The science behind my alien planet

I spent four hours with my astrophysics savvy friend Kaylee today! Seriously, she's made so many amazing things, like ridiculously complex and beautiful astronomical clocks, plus the code to make them work. She is the reason I had the courage to seriously dig my teeth into this worldbuilding journey 3 years ago (the science parts; the ideas are older than a decade now.) 

At first I tasked her with calculating when eclipses happen and how often,  but we ended up going a lot deeper than that.   

What I know about Hyaline

I know its mass, its radius, its density, and so its gravity (1.28g, for those interested.) I know Hyaline takes 40 (Earth) hours to rotate on its axis, and that it is 1.22 astronomical units from its star. I know that with that information, its year will be 292.43 Hyaline days long. 

I know Hyaline is 6 billion years old, has a 1.22 AU distance from its G0 star. I know it has 3 moons and how many Hyaline days they take to complete an orbit. I know it has rings made of rock born from older moons that collided. I know it will take a number of years in the millions for them to grind to dust and be blown away by solar wind, using Saturn as a reference. I know that the orbital resonance between the moons is 1:2:4. 

I know Hyaline has a similar core to our planet. The uranium would be roughly the same percentage, but being that Hyaline is much larger, that means more of it. So I know, then, that it has a powerful magnetic field. I know that it having a high amount of land means its ocean is saltier, and how a simple thing like that changes so much about the life there. 

That's a lot to work with. We need to know the size of its star, which we can approximate by looking at existing ones of its type, and we need to know the size of the moons- achievable by backwards math. I never figured that out myself; I didn't think I'd need to. I wasn't aware of how thorough I'd end up being with all this!

Why are eclipses important?

The creatures you play as in the game- more specifically the Amiel people of the Gukeur tribe- use a lot of moon symbolism. Their ancestors worshipped the moons, but mostly the one closer to the planet, as do some of their present day citizens. A good reason for this, I figure, is eclipses; there's so much mythology I could write based on them and the point of view from ancient civilisations who witnessed them frequently. Their culture and language is saturated with their adoration for these celestial bodies- I best get to know them well!

So, we have a ballpark figure: they would experience eclipses roughly about once a colloquial month. In order to do that, Hyaline would have to have an axial tilt of 0 degrees (to keep large moons stable), and a less elliptical moon orbit- which with rings, makes sense. Kaylee is going to do the maths for me soon, while I work on the environment things.

By making these changes, it effects a number of of factors. The first being this: Hyaline has no seasons. What does that mean? Well... 

  • Animal breeding cycles will be based off different stimuli 
  • Likewise, so will the cycles of plants
  • The sentient inhabitants will not have holidays based on seasons, ever. Isn't that weird?
  • The game will be slightly easier on the programming front...!
  • Depending on their neighbouring planets, if any (a detail I have yet to finalise), the way they calculate a year would be drastically different and more complicated
  • Their calendars, like the Islamic calendar, would be moon oriented. The most widely used format we see is based off our star 

And that's just a few examples. 

What I don't yet know about Hyaline

I'm working on atmosphere & climate right now- I need to do some maths to find the approximate average temperature so I can compare it to Earth. Those are the major pressing things, all else will follow.

I don't want to intimidate or mislead anyone with the huge amount of science and maths I funnel into this project. It is very much still a science fantasy world. But I don't really talk about the back end much, and I figure it's useful for the fellow worldbuilders out there. There is so much to think about. Everything is so connected, and its overwhelming to concept sometimes, but after a point everything falls into place. I am finally at that point.

Thank you to my patrons for making this post (and building AN ENTIRE PLANET seriously you're great) possible. <3 

For as little as $5 a month you'll be privy to all the back-end things - art, illustration, development logs, concepts; as only a few examples!