Pages

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Eclectia System

The Eclectia System of 94 Ceti A (“The Whale”) is made up of the planet Eclectia (which Avenir orbits) , its moons, Sheba and Quatermain, and a cloud of smaller bodies. Eclectia, discovered 7 August 2000 AD (old style), circles it's primary at a distance of 1.42 AU (Earth) and a period of 535 days (Earth). It masses 1.68 that of Earth.

One of the more striking features of Eclectia is the extremely high speed of its axial precession. While all known planets' axises wobble around slowly describing a circle, the ends of Eclectia's circle so fast as to seem to be attempting to orbit in their own right.

The causes of this are Eclectia's twin satellites, Sheba and Quatermain. At one time, the two bodies composed a single smaller planet that the colonists refer to as Sheba. It is postulated that when Sheba was captured by Eclectia's gravitational field, the smaller planet was torn apart becoming the pair of present satellites and a huge number of fragments. Judging from the still hot cores of the two major bodies and the fact that so many fragments have not been pulled in by the planet and its two fragments, the destruction must have been very recent. A second reason that the pieces have not coalesced has to do with the interaction of the five major gravity fields (94 Ceti A, its partner 94 Ceti B, Eclectia, Sheba, and Quatermain) that war with each other. Finally, there is the problem that Sheba and Quatermain, while generally on the same side of Eclectia at any one time, are in orbits that find them approximately 23 degrees from each other. That the plane of their orbit is tipped 41 degrees to Eclectia's equator induces the wobble in the parent's axis of rotation.

During the preliminary long range survey upon Avenir's entry of the 94 Ceti System, it was believed that Eclectia had only one satellite which was christened “Sheba.” To the embarrassment of the astrophysics team, the mistake was discovered upon closer approach. While there was a call by the team leader for the two bodies to be referred to as “Sheba I and II,” this was shouted down by the rest the team. After several days of discussion, argument, threats, and (allegedly) bribery, the smaller satellite was named “Quatermain.”

Neither satellite retains an atmosphere and the thinking is that if the united Sheba had one to begin with, it must have been quite tenuous. Both bodies are rich in minerals. Sheba seems to have retained the heavier elements such as Cadmium, Gold, Iridium, Molybdenum, Lead, Palladium, Platinum, Silver, Tantalum, Tungsten, and Uranium. Quatermain plays host to lighter elements like Aluminum, Beryllium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Germanium, Iron, Lithium, Magnesium, Manganese, Nickel, Tin, Titanium, Zinc, and Zirconium.

A great number of ore bodies are found among the staggering cloud of fragments moving within the planetary system. These are collected and “herded” by the “cowboys” and are delivered to various sites for smelting.

5 comments:

  1. Look at those numbers! Eclectia orbits the Whale Star at 1.42 AU, while the Twin orbits the Whale at 151 AU on average. That's more than 100x more distant! So the planet orbits within the stars; the two stars would rarely be seen in proximity.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I solved my commenting problem!
    I'm using google chrome rather that EI!

    So if the mass of Eclectia is 1.68 that of earth, what is the gravitational pull on our characters there? Do we have a formula for that?

    ReplyDelete
  3. People would experience a gravitation of 1.68 gs at the surface. Mass=gravity. It's not so noticeable if you grew up in the field, but, if you didn't, it's just one more thing that makes Eclectia such a paradise.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmm, does that mean planet-based people would tend to be shortish? While the ones on the Avenir would likely be taller?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Humans who grow up under the conditions inherent in extreme environments do, as a group, show bodily modification. The increased lung capacity found among individuals living in the higher altitudes of the Andes is an example. Possibly, the locals of Eclectia might tend to be somewhat shorter. More likely, I expect, they would run toward a stockier build that gives an impression of short stature. As they grow, more bone mass would probably be laid down to lend support to the long bones, pelvis, and spine and a heavier muscle mass would accrue. Also, they might develop modifications that would aid resistance to silicosis, one of the factors in Ash Lung. Volcanic ash is extremely dangerous to breathe because it is made up of tiny jagged bits of glass. Perhaps, generations down the road, a modification (or modifications) will arise that addresses this problem.

    ReplyDelete