II Planet Aonair

*Everything on this page is in the process of being updated and re-written so it may not be as accurate as it once was, stay tuned*

Overview

Throughout its long evolution, Aonair’s surface plates have collided and grinded against each other continuously for billions of years in a violent display of force and while it continues to this day, the movement of the plates has slowed considerably leaving behind several ever evolving land masses. Small islands, giant plateaus, all forms of land masses have formed during Aonair’s growth, but of them all five have grown to dominate the planet’s surface. Even after the larger masses were formed they were still ever changing, grinding together mountains, and carving out valleys before finally beginning to show the first signs of life. Those first signs of life, however,  did not have long before one of the larger asteroids from the nearby belt broke free and collided into the planet’s surface, causing such an intense impact that one final large land mass was created. The impact of the crater hit near the south pole but as it continued to slam into the planet it began to break apart and spread north creating a large dividing mountain range nearly splitting the planet in two. The crater itself expanded deep enough that it began to fill with boiling hot magma, creating the planet’s largest active volcano while a large chunk of the planet was blasted outward forming what would eventually be molded into the planet’s moon.

After the impact, the atmosphere was filled with debris and dust that nearly choked the planet, bringing what little life there was to its knees and nearly blinking it out of existence but as the dust began to settle life again was able to continue and grow, slowly at first as the planet and the creatures were adapting to the sudden change. The land masses still change and evolve to this day though it has slowed considerably since the planet’s beginnings, taking millions of years before any significant changes are even noticed.

A. Location

Since Aonair has an elliptical orbit to its sun, the distance from the sun to the planet varies depending on the time of year. On average the planet is roughly 189 million kilometers from the sun, however its aphelion is 200.5 million kilometers and its perihelion is 177 million kilometers.

Since the planet is so far away from its sun, the average year of Aonair lasts for 506 days and its orbit allows for four seasons, averaging out at 126.5 days, but can vary from year to year depending on the conditions. Once the life on the planet became more civilized, to the point of being able to understand the planet’s movement and try to measure time by it a calendar was slowly introduced through many centuries of trial and error which makes understanding the history of the planet before the standard calendar much more difficult. The standard calendar for Aonair, that was eventually adopted by all civilized species on the planet, is broken up into eleven months each consisting of, on average, 46 days though each civilization has its own names for days and months, the length of each month is globally accepted.*

Aonair’s axial tilt is roughly 23.5° and only slightly shifts +/- 2° over several thousand years, it is constantly changing but hardly ever noticeable since it takes so long for it to change. The main reason the tilt stays so consistent is because of the moon that was formed during the asteroid crash early in the planet’s history, its own gravitational pull helps steady the planet’s axis and keep it relatively stable. Because of the tilt, Aonair is able to have several different seasons, four to be precise, as the planet spins around its sun. Each season lasts for roughly 126.5 days and are the equivalent of winter, spring, summer, and fall though like the calendar all four seasons while recognized as occurring at the same time by all civilizations on the planet, each have their own name.

  *see Appendix B: Calendar for a breakdown of the yearly calendar as well as each civilizations terms for days and months*

B. Atmosphere

Aonair’s atmosphere is made up of nine different gasses, however most of it is composed of Nitrogen (N2) mixed with Oxygen (O2). As a result most of Aonair’s various inhabitants have adapted over time to breath in the mixture to survive, the exception being the creatures that inhabit the various bodies of water around the world.

Aonair’s atmosphere was formed early on it its creation, while the many volcanoes that dotted its surface were still violently erupting along with the giant crater. As the volcanoes erupted they began releasing several gasses into the air; Carbon Dioxide (CO2), ammonia (NH3, which is a compound of one atom of Hydrogen [H] and three atoms of Nitrogen [N]), and steam (H2O). NH3 and H2O molecules would drift upwards and stay in the sky while the CO2 would drop and be absorbed by the sea water. All of this combined helped to lay the ground work for the continued creation of Aonair’s atmosphere.

As the second stages of the atmosphere’s creation began, simple bacteria began to form and grow in the world’s oceans feeding off sunlight and the CO2 in the water and giving off oxygen as waste. As the Oxygen began to rise and build up, the CO2 continued to sink down towards the oceans, and the Ammonia still in the atmosphere began to break up in the sunlight leaving behind Nitrogen and Hydrogen. Since Hydrogen by itself is so light, it continued to drift up, past the forming atmosphere and simply continued on into the vacuum of space.

The final stage of atmospheric creation began as plants started to grow across the land masses, feeding off of the CO2 near ground level and in the water and giving off fresh Oxygen as waste similar to the early bacteria. As Oxygen became more and more abundant between both bacteria and plant life giving off the gas, more complex creatures began to grow and feed off of it, in turn giving off CO2 for the plants and bacteria to feed from. In the end, a self sustaining cycle was created, both plants and animals needing each other to survive, a cycle that still continues to this day.

*see Appendix B: Atmosphere, for a more complete breakdown of what the planet’s atmosphere is composed of*

C. Terrain

To understand Aonair’s terrain, it is first important to understand what the planet is made up of and how it’s structure is put together. The planet is made up of three to four layers; the crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core (though the inner and outer core are sometimes considered one layer) and it is filled with roughly six minerals the largest numbers including both Iron and Oxygen.

The crust of the planet, being the outer most layer, varies in depth between five and 95 kilometers and is home to the various land masses and mountain ranges on the planet. Most of the crust is made up of various silicates along with larger quantities of oxygen mixed in. Of the entire crust, some of the thickest areas are all under the islands and land masses as they have to stick up through the oceans, while the thinner parts of the crust are generally along the ocean floors separating the crust from the mantle by only a few kilometers.

Just below the crust lies the mantle, the largest layer of the planet that has an average depth of 2,890 kilometers but varying in places but up to 100 kilometers thicker or thinner in some spots. The mantle is made up mostly of silicate rocks that are rich with Iron and Magnesium and this is the layer were many volcanoes begin before eventually bursting through the crust. Because the planet is in constant movement new volcanoes are always a potential threat to the surface.

The final layer, or combination layer, is the core which is separated into the liquid outer core  (with an estimated radius of roughly 3,400 kilometers) and the solid inner core (with an estimated radius of close to 1,220 kilometers). The majority of the core is made up of Iron, in fact roughly 80% of the core is made up of the mineral which was pulled together into the center of the planet during its violent formation. It is also believed, though none of the inhabitants of the planet have been able to prove, that the planet’s core spins much faster than the planet as a whole.

Moving on from what the planet is made of, it’s now time to talk about the actual surface terrain of the planet. As it’s been stated, during Aonair’s volatile beginnings various land masses were formed and include; five major islands, the large polar caps, an expansive mountain range dividing the eastern and western hemisphere, and finally the giant volcano that was formed as a result of a rogue asteroid striking the planet.

It is also important to know that the mountain range dividing the planet’s Eastern and Western hemispheres wraps around completely, in other words it starts at the Northern polar cap and reaches to the Southern cap then continues through wrapping back North on the opposite side. The mountain range essentially keeps the East and West almost completely isolated from each other.

Volcae

Volcae is the largest of all inhabitable land masses on Aonair and looking at a global map is shaped like a crescent moon with its borders nearly completely surrounded by a high mountain region (reaching up to approximately 4500 meters high), the only break in the mountain range being inside the crescent shape.Because of its large size (approximately 6300 kilometers long and 4150 kilometers wide), Volcae stretches nearly completely from North to South and is situated in the Eastern part of the hemisphere, resting closely to the dividing mountains.

Volcae has a second mountain range, splitting off from the bordering mountains, that divides the island in two almost exactly along the North and South hemisphere as well, it runs across the width of the island with only a few small breaks and ending at the crescent.

Because of the island’s location, it also has two very different climates, the Northern half of the continent is tropical, filled mostly with forests with a few clearings mixed in throughout as well as a large open flatland near the Northern most tip. The Southern half is where the terrain starts to shift, going from a small forest to a large open desert the further South one travels though there are some small patches of green plains bordering the desert.

Priemsyel

Smaller than Volcae and shaped like a wide diamond (approximately 3900 kilometers wide and 3100 kilometers high), the island of Priemsyel sits mostly North of the equator and West of Volcae near the Western dividing mountains. Since it is further North the landscape is a mixture of mostly rolling plains with small forested areas mixed throughout. The remainder of the island is for the most part unremarkable save for a few natural landmarks and tall hills.

Rurlstak

Rurlstak is an odd shaped island, wider than it is tall by quite a bit (measuring approximately 5000 kilometers wide and 2300 kilometers tall), and lies along the equator in the center of the Western hemisphere. Most of its shores are lined by an expansive coral reef which limits sea travel to a select few open areas around the island, and the entire island is mostly all flatland and its location makes it an excellent place for farming and growing various crops.

Kaltaer

Seated as far North as is possible, Kaltaer is a small and frigid land mass, barely even in habitable. Measuring approximately 2800 Kilometers wide and 2900 kilometers tall, it is completely surrounded by tall mountains (roughly 3500 kilometers in height) making it nearly impossible to reach the inner flatlands of the island. In spite of the mountains surrounding the island there are a few small openings that over time were connected to the inner island through tunneling. The weather on the island is generally bitterly cold making life inside incredibly difficult but not impossible.

Creare

The final inhabitable island on the planet is also the smallest at approximately 1700 kilometers in width and 1900 kilometers tall. Creare is tucked away inside of an alcove in the Western hemisphere, surrounded on three sides by the mountain range dividing the planet in half and its own borders lined with a low mountain range keeping it mostly isolated from the rest of the islands on the planet. Creare is a mostly unremarkable island, the center being a mixture of forests and flatlands.

Crater

The location of the asteroid’s impact is near the Southern edge of the Western mountain range dividing the planet in two and has a radius of approximately 4000 kilometers, as a result of the impact it is also one of the planet’s largest active volcanoes and is a constant reminder of how dangerous it is that the planet is so near an asteroid belt.

*see Appendix D: Terrain, for a more complete breakdown of the various minerals the planet is made of*

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