Carl
    July 21, 2017

    Rule 34?

    Did you perhaps mean to post this comment under his post yesterday, “Did a ‘big whack’ create all of Pluto’s moons?”

  5. #5 jimbob
    July 21, 2017

    in the bible the book of revelation speaks of a new heaven and a new earth we shall be able to explore the entire universe one day if we accept Jesus Christ AS our Lord and Saviour

  6. #6 jimbob
    July 21, 2017

    Sinisa Lazarek
    man and dinosaurs lived together
    they were called dragons

  7. #7 Sinisa Lazarek
    July 22, 2017

    @ jimbob

    did your savior teach you that?? So he was lord of dinasaours? nice!

    btw.. you must have lost your way, this blog is not startswithchristianzealots.com

  8. #8 CFT
    July 23, 2017

    @Sinisa Lazarek #7,
    This blog is also not called athiestleftistsnobbery.com either, so suck it up and check your own roadmap.

  9. #9 Sinisa Lazarek
    July 24, 2017

    @ CFT

    ROFL… do some hail marrys won’t you? You seem to have some hard core anger issues of your own making. Not my problem you’re hanging on a blog that has 0 similarities with your own belief system.

    Try posting something smart instead… if you can of course..

  10. #10 jimbob
    July 24, 2017

    , the word “dragon” is used a number of times in the Old Testament. In most instances, the word dinosaur could substitute for dragon and it would fit very nicely. Creation scientists believe that dinosaurs were called dragons before the word dinosaur was invented in the 1800s. We would not expect to find the word dinosaur in Bibles like the Authorized Version (1611), as it was translated well before the word dinosaur was ever used.

    Also, there are many very old history books in various libraries around the world that have detailed records of dragons and their encounters with people. Surprisingly many of these descriptions of dragons fit with how modern scientists would describe dinosaurs, even Tyrannosaurus. Unfortunately, this evidence is not considered valid by evolutionists. Why? Only because their belief is that man and dinosaurs did not live at the same time

    job chapter 40 reads
    15 “Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you;
    He eats grass like an ox.
    16 See now, his strength is in his hips,
    And his power is in his stomach muscles.
    17 He moves his tail like a cedar;
    The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.
    18 His bones are like beams of bronze,
    His ribs like bars of iron.
    19 He is the first of the ways of God;
    Only He who made him can bring near His sword.
    20 Surely the mountains yield food for him,
    And all the beasts of the field play there.
    21 He lies under the lotus trees,
    In a covert of reeds and marsh.
    22 The lotus trees cover him with their shade;
    The willows by the brook surround him.
    23 Indeed the river may rage,
    Yet he is not disturbed;
    He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth,
    24 Though he takes it in his eyes,
    Or one pierces his nose with a snare.

  11. #11 jimbob
    July 24, 2017

    Hi Sinsa
    Jesus Christ died for me and you and the whole world he paid the price for all our wrongdoings and by simply believing in Him and accepting what he has done for us when we die we can spend eternity in paradise with Him and live forever this is the bible in a nutshell take care Sinsa God bless

  12. #12 CFT
    July 24, 2017

    @Sinisa Lazarek,
    You don’t know my beliefs because you never asked, you sanctimonious twit. If you want to pretend to play science, you need to ask questions first, not just make up crap. Just a hint, there are more than two perspectives on everything, including science, and religion, which is something I’ve been trying to get across for some time now. Try asking me next time before blathering what you don’t know about me all over the place.
    Considering how many respected cosmological and mathematical theorists are falling all over themselves with ‘anthropic principal’ nonsense, and regularly entertain ‘Boltzmann Brain’, ‘multiverses’ and ‘are we a simulation?’ bullshit with a straight face, I’m surprised you take your own scientism beliefs so seriously.

  13. #13 Sinisa Lazarek
    July 25, 2017

    @ Jimbob

    The Old Testament… that would be the god of Jews, his chosen people. That particular god didn’t really show much love for anyone else then his chosen tribe. Good luck with getting into that particular after-life.

  14. #14 jimbob
    July 25, 2017

    very narrow mind set there Sinisa
    Jesus the Messiah who was God in human form was born a Jew came to earth to give the ultimate sacrifice for all of man kind (includes you) so that by believing in Him we are assured a place in heaven

    The whole purpose in the old testament is to point toward Jesus coming to earth dying for our since and being resurrected on the 3rd day
    this happened 2017 years ago hence the years were restarted
    heaven is real all we have to do is believe and receive
    romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  15. #15 jimbob
    July 25, 2017

    dying for our sins

  16. #16 jimbob
    July 25, 2017

    to believe or not doesnt alter the fact that its the truth its every persons choice sinisa heaven or hell

  17. #17 Sinisa Lazarek
    July 26, 2017

    @ jimbob

    since, by your statement, your concerns and deity lie with what happens AFTER you die, no need to concern yourself with this blog and topics here. This here (and science in general) is only about things BEFORE you die.

    If we can at least agree that your beliefs have nothing to do with science and this physical world, and science has nothing to do with your afterlife and immaterial world, that’s a start in positive direction.

  18. #18 jimbob
    July 26, 2017

    Science and the Bible are not in conflict. Most founding fathers of modern science were men of faith.

    It is a popular notion that science and the Bible are at odds with one another. The rumor of warfare between the Bible and science can be traced to Thomas Huxley, a late nineteenth century apologist for evolution who became known as Darwin’s “bull dog” and helped mightily to overthrow the cultural dominance of Christianity. But Huxley and a long line of successors who have touted Huxley’s mischievous misconception about faith and reason are at odds with the facts of history.

    The truth is that science and Christianity had a great relationship from 1500 to the late 1800s. The early pioneers of modern science had no difficulty in believing in God as their Creator and Savior. They believed in a God who had limitless power and was the source of all intelligence. The works of his hands were worthy to be studied, and to do so was to glorify Him. Indeed, Psalm 111:2 tells us that “The works of the Lord are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them” (NKJV). God affirms the character of creation in Genesis 1 by calling it “good” five times during the week of creation. Finally, when creation is complete, he pronounces his final judgment: it is “very good.”

    Francis Bacon, who is often regarded as the father of the scientific method, said “Natural Philosophy [the study of nature] is, after God’s Word, the surest medicine for superstition and also the most approved nourishment of Faith. And so she is rightly given to Religion as a most faithful handmaiden….”

    Early scientists knew that by doing exhaustive research in a particular area of science they would be fulfilling the great Cultural Mandate, taking dominion of God’s creation as commanded in Genesis 1:28. This is demonstrated by a few examples from great men of science who also embraced belief in God. Henry Morris, in Men of Science: Men of God, lists over 40 great scientists who were professing Christians that believed in the divine authority of God. Among them are:

    Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), an astronomer famous for his exhaustive work on planetary motion.

    “I give you thanks, Creator God, that you have given me this joy in thy creation, and I rejoice in the works of your hands. See I have now completed the work to which I was called. In it I have used all the talents you have lent to my spirit” (Pearcy and Thaxton, The Soul of Science, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Ill., 1994, p23)

    Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662), Great philosopher and mathematician who is considered the father of the science of hydrostatics. He developed the principles of the barometer.

    Pascal’s famous wager demonstrates his commitment to Christianity. His wager illustrates that Christian faith is a “win-win” proposition. If one is Christian and when he dies there is no God, “he has lost nothing.” But if one dies and there is a God, heaven, and hell, he has gained everything while “his skeptical friend has lost everything in hell.”(Henry Morris, Men of Science: Men of God, Master Books, El Cajon, Calif., p. 15)

    Robert Boyle (1627-1691), He is considered the father of physical chemistry with his monumental work on the mechanistic principles of gasses from which his famous Boyle’s Law was generated. His experimental approach to gasses laid the foundation for atomic theory. Boyle was a devout Christian who had an interest in missions and apologetics.

    He was famous for his lectures in which he promoted the creation as God’s finely tuned clock and states “where all things are so skillfully contrived, that the engine being once set a-moving, all things proceed according to the artificer’s first design”(Pearcy and Thaxton, The Soul of Science, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Ill., 1994, p. 87)

    John Ray (1627-1705) A botanist who introduced the first definition of species as being from reproduction. His definition, that parents produce offspring with the same kind of characteristics is close to the modern definition.

    He was motivated by Genesis 1: “seed producing plants after their own kind.” He wrote “The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation.” that make a great impact and “argued that living things are so complex and so marvelously designed that they must be the creation of supremely intelligent Creator.” (Pearcy and Thaxton, The Soul of Science, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Ill., 1994, p. 102)

    Isaac Newton (1642-1727) Known as one of the greatest scientists of all time, Newton developed the law of universal gravitation, the laws of motion, and calculus into a branch of mathematics. He produced a particle theory to explain how light is emitted and built the first reflecting telescope. Newton understood that the creation was created by God and his basic motivation was to promote a belief in God the Creator. Newton contributed greatly to the foundations of science and believed that God was the ultimate cause.

    “We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever.” (Henry Morris, Men of Science: Men of God, Master Books, El Cajon,CA. p. 26)

    Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) He discovered biological taxonomy, which is a classification system still used today. He classified living organisms using species as the basic unit, based on the biblical idea that organisms do not change with time. He was a committed creationist who believed that God’s creation was good and stable. Linnaeus was on the right path, although he confused “species” with “kind.” He wrote essays on natural theology in support of the idea that man can glorify God by studying His works of creation.

  19. #19 Sinisa Lazarek
    July 27, 2017

    “The truth is that science and Christianity had a great relationship from 1500 to the late 1800s.”

    Oh really? Copernicus, Giordano Bruno, Galileo… etc would gravely disagree. Especially Bruno!

    I thought one of your sacred oaths was “thou shalt not lie”. Shame.. really shame.

  20. #20 Frenulus
    August 3, 2017

    I believe these were all Catholics… and Catholicism accepts the theory of evolution as best fitting modern evidence… and that the bible should not be taken literally when a literal interpretation conflicts with science.

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