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Dead Planets Society: How Many Moons Could Earth Have?

10 June 2024

About this episode

For the Dead Planeteers, one moon around Earth isn’t enough. They want to pack as many moons into the night sky as possible. But how many can you fit in orbit without everything becoming unstable and destructive?

To answer this, Leah Crane and Chelsea Whyte enlist the help of astrophysicist Sean Raymond. Sean co-authored a research paper that sparked Leah’s New Scientist article titled: Moons can have moons and they are called moonmoons.

So, not only do they work out how many moons we can fit around Earth, but also how many moons those moons could have, which involves fitting them out with mini thrusters for some reason. They also address the issue of the impact these moons would have on Earth, like stronger tides and an insanely bright night sky. But they also learn about the surprising (nay shocking) potential benefits too.

Dead Planets Society is a podcast that takes outlandish ideas about how to tinker with the cosmos – from punching a hole in a planet to unifying the asteroid belt to destroying the sun – and subjects them to the laws of physics to see how they fare.

Your hosts are Leah Crane and Chelsea Whyte.

If you have a cosmic object you’d like to figure out how to destroy, email the team at It may just feature in a later episode.

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