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Vikuve (tidally locked mining world) (5 min read)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:33 pm    Post subject: Vikuve (tidally locked mining world) (5 min read) Reply with quote

Star

System: Iaron (yar-on)
Sector: Kanz
Region: Outer Rim
Star Name: Iaron
Star Type: Yellow giant
Orbital Bodies: 1. Iaron I (scorched ball)
2. Vikuve (tidally locked terrestrial/rocky)
3. Iaron III (blue gas giant with 8 moons)
4. Iaron IV (orange and white gas giant with 12 moons)
5. Iaron V (dwarf planet)
6. Pabl (brown dwarf)


Planet

Name of Planet: Vikuve (vəh-ku-vay)
Other Names: Nil
Satellites/Rings: One rocky moon called Zirez
Orbital Position: 2
Type: Terrestrial/rocky
Diameter: 30,000 km
Temperature: Starward side: 15˚C to 80˚C; Blackside: -100˚C to -200˚C
Atmosphere: Starward side: Type II; Blackside: Type IV
Hydrosphere: Moderate
Gravity: 1.4 standard
Terrain: Starward side: prairie and savannah mostly, with the constant photosynthesis of millions of square kilometers of grass and other plants adding O2 to the air. The starward side also has a few low mountain ranges and a very cold ocean taking up 20% of its total space. Roughly 34% of this side is given over to solar panels as well, and another 8-10% is comprised of the dwellings and cities of the millions who care for them. There are some major cities (population of 10 million or more) at the edges of the solar farms and several standard-class starports are available at any time. Large sections of the northern hemisphere are still wild even with solar tech slowly creeping toward them.
Blackside: 15% ocean, dominated by one large ice sheet which is sitting on top of one large continent. This ice sheet has been tunneled through or cleared in huge patches to reach ore veins, and resembles a flat, icy sea with islands and archipelagos, which are actually the tops of continental mountains. Because of the intentional ice clearing, there are huge series of hills made of ice, and the mining of the blackside of the planet has reduced it from a sphere to a spheroid by 0.82%. The small sea of the blackside's only lowlands connects with the small sea on the starward side in the southern hemisphere, where ice is exchanged and melted and the sea is kept liquid.
Length of Day: n/a; tidally locked
Length of Year: 508 standard days
Sapient Species: Humans (70%) Ugnaughts (20%) other (10%)
Other Organisms: Endemic plants but no animals; however some small pest mammals have become naturalized on both sides
Tech Level: Hyperspace
Starport: Standard
Population: 2.2 billion
Planet Function(s): Mining world and erstwhile stop on the Veragi Trade Route
Government: “Provisional” Republic
Major Exports: Ore, rock
Major Imports: Mining equipment, parts for solar panels, medium tech, foodstuffs

Capsule: Vikuve is tidally locked with its star, Iaron. This means that one side of the planet is always is facing the star (the inhabitants of Vikuve refer to this as the “starward” side), and one side is always facing away from it (Vikuve’s “blackside”). While the starward side can be beautiful and temperate for one or two months out of every year, the star Iaron is prone to radiation surges that can push Vikuve’s surface temperatures on that side to 80˚C. These massive but infrequent and predictable surges have necessitated that all of Vikuve’s starward side population lives just below its surface in climate-controlled dwellings. Those who dwell on the blackside tend to dwell on the surface, though they also require climate controls to maintain life support since the blackside is extremely cold.

While there are roughly twenty or so large cities in total on Vikuve’s starward side, most of its surface on that side is given over to prairie and savannah, which is covered by yellow and green grasses and the strange, gnarled trees endemic only to Vikuve. This largely flat and unobstructed surface is roughly 34% covered by solar panel farms. A solar panel farm (“solar farm” or “s-farm” for short) is basically a large (some are hundreds of km²) plot of land which has solar panels on it for the purpose of generating and selling electricity to the monstrous mining facilities on the other side of the planet. These farms are run by solar “farmers” who are usually Humans or Ugnaughts of the families or communes that maintain the huge fields of panels. Since a solar panel is less complicated than a vaporator but there are infinitely more of them, more than 70% of the population of Vikuve’s starward side work in some capacity with the solar farms. Also, all of the various attempts to farm crops or grow animals on Vikuve’s surface have all been met with failure.

A notable event occurred in 30 BBY, when a group calling itself “The True Vikuvans” bombed the six biggest solar farms on the starward side, causing a seven-month reduction in productivity until the destroyed panels could be either replaced or repaired. This act of ecoterrorism never turned up any suspects, though a manifesto was found at one of the sites stating that the bombings would continue until solar farms were reined in (they covered 32% of Vikuve's surface at that time) to a more “biologically friendly” 30%. The manifesto went on to list the Vikuvan plant species from the equatorial region (where most of the solar farms are located) which had allegedly gone extinct in the wild due to habitat destruction. However, no further bombings occurred and the group was never heard from again. Amateur detectives who have taken interest in the case have concluded that the perpetrators were either offworlders looking to cause chaos, disgruntled workers from the blackside who had concluded a strenuous strike just prior to the bombings, or an individual or small group which had been destroyed before any more bombings could be carried out through either the deaths of members or their incarcerations for unrelated crimes.

The mining operation underway on Vikuve’s blackside churns out so much ore and rock that up to four full freight liners leave the planet every 18 standard hours. From Vikuve, these freight liners travel to foundries and foundry worlds nearer the core. There the ores are smelted and metals for construction are made and shipped to budding cities the Galaxy over. There is a saying on Vikuve: “We make up 1% of all civilization.” Though inaccurate, it alludes to the megatons of material which is strip-mined from the surface of the planet’s blackside and robotically loaded aboard the largest freight liners in the Galaxy. Those who work on Vikuve’s blackside tend to work for two standard weeks and then they have two standard weeks off. During these “off” weeks, they may either remain on the blackside or go to special relaxation colonies on the starward side. Some may even have residences there.

Politically, Vikuve has always remained neutral, and has never been occupied as it has little strategic value. Even the raw ores and minerals mined from its blackside are of low quality compared to those mined on other geologically-similar worlds. Vikuve is overseen by a provisional government on the blackside which seems to have gone from “provisional” to “entrenched” in the thousands of years the planet has been inhabited. There are strong property laws—the inhabitants of Vikuve view ownership of goods or materials as a being’s greatest right, and tend to punish thieves more harshly than other adjacent worlds. Even Vikuve’s starport is patrolled by a high number of policemen and women, and the planet’s government has a reputation as being tough on smugglers as well. These high levels of policing and increased penalties may well have led to the trend of most parties traveling the Veragi Trade Route of skipping Vikuve altogether. It seems some would rather not brush shoulders with the law if they are “spacing dirty” as the axiom goes. That said, Vikuve’s starport is still visited by a fair number of legitimate freighters and other ships which either need supplies, fuel, or repairs.
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Last edited by Error on Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:52 pm; edited 13 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Changed the name of the planet and clarified some of its history and some of the stats.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So if Vikuve's night side is referred to as its "backside," does that mean that Vikuveans call it "Our Planet's Butt?"

What, it's a logical extrapolation! Shocked
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
So if Vikuve's night side is referred to as its "backside," does that mean that Vikuveans call it "Our Planet's Butt?"

What, it's a logical extrapolation! Shocked


They might not want to make their planet the butt of such jokes.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha. I almost made a similar joke...but yes, there is an attitude among some of the starward side dwellers about "backside hangers-on" being of a different social stratum Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Error wrote:
Haha. I almost made a similar joke...but yes, there is an attitude among some of the starward side dwellers about "backside hangers-on" being of a different social stratum Rolling Eyes


Wait, wait wait. "Backside hangers-on?" So, in other words, these people of "a different social stratum" are referred to as...dangleberries??? Shocked
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Added the third paragraph in the capsule to give the place a little more flavor. Also changed "backside" to "blackside" to avoid the @$$ references. lol
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Error wrote:
Also changed "backside" to "blackside" to avoid the @$$ references. lol


"The tragic loss to the field of @$$ comedy diminishes us all." -Elan, Order of the Stick #845

On a personal note, I am greatly heartened by the fact that Rancor Pit language filter did not censor the word "dangleberry" at all.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
Error wrote:
Also changed "backside" to "blackside" to avoid the @$$ references. lol


"The tragic loss to the field of @$$ comedy diminishes us all." -Elan, Order of the Stick #845

On a personal note, I am greatly heartened by the fact that Rancor Pit language filter did not censor the word "dangleberry" at all.

There're ways around the language filter if you're crafty, but white might show up if users use a different skin...

I generally just use an asterisk for the vowel in words like sh*t and f*ck. The filter doesn't recognized them as curse words and so doesn't censor them. The A-word gets turned into @$$ which actually looks cooler to me than the letters would.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for Vikuve, I think it is a nice solid planet now with a decently detailed description. It's going to be the homeworld of one of the protagonists in a campaign/fanfic. Her name is Sindre [say "Cinder"] and she ran away from home, which meant a future of tending solar panels for her as a "fringe farmer", by stowing away on one of the outbound freight liners. We meet her one year later.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the interests of versimilitude, I have to speak out on Vikuve's terrain, particularly the ocean on its night side. According to the real world research I found (the link to that research is here: https://astrobites.org/2014/11/07/habitability-still-a-go-on-tidally-locked-terrestrial-exoplanets/ ), an ocean located on the night side of a tidally locked planet won't be frozen the whole way to the crust. In fact, the ice layer of such an ocean will only be about 5 to 7 meters thick with the ocean underneath the ice layer remaining unfrozen.

This makes sense if you think about frozen lakes. When a lake freezes, the ice layer forms at the top of the lake, while all of the rest of the lake remains unfrozen which leaves all the fish and other life forms in the lake unharmed. It's one of those weird qualities water has that allows it to retain its warmer water near the bottom of its container while the colder water rises to the top (which is the opposite way that warm and cool air behave). If water didn't have this quality, life as we know it on Earth probably wouldn't exist.

Anyway, my point is, with Vikve's ocean only taking up 20% of its surface (how much of this 20% is on the night side?) and with the ice layer being so relatively thin, there wouldn't be "mountains of ice" on Vikuve's surface. Unless (and I think this is what you meant) that 20% ocean surface is only the ocean on the day side. You did write that the hydrosphere is "Moderate" which means that 51% to 84% of the planet is covered by water, not just 20%. So if 20% of the day side is ocean but the planet has a moderate hydrosphere ranging from 51% to 84% of the planet's surface, how much of the night side is covered by water? This you neglected to mention and it might confuse people into thinking (as it did me) that only 20% of Vikuve's surface is water which is contradicted by Vikuve's Moderate hydrosphere.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what I wrote:
Error wrote:
Starward side: prairie mostly, with some mountains and a very cold ocean taking up 20% of its space. Blackside: mostly frozen ocean which is connected to the one on the starward side, which has been tunneled through or cleared in huge patches to reach ore veins, with mountains and archipelagos mined as well; there are huge mountains made of ice because of this, and the mining of the blackside of the planet has reduced it from a sphere to a spheroid by 6%.

So if you go by that, only 20% of the starward side is ocean, which is connected to what is basically 90% (or more) ocean on the blackside. So that would make the planet at least 55% covered by water, making it a moderate hydrosphere. I don't quite know how to word it to make it better to understand. If you have a suggestion for that, I'm open to it.

I feel the temperature range of -100 to -200 celsius would produce an ocean frozen to its very bottom absolutely, as long as:

a) it receives no source of radiation or heat flux (It does not, since it is tidally locked to face away from its sun. Also, I did read the article, which counts on heat flux between the starward side and the backside and the exchange of water and ice; Vikuve doesn't [comparatively] have a lot of atmosphere or else it would be better insulated against the 70-degree Celsius swing on the starward side.)

b) the core of the planet is not molten or hot (again, it is not, but you wouldn't know that since I didn't think it was relevant to mention)

c) there is little exchange between the water locked in ice on the backside and the nonfrozen water on the starward side (Read as "little to no" exchange, which again I didn't include for lack of relevance. The 20% of ocean on front is actually 80% of a single ocean which is only connected to the rest of itself by a shallow channel 25 km wide. The nonfrozen but cold water may flow up against the side of a huge "twilight" area ice wall in the ocean, where such water is usually 1.0 degrees Celsius or less, but huge chunks of ice are not being floated onto the starward side and melted)

d) the ocean water is not hypersaline (again, it is not—it is not fresh, either, but it has less electrolytes in solution than Earth's oceans; but once again, not included for lack of relevance)

e) the ocean is relatively shallow (less than ten km deep, which is generally true even for Earth)

So, even if I did take the article you provided as gospel (I don't—it is dealing with a very specific subset of planet types orbiting M-type stars only), I think I'm going to keep the ice the way it is. Tunneling through it to get to ore veins or breaking it up for relocation (the source of the ice "mountains") is a cool concept to me and sometimes that trumps absolute verisimilitude in roleplaying games. Besides, even the "leftover" ice is sold sometimes and collected in freight liners and moved offworld. Probably a good 10% of the material that leaves the planet does so as ice.

EDIT: Would it make a difference to you if I changed it to something like: “The backside is actually one huge continent whose lower areas (what would be valleys on other worlds) are completely filled in by ice sheets. These areas of ice sheets are so interconnected that they give the impression of one solid ocean with islands and archipelagos, which themselves are actually just the tips of continental mountains poking through what is in turn just a sheet of ice sitting on top of a continent, far above sea level.”

In other words, just making clear that it’s not ocean that’s frozen, but water that had condensed on the blackside in the distant past. If that distinction is really really uber important (the effect is almost identical) then I will change it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, if we're talking about verisimilitude or "realness" in Star Wars...

...How is there oxygen in Hoth's atmosphere?
...How is there such a dense understory on dim old Dagobah?
...How exactly is Naboo filled completely with water?
...Why is there type II-III (and moist) atmosphere inside a space slug in an asteroid?
...What in the hell is a repusorlift?
...Or for that matter, a lightsaber?

See my point? If "true to science" is what you're looking for, the SWU is not where you're gonna find it. Even Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein and Frank Herbert (some of the biggest writers in the scifi biz [all dead]) made logic sacrifices or just straight up skipped explanation rampantly throughout their works.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Error wrote:
This is what I wrote:
Error wrote:
Starward side: prairie mostly, with some mountains and a very cold ocean taking up 20% of its space. Blackside: mostly frozen ocean which is connected to the one on the starward side, which has been tunneled through or cleared in huge patches to reach ore veins, with mountains and archipelagos mined as well; there are huge mountains made of ice because of this, and the mining of the blackside of the planet has reduced it from a sphere to a spheroid by 6%.

So if you go by that, only 20% of the starward side is ocean, which is connected to what is basically 90% (or more) ocean on the blackside. So that would make the planet at least 55% covered by water, making it a moderate hydrosphere. I don't quite know how to word it to make it better to understand. If you have a suggestion for that, I'm open to it.


You're right, I misread it. My fault.

Error wrote:
I feel the temperature range of -100 to -200 celsius would produce an ocean frozen to its very bottom absolutely, as long as:

a) it receives no source of radiation or heat flux (It does not, since it is tidally locked to face away from its sun. Also, I did read the article, which counts on heat flux between the starward side and the backside and the exchange of water and ice; Vikuve doesn't [comparatively] have a lot of atmosphere or else it would be better insulated against the 70-degree Celsius swing on the starward side.)


I'll have to read the article again, but what's this about Vikuve not "comparatively having alot of atmosphere?" If it doesn't have alot of atmosphere, is it a Type II or higher atmosphere and I missed that? (I really could missed that; I admit that I might have forgotten a few details after reading your description only once. Again, I'll have to re-read Vikuve's full entry again.)

Error wrote:
b) the core of the planet is not molten or hot (again, it is not, but you wouldn't know that since I didn't think it was relevant to mention)


Ok, how can a planet not have a molten core? And please don't mention Naboo. The idea of a planet having a planetary core made of water just to justify Jar Jar Bink's throwaway line of "traveling through the core" to get to the other side of Naboo is one that should never have been handwaved. While gas giants are theorized to have some liquid in their cores, they're thought to be at least partially solid. But a terrestrial planet like Vikuve is gonna have a molten core. (Also, IIRC Naboo was said to be unique in being a terrestrial planet with a water core. Something else I need to check.)

Regarding c) through e), I don't have a problem with any of that.

Error wrote:
EDIT: Would it make a difference to you if I changed it to something like: “The backside is actually one huge continent whose lower areas (what would be valleys on other worlds) are completely filled in by ice sheets. These areas of ice sheets are so interconnected that they give the impression of one solid ocean with islands and archipelagos, which themselves are actually just the tips of continental mountains poking through what is in turn just a sheet of ice sitting on top of a continent, far above sea level.”

In other words, just making clear that it’s not ocean that’s frozen, but water that had condensed on the blackside in the distant past. If that distinction is really really uber important (the effect is almost identical) then I will change it.


That level of detail wouldn't hurt at all. If you feel like putting it in, go for it. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
That level of detail wouldn't hurt at all. If you feel like putting it in, go for it. Smile

Sweet. If it helps people understand what I'm going for, then I'll happily add it. I'll also work on clarifying my wording of the entry.
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