Iota Virginis

System containing the Refractory

Image from Alex Mulvey
Ztraug seen from an orbiting craft during the construction of The Refractory. Deep mining scars are clearly visible from orbit.

Star - Iota Virginis A

SyrmaNames: Iota Virginis A, Syrma, HD 124850 A
Physical characteristics:
- Mass: 2.983E30 kg (1.5 x Sol)
- Radius: 1,822,734 km (2.62 x Sol)
- Luminosity: 9.394 x Sol (bolometric)
- Temperature: 6243 Kelvin
- Spectral type: F7IV-V.
- Age: 2.0 billion years
Distance from Sol: 72.985 ly


The Refractory
Image from Alex Mulvey
The Refractory casts rainbows of light onto the surface of Eyxsys

Planet - Eyxsys (and the Refractory)

EyxsysOrbital characteristics:
- Semi-major axis: 62,981,000 km (0.421 AU)
- Period: 81.5 days (0.223 Julian years)
- Eccentricity: 0.040
- Inclination: 2.598°
Physical characteristics:
- Type: Hermean.
- Mass: 6.825E23 kg
- Radius: 3,168.2 km
- Density: 5,124 kg/m^3
- Gravitational acceleration: 4.538 m/s^2 (0.463 g)
- Rotation period: Tidally-locked (3:2 spin-orbit)
- Albedo: 0.211
- Average surface temperature: 707.8 K
Atmosphere: trace
Satellites: none
Development: Negligible modosophont presence on surface.
Numerous habitats orbiting near the L1 point, established after the completion of the Refractory
- Syrma/Eyxsys L1 point: The Refractory - a large optical system designed to cast coloured light onto the surface of Eyxsys. Several thousand prisms located at the L1 point refract light onto the planet's surface in rainbow patterns.


Image from Alex Mulvey
Psaydenum in 5005 AT, during terraformation. A habitable zone is developing along the planet's terminator, where plant and animal life are starting to establish themselves

Planet - Psaydenum

PsaydenumOrbital characteristics:
- Semi-major axis: 82,428,000 km (0.551 AU)
- Period: 122.0 days (0.334 Julian years)
- Eccentricity: 0.075
- Inclination: 3.877°
Physical characteristics:
- Type: Cytherean.
- Mass: 1.053E25 kg
- Radius: 7,412.7 km
- Density: 6,172 kg/m^3
- Gravitational acceleration: 12.790 m/s^2 (1.304 g)
- Rotation period: 208,440 s (57.900 hr)
- Obliquity: 35.5°
- Albedo: 0.785
- Average surface temperature: 1,800 K
- Surface pressure: 7.8 MPa
- Composition: 98% CO2, 2% N2, traces of other gases
Satellites: 2 (2 planetoids)
Notes: Originally a very hot tidally-locked Venus-like world. Using sunshade technology the planet has been cooled enough to allow a ring-shaped habitable zone near the terminator.
Development: Large amount of infrastructure in habitable zone, mostly governed by AI. Several mass accelerators completely or partially circle the planet, used for rapid transportation across the habitable ring as well as orbital launch. Numerous habitats are present in orbit.

Planet - Zetesx - formerly Ztrauq

ZetesxOrbital characteristics:
- Semi-major axis: 99,931,000 km (0.668 AU)
- Period: 162.8 days (0.446 Julian years)
- Eccentricity: 0.098
- Inclination: 5.563°
Physical characteristics:
- Type: Selenian.
- Mass: 2.492E23 kg
- Radius: 2,619.2 km
- Density: 3,311 kg/m^3
- Gravitational acceleration: 2.424 m/s^2 (0.247 g)
- Rotation period: 97,488 s (27.080 hr)
- Obliquity: 161.2°
- Albedo: 0.139
- Average surface temperature: 574.3 K
Atmosphere: trace
Satellites: none
Notes: The planet's crust had a high silicon content, which was mined and used to create the Refractory. There were previously several small rings, which also contained silicon. Due to the creation of the Refractory these rings were reduced in mass dramatically.
Development: Minimal surface development. While the planet did see heavy mining activity during the creation of the Refractory, these processes were entirely automated and so the sophont population of this world has remained minimal.
Image from Alex Mulvey
Syxicusis with its faint rings, along with several moons

Planet - Syxicusis

SyxicusisOrbital characteristics:
- Semi-major axis: 162,314,000 km (1.085 AU)
- Period: 337.0 days (0.923 Julian years)
- Eccentricity: 0.037
- Inclination: 1.311°
Physical characteristics:
- Type: Azuri- MesoJovian.
- Mass: 1.238E27 kg
- Radius: 68,650.1 km
- Density: 913 kg/m^3
- Gravitational acceleration: 17.532 m/s^2 (1.787 g)
- Rotation period: 43,225 s (12.007 hr)
- Obliquity: 12.8°
- Albedo: 0.142
- Average surface temperature: 500 K
Satellites: 24 (2 Selenians, 5 planetoids, 17 asteroids)
Development: Numerous bubblehabs present in upper atmosphere. Several moons have been colonized, based around hydrogen mining trade centers.

Star - Iota Virginis B

Iota Virginis BNames: Iota Virginis B, Kàngxiùèr B, HD 124850 B
Orbital characteristics:
- Semi-major axis: 2,760,081,000 km (18.450 AU)
- Period: 54.687 Julian years
- Eccentricity: 0.1
Physical characteristics:
- Mass: 1.193E30 kg (0.6 x Sol)
- Radius: 8,490 km
- Luminosity: 0.0005 x Sol (bolometric)
- Temperature: 7,600 Kelvin
- Spectral type: White dwarf, DQZ
Planets Asydanaq and Uxyazyis, two small worlds formed from the debris remaining from this star's metamorphosis into a stellar remnant

History of the Syrma System

Syrma was colonized in 1970 AT by a fleet of colony ships launched from Gliese 588 during the late Federation era. The Syrma system, at first glance uninteresting, garnered attention when it became apparent that with relatively little effort the second planet from the star could be converted into a habitable vesperian-type world.

Several explorer class dataships carrying AI arrived in 1902 to assess the system and create environments for the colonists that were already en route. Upon reaching the vicinity their first objective was to create bubblehabs in the atmosphere of the gas giant, Syxicusis.

Several months after they had begun their work, the dataships detected and located the remains of what appeared to be several ships in orbit around Syxicusis. Wary of getting closer, the AIs peered more closely at the ships, which they confirmed to be of Terran origin dating from the Great Expulsion era. The wreckage consisted of one heavily damaged ship and fragments of several others. Surprised that such ships had made it this far and that there was no record of them, the AIs attempted to contact all of the ships, but there was no response.

Moving in for a closer look, one of the dataships was suddenly fired upon by the undestroyed ship. During this attack the derelict ship repeatedly broadcast (in Sundering Era commspeak) the message "TRUSTWORTHY UNACCEPTABLE. TERMINATE UNACCEPTABLE." The dataship managed to evade damage and retreated to a safe distance.

Many more attempts to contact this last remaining ship were made, but none succeeded. The weapons the ship had used, primitive missile systems, were considered a minimal threat and so the dataship moved in again, using lasers to destroy the incoming missiles. Again the message was continuously broadcast. As the dataship approached once more the derelict ship self-destructed, leaving behind only fragments. The wreckage was searched but nothing of interest was discovered, nor a way to identify any of the ships. The AIs scanned the rest of the system as well as they could, but discovered nothing else out of the ordinary.

In 1970 AT the first wave of colonists arrived, taking up habitation in the previously prepared bubblehabs. As more colonists arrived Psaydenum began to see habitation, which was progressing in terraformation. Once uninhabitable, progress has reached a point where augmented plant life grows abundantly, and sophonts require relatively little adaption to survive outdoors.

The year 4931 AT saw the completion of The Refractory, a set of thousands of huge prisms in orbit around the L1 point of Eyxsys, which cast rainbows onto the planet's surface. Though this event caused a temporary increase in the number of habitats orbiting the planet, the numbers have since died down. Newcomers to the system generally visit Eyxsys at some point during their stay, whether it be temporary or permanent.

In the Current Era the system is connected to the wormhole nexus, though it is one of the lesser populated systems of the inner sphere. Aside from a semi-habitable planet and The Refractory, there is little else of interest in this small system.

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Development Notes
Text by Alex Mulvey
Updated by The Astronomer, 2019
Initially published on 28 November 2015.