Universal Translator

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Odin Star System (Life of Other Worlds, Part 2)

Life of other worlds: drawings and sketches from one space explorer's travel journal is a series focusing on various other star systems in the Milky Way Galaxy.

The Odin Star System (NOTE: Planet and orbits not to scale)

The Odin System is a yellow star system consisting of six planets. Balder and Njord are the only planets with life forms.  Dr. Dag Stassen discovered the system during the exploration mission of the European Space Agency Interplanetary Space Probe in the early 21st century.  The ESA gave it names according to mythological Norse gods and goddesses.

The first four planets are rocky.  The last two planets are gas giants; Thor being a super gas giant.  Between the two gas giants there is a large asteroid field called The Valkyries, which contains some of the largest asteroids ever recorded.  The gas giants, Thor and Loki, seem to keep the asteroids in check and corralled into their orbit around the star Odin.  Without Thor and Loki, the asteroids would cause havoc within the system.  However, it is believed that the gravitational pull of the collective asteroid belt and Loki prevented Thor from being pulled further into the system, thus keeping the inner planets safe. (Note: Planets and their orbits are not to scale.)


The first planet is Frigg, named after the wife of Odin and goddess of married love.  It is geologically inactive with a high surface temperature.



The second planet in the Odin System is called Hel, named after the Norse goddess of death. Hel is a turbulent geologically active planet which lives up to its name.



The third planet Balder is an Earth-sized world with a similar gravity and atmosphere.  It is named after the Norse god who was the son of Odin and the favourite of the gods.  It has one moon named Hoder. Balder is a geologically active planet with a continuous rocky, mountainous terrain.  Unlike Earth, Balder contains most of its water underground.  Caves are a common geological form. Water on Balder has a very high mineral content and is very saline.  Most of the large creatures on Balder exhibit qualities of both reptiles and mammals on Earth.  Plant life consists mostly of lichen-like and moss-like plants.  Vines are the dominant plant, covering rock spires and mountain ranges, sometimes reaching several meters in diameter.

A repto-mammal that hangs from cliffs and lures in small flying nectar-sucking creatures - its mouth resembles a certain flower and oozes oil that smells like the nectar. 

One of the exobiologists on the team stated that this was not a dinosaur. I beg to differ.


An actual flying snake, well it was really more of a clumsy glider, flapping and gliding from one cliff to the other. The landscape was littered with high jutting cliffs, making this creature quite at home


The chilly water world of Njord

The fourth planet Njord is a chilled water world. It is named after the Norse god of ships and the sea.  It has one moon, Aegir.

Njord is 82% water.  Its planetary climate resembles that of the Northern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans on Earth.  Most of the dry land consists of large mountainous archipelagos near its equator.  The equatorial ocean is more shallow and warmer than the deep, usually frozen, polar ocean.

Aquatic life on Njord is extremely diverse.  The largest numbers of species resemble the fish of Earth.  There are no mammal-like creatures anywhere on the planet.  Most of the scientists that have explored Njord say that it resembles Earth during its Devonian Era, though much colder.

One of the surprises of Njord is the existence of several large shark-like creatures.  The largest carnivore creature on the planet, the Fury Fish (Pistrix furiosus) make the Earth's sharks seem tame in comparison.  After the death of several explorers, a planet-wide caution is in place to anyone near a body of water that is connected to the open ocean.

the Fury Fish (Pistrix furiosus
Pistris piscatus - Distant cousin to the Fury Fish, this creature takes a gulp of water into its "blowhole", and then pulls itself through shallows (and sometimes on to shore) using its arm-like fins in order to capture trapped prey. 

Pistrix tenoris -- Related to the Fury Fish, this slow relation uses baleen to sieve the waters of the ocean world of Njord.


Thor, named after the Norse god of thunder and the sky, is a gas super giant.  It has two rocky moons, Fjorgynn and Sif.  The moons are warm desert worlds even though they are in the planetary cold zone.  As a gas supergiant, Thor radiates heat, passing it along to its moons.  Due to the distance from the inner planets and solar winds, Thor’s heat has little effect upon the smaller planets of the system.


 Loki is the last planet of the system.  It is named after the Norse god of mischief.
It is a gas giant, with one moon named Sigyn.


Next in the series : The Aten-Ra Star System

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Introducing Myron T. Rex...

Myron T. Rex is a dinosaur. 
He's just trying to get through life like the rest of us. 
He wants to avoid becoming extinct. 
Follow Myron on Twitter: @MyronTRex


Sunday, 16 August 2015

The Helios Star System (Life of Other Worlds, Part 1)

Life of other worlds: drawings and sketches from one space explorer's travel journal is a series focusing on various other star systems in the Milky Way Galaxy.

The Helios Star System (Note: Planets and orbits not to scale)

Dr. Eva Psyhogeos first discovered the Helios System during the exploration mission of the Einstein Deep Space Probe (EDSP).  When Dr. Psyhogeos saw that the eight-planet system somewhat resembled our own Solar System, she decided to name it according to the Greek gods and goddesses. The names start out as analogous to our Solar System but change after Zeus and end with Hades.  Zeus and Hades are the only gas giants in the system; the other six planets are rocky worlds. 
The planet Hera, Hera’s two moons, and Athena probably started out as moons of Zeus.  Dr, Psyhogeos developed a theory about the system that gave the system seven planets originally.  The theory states that The Titians, an asteroid field between Ares and Zeus, was originally a planet called Morpheus.  Morpheus was destroyed most likely by a comet or asteroid.  The devastation of Morpheus knocked Hera, its moons, and Athena from their orbit around Zeus.  They began to orbit Helios as planets; Hera eventually capturing Hebe and Hephaestus as its moons.  Debris from Morpheus in orbit around Zeus became the asteroidal moons called The Consorts of Zeus.  It is theorized that Morpheus was a “super-sized” rocky planet with a large amount of water –some believe the water eventually made its way to watery Poseidon, frozen Ares and the icy planets of Hera and Athena.  Recent archaeological evidence shows that in the very distant past, Poseidon was a much drier world.
Poseidon (White areas are shallow seas, islands are gray or black)

Poseidon is a planet of 85% surface water.  Most of the dry land consists of landmasses on the eastern hemisphere of the planet.  Large storms and super-hurricanes are always present on the planet.  Poseidon is the only planet with multi-cellular life. One-celled organisms have been found on Ares and Aphrodite, but it seems they might have come from Poseidon. (Note: Planet and their orbits not to scale)

The largest animals on the planet exist in the global ocean.  Land animals of any great size are absent and they consist of mainly amphibious creatures.  Large plants are nonexistent; most vegetation on land is adapted algae and fungi.

Croak with eggs
 The Croak is one of the few amphibious animals of the plant Poseidon. They live most of their lives on the islands of Poseidon, traveling to the sea to lay eggs and mate. Found usually near the shoreline or swampy regions.  Some Croaks form large colonies on floating Insulanozoa (see below), creating a symbiotic relationship.  Predators are lured toward the colonies and are consumed by the Insulanozoa.  The Croaks keep the shell of the Insulanozoa clean.  The Croaks ooze a chemical that makes them invisible to the Insulanozoa.

Fish like we know on Earth never developed on Poseidon. On a planet where fishes never developed, the young of amphibians developed into the dominant water creatures. The class Amphish contains the greatest number of species in the global ocean of Poseidon.  The family of Capucauda consists of tadpole-like creatures and is the largest group of Amphish.
Examples of Capucauda
Poseidon also contains a large number of creatures similar to Earth’s gastropods and cephalopods.  One example is the Banded Squidshell (one of six species of squidshell).  The young will bud off the adult -not quite clones- their genetic makeup includes incorporated DNA from other young of the same species the parent has devoured. 
Banded Squidshell

Poseidon has many invertebrate life forms, many of which are shelled.  An example of a shelled invertebrate is the Insulanozoa, the shell of which becomes a living, floating island.  The Insulanozoa feeds upon creatures in the ocean as well as amphibians that try to swim to it or nest on it (with exceptions (see above)).

With no aquatic mammals or sharks, amphibians occupy the top of the food chain on Poseidon.  The Greater Sea Dragon (Gigus diabolius) is the largest aquatic animal on Poseidon, measuring up to thirty meters.  The eggs of most Gigus species hatch in the ocean and the young will then make their way to islands.  They exist in a terrestrial form for up to two years before finally making their way back to the ocean for the rest of their lives.

Greater Sea Dragon (Gigus diabolius)

Next in the series : The Odin Star System