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Last updated January 16, 2004                                                                                                                                                                   2004 John M. and Margo L. Dollan

Worlds of Interest

  • Van Maanen

    • Absalom

    • Job

    • Solomon

    • Methuselah

    • Lilith

    • Asteroids

    • Comets

    • Kuiper Objects

    • Oort Cloud Objects

Other Names:  Wolf 28, HIP 3829, LHS 7, LTT 10292


Invisible to the Earthbound naked eye, Van Maanen's Star is still innocuous even to large optical telescopes. (image courtesy NASA)

Overview

5 Planets
(size and distance not to scale)


Absalom


Job


Solomon


Methuselah


Lilith

Stellar Data

 

Distance

Spectral Type

Mass (xSol)

Temperature

Luminosity (xSol)

Diameter

Metallicity (xSol)

Age

Primary Component

14.13 light years

DZ7 V

0.7

13,000K

0.000182

0.01
(7,800 miles)

no data

10 billion years or more

Stellar Information

Perhaps 10 billion years ago, Van Maanen's Star was very similar to the Sun, perhaps a bit brighter, perhaps a bit warmer.  It was among the first of a generation of stars that held the necessary amounts of heavy elements to allow for the formation of planets, and it is likely that it also was among the first to harbor a planet upon which life arose.  But time passed, and the star aged.  It grew into a red giant, sloughed off much of its mass in a great series of convulsions, producing a planetary nebula, and eventually settled down into the form of a white dwarf.  Today that star is still cooling, and shines in the darkness as a mere shade of its former glory.

System Data
(highlighted world is the primary world of interest)

Planet Number

Proper Name

Orbital Radius

Classification

Mass

Atmospheric Pressure

Average Surface Temperature

Hydrosphere Coverage Percentage

Number of Moons

I

Absalom

1.155 to 1.845 AU

Stygian

1.35

0.00

-454.19F

0%

0

II

Job

2.25 to 2.75 AU

Stygian

0.4 0.00 -455.94F

0%

0

III

Solomon

4.224 to 5.376 AU

Stygian

0.04 0.00 -456.73F 0%

0

IV Methuselah 9.9 AU CryoJovian 0.3xJov na na na 2
V Lilith 16 AU CryoJovian 0.14xJov na na na 3

System Information

I -- Absalom:  The most massive of the terrestrial worlds in this system, Absalom is a desiccated, melted ruin, the inner most survivor of a family of planets ravaged by a long extinguished red giant.
II -- Job:  This world is virtually identical to Absalom, but of a lesser mass.  Like Absalom, Job likely was somewhat more massive in the past, but the ravages of the star's red giant phase sublimated away much of the surface.
III -- Solomon:  A third Stygian world, far less in mass than the other two.  Like the others, it is geologically dead, and lacks any form of an atmosphere.
IV -- Methuselah:  A CryoJovian world, the shrunken remains of what may well have been a much larger, more massive gas giant billions of years ago.  It has two major moons, both of which are frozen.
V -- Lilith:  A virtual twin to Methuselah, but with three major moons.  This system is an excellent example of how, after a star has ended its primary life, its death throws can "generalize" the attendant planets.

Primary Planet Data

Classification

Proper Name

Orbital Radius

Orbital
Eccentricity

Orbital
Period

Axial
Tilt

Rotational Period

Equatorial Diameter

Mass

Density

Stygian

Absalom

1.155 to 1.845 AU

0.2

1.57 years 43.8

79.7 hours

27,854.53 km

1.35

5.76

 

Surface
Gravity

Atmospheric Pressure

Principle
Gases

Hydrospheric
Percentage

Average
Surface
Temperature

Number of Moons

Life

1.14 0.00 na 0.00 -454.19 F 0 None

Planetary Description

Geology: There is no currently active geology.  The planetary core has largely solidified, bringing a halt to all such processes.  There have been major impacts in the time since the planet effectively "died", with the two major examples being Pontius and Judas.  These impacts were great enough to cause localized melting of the crust, but the effect lasted a relatively short time.  The Tartarus Basin is another major feature, and is believed to be the remains of a major oceanic basin, from before Van Maanen bloated into a red giant.  Today it is still several kilometers below the mean "sea level".  In its time, it was likely much larger, and indeed, may have been comparable to Earth's Pacific Ocean.


The world map of Absalom (image copyright John M. Dollan)

Meteorology: There is no weather on Absalom, thanks to the absence of any kind of atmosphere.  The initial atmosphere was eventually stripped from the planet by the fierce stellar winds of the red giant, and a thin atmosphere composed of eruptive volcanic gases replaced it.  This volcanism, driven by the then red giant's intense heat, continued for tens of millions of years.  But as both the sun and planet spent themselves, the volcanism ceased, and the atmosphere was slowly stripped away by the stellar winds.  Today the planet is frozen, although this may be a misnomer, since there is no water left on the planet, to a depth of several kilometers.

Oceanography:  No oceans remain on Absalom.  Indeed, the only hint of their past presence is Tartarus Basin.

Biology:  Absalom is completely lifeless.  While it must have had a rich biological history, spanning billions of years, there is no evidence left on the surface.  In the great Labyrinths, there are what appear to be many carvings of biological forms, and it is also likely that deeply subducted sedimentary rock may hold fossils.  But, to date, there has been no effort made in searching for such things.

Intelligence:  The Labyrinths are a blatant monument to a past intelligence on the planet.  It cannot be said for certain, of course, as to whether or not the architects of these caverns, the Angelics, were indeed native to Absalom.  However, it has remained a safe assumption up until the present day.  The Angelics themselves, judging by the most common form of biological drawing on the cavern walls, may have been an invertebrate form of life, encased within a hard shell of some sort.  But it is nearly impossible to derive any certain facts from even some of the more detailed drawings, and indeed there remains a great deal of controversy today.