Our Planetary System

Shalimar: Chapter One

Shalimar is a planet in a binary star system. It is one planet of at least ten that orbit around the larger of two stars, Heynar and Morg.

Heynar is a class G star. Morg is a red dwarf, and much smaller and dimmer than Heynar. Morg's influence causes periodic disturbances of the space debris surrounding Heynar's planetary system. This results in collisions between the planets and wandering asteroids. These collisions are more frequent, and more serious, than the ones that we are accustomed to on earth. This has grave consequences for evolving life forms.

Heynar has at least ten planets. The innermost one, Snarf, is small, rocky, and too hot to allow life forms to visit it. The next planet out, Mardo, is also inhospitable, a little larger than Snarf, and, again, hot and rocky, with no atmosphere. Further from the sun, on the inner edge of the life zone, there are twin planets that orbit a common center of mass, Jaif and Karlo. These planets have atmospheres and at least some water, but have not yet been explored.

Shalimar is near the middle of the life zone, and its axis is perpendicular to the plane of its orbit around the sun. As a result of this it has no seasons as we know them. It has about one and a half times the mass of the earth, and so its gravitational force is one and a half earth's gravity. It has ample water: much of it is covered by shallow seas. Shalimar has three moons, Kona, Seer, and Joppet. Kona is about a twelfth the mass of Shalimar, and may have been part of Shalimar at one time. It has a stable, nearly circular orbit around Shalimar. Joppet and Seer are much smaller, and have eccentric elliptical orbits around Shalimar. They may have been pieces of space debris that were captured by Shalimar's gravitational field.

Beyond Shalimar there are three larger gas planets, Iho, Sandar, and Huff. These planets have rings and each has a number of moons of varying sizes. We are continuing to study these planets.

Beyond Huff there appear to be two smaller planets, Snide and Hamly. Both of them appear to be made mainly of frozen gases and rock. To date, these planets have not yet been studied.

© Elizabeth Anne Viau, 1996. This material may be used freely for instructional purposes but not sold for a price beyond the cost of reproduction. Please e-mail me at eviau@earthlink.net if you use this material. I'd be interested to know how it works for you!