Moon, Gas Giant, & Sun Interactions Needed


I’m an author trying to do some world-building, and I need to know what the light and dark cycles would be for a planet-sized inhabitable moon orbiting a gas giant which in turn orbits a sun-like star. I tend to process things either visually or kinesthetically, so an animation sequence is therefore ideal. The models don’t have to be complex, but I do need to know what at least 2 spots on the moon would be experiencing in terms of lighting at any point in its axial rotation, gas giant orbit, and even a bit of stellar orbit. Ideally, this would come with floating numbers indicating what hour it is for a particular spot on the moon, which day it is as the moon orbits the gas giant, and an animation slow enough to pause it at a particular time-point for reference.


I am willing to pay a reputable, reliable artist $100 up front to begin the project once we’ve agreed to work with each other, with additional funds upon satisfactory completion of the project, depending upon producton time, complexity, and number of animation iterations. Ideally, the project would be completed by the end of July 2015. Payments can be made via PayPal for convenience.

More about the project:

It’s a complex problem requiring visualization from two light sources: the local sun (obviously); and the gas giant, which will create a reflected lightsource off of its sun-facing half onto the inhabitable moon. I was thinking, in order to demonstrate visually which points of illumination will affect the moon, one could glow red and the other could glow green. Where the two both strike the moon with their light, the resulting overlap should therefore be yellow, forming a clearly visible state as to when each source of light is affecting that part of the moon.

I do need to keep track of at least 2 locations on the moon, so that I can check as to when each point experiences what phase of lighting while the moon’s “day” (revolution on its axis) and “week” (orbit around the gas giant) progress. The surfaces of each don’t have to be realistically modeled on any planet or lunar surface; I’d settle for basic white (or whatever) spheres, to help simplify and speed up the project. If you want to add artistic skins, that’s fine, but not necessary.

I haven’t completely settled on the rotational period of the moon yet (other than that it will rotate on its axis as it orbits the planet), nor its orbital rate around the gas giant, and so would like to be able to work with the artist to figure out what the best combinations would be. Additionally the moon would orbit the equator of the gas giant, it would share an axial tilt with the gas giant. Size comparisons of gas giant and moon would be similar to Jupiter/Earth, and the orbit distance of the moon from the gas giant will probably be similar to either Io, Callisto, or Ganymede (no need to totally reinvent the wheel here) so we can pick radius distances that are easy to find online and calculate. Orbital distance from the sun isn’t as big of a factor, but basically we could plop it around 1 AU, Earth’s orbital distance.

This will primarily be used for personal reference, not for demonstrating to any readers. However, if the series showcasing this moon/gas giant/sun trio gets published, I may at some point post an example of the animation online in the future to help readers visualize what is happening as the sun, gas giant, and inhabitable moon all interact in their movements. Naturally, your work will be properly accredited if it gets posted–you do the work, you get the credit for it; that’s how it works. I am also perfectly fine with being a portfolio reference upon satisfactory completion of the project. (This is not a request for free work in exchange for “great exposure”–ugh; I don’t do that to fellow artists–but is an actual paid project. However, if you do good work, I will be happy to gush at potential clients.)

While I’m good at writing (I have some bestsellers out there), I’m not so good at animation. I’d rather hire someone to do the animation work for me, working with me on a hopefully simple project that would give me what hours would have sunlight, planetlight, and/or both across a span of several days, plus where on the moon would still see the sun when the moon is behind the planet in a tilted planet orbit, depending on where the planet is in its path around that sun (winter solstice, spring equinox, halfway points, etc).

If you are interested, please contact me here or via the forum mail with an estimation of how many work-hours you think this project would take, and of course please pass along your contact information.

My thanks for your time,

…If you are curious about what I write, I write in a variety of fiction categories ranging from bestselling paranormal romance to bestselling military science fiction…and yes, I have published bestsellers in both categories. A good story is a good story. Additionally, I do like to slip actual science into my fiction. With a complex setup like this, I’ll need to be both accurate and consistent in depicting what the lighting is for a given point on a given day. That’s why I need this animation done. My website can be found at dubbya dubbya dubbya (dot) Jean Johnson (another dot) net, and my books are available in print and ebook formats via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers–reading my stories is not necessary for employment. (As per forum rules, I’m not linking anything directly.) Again, thank you for your time.

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