Universal Translator

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

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