Necron Red II
Necron Red II is the second planet in the Necron Red System.
Necron Red II is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere (Class L), having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts and polar ice caps of Earth. There is evidence of an enormous impact crater in Necron Red II's northern hemisphere, 10,600 km long by 8,500 km wide, or roughly four times larger than the largest impact crater yet discovered, the South Pole-Aitken basin.In addition to its geographical features, Necron Red II’s rotational period and seasonal cycles are likewise similar to those of Earth.
Necron Red II is currently host to one orbiting facility: Necron Red II Quarantine Station. Geological evidence gathered by Starfleet geological Survey missions suggest that Necron Red II previously had large-scale water coverage, while observations also indicate that small geyser-like water flows have occurred during the past decade.Observations show evidence that parts of the southern polar ice cap have been receding.
Necron Red II has a single moon, Ichaya, which is relatively small. Ichaya may be a captured dwarf planet, similar to the Sol System's Pluto . Its apparent magnitude reaches −2.9, a brightness surpassed only by a handful of planets.
Necron Red II has approximately half the radius of Earth. It is more dense than Earth, while having only about 15% of Earth's volume and 211% of the mass. Its surface area is only slightly less than the total area of Earth's dry land. This results in a much stronger gravitational force at Necron Red II's surface. Necron Red II is also roughly intermediate in size, between Earth and Earth's Moon (the Moon is about half the diameter of Necron Red II, whereas Earth is twice; the Earth is about ten times more massive than Necron Red II, and the Moon ten times less massive). The red-orange appearance of the planet's surface is caused by iron (III) oxide, more commonly known as hematite which is further enhanced byt the red-shifted spectrum of the Necron Red Sun.
Based on a combination of geologic surveys and the close examination of the planet's geology, the surface of Necron Red II appears to be composed primarily of basalt. Some evidence suggests that a portion of the planet's surface is more silica-rich than typical basalt, and may be similar to andesitic rocks on Earth; however, these observations may also be explained by silica glass. Much of the surface is deeply covered by a fine iron (III) oxide dust that has the consistency of talcum powder.
Although Necron Red II has no intrinsic magnetic field, observations show that parts of the planet's crust have been magnetized and that alternating polarity reversals of its dipole field have occurred. This paleomagnetism of magnetically susceptible minerals has properties that are very similar to the alternating bands found on the ocean floors of Earth. One theory, is that these bands demonstrate plate tectonics on Necron Red II 4 billion years ago, before the planetary dynamo ceased to function and caused the planet's magnetic field to weaken to it's current level.
Current models of the planet's interior imply a core region about 1,480 kilometers in radius, consisting primarily of iron with about 14–17% sulfur. This iron sulfide core is partially fluid, and has twice the concentration of the lighter elements than exist at Earth's core. The core is surrounded by a silicate mantle that formed many of the tectonic and volcanic features on the planet, but now appears to be inactive. The average thickness of the planet's crust is about 50 km, with a maximum thickness of 125 km. Earth's crust, averaging 40 km, is only a third as thick as Necron Red II’s crust relative to the sizes of the two planets.
The geological history of Necron Red II can be split into many epochs, but the following are the three main ones:
- Noachian epoch (named after Noachis Terra): Formation of the oldest extant surfaces of Necron Red II, 3.8 billion years ago to 3.5 billion years ago. Noachian age surfaces are scarred by many large impact craters. The Tharsis bulge volcanic upland is thought to have formed during this period, with extensive flooding by liquid water late in the epoch.
- Hesperian epoch (named after Hesperia Planum): 3.5 billion years ago to 1.8 billion years ago. The Hesperian epoch is marked by the formation of extensive lava plains.
- Amazonian epoch (named after Amazonis Planitia): 1.8 billion years ago to present. Amazonian regions have few meteorite impact craters but are otherwise quite varied. The planet's largest mountains formed during this period along with lava flows elsewhere on Necron Red II.
Recent studies support a theory, first proposed in the 2407s, that Necron Red II was struck by an Pluto-sized meteor about four billion years ago. The event, thought to be the cause of the Martian hemispheric dichotomy, created the smooth Borealis basin that covers 40% of the planet.
In June, 2407, Geological Surveys have returned data showing the soil to be slightly alkaline and containing vital nutrients such as magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride, all of which are necessary for living things to grow. However, while conducting experiments to test its pH, and discovered traces of the salt perchlorate. this would appear to make the soil more exotic than previously believed.
Despite the harsh radioactive and mineralized environment life does exist here. There are several species of mosses, lichen, fungi and simple cytoplants that break down the nutrients found in the Necron Red II Soil and have developed unique biological functions to metabolize the more dangerous elements. The extreme mineralization of the Planet's soil has thus far twarted attempts by Starfleet scientists to introduce traditional hardy flora to the planet in an attempt to begin marginal terraforming operations there.
Liquid water cannot exist on the surface of Necron Red II with its present low atmospheric pressure, except at the lowest elevations for short periods but water ice is in no short supply, with two polar ice caps made largely of ice. The volume of water ice in the south polar ice cap, if melted, would be sufficient to cover the entire planetary surface to a depth of 11 meters. Additionally, an ice permafrost mantle stretches down from the pole to latitudes of about 60°.
Much larger quantities of water are thought to be trapped underneath Necron Red II's thick cryosphere, only to be released when the crust is cracked through volcanic action. The largest such release of liquid water is thought to have occurred when the Nay'hana Abyss formed early in Necron Red II's history, enough water was released to form the massive outflow channels. A smaller but more recent event of the same kind may have occurred when the Cerberus Fossae chasm opened about 5 million years ago, leaving a supposed sea of frozen ice. However, the morphology of this region is more consistent with the ponding of lava flows causing a superficial similarity to ice flows. These lava flows probably draped the terrain established by earlier catastrophic floods of the Athabasca Abyss. Significantly rough surface texture at decimeter (dm) scales, thermal inertia comparable to that of the Gusev plains, and hydrovolcanic cones are consistent with the lava flow hypothesis. Furthermore, the stoichiometric mass fraction of H2O in this area to tens of centimeter depths is only ~4%, easily attributable to hydrated minerals and inconsistent with the presence of near-surface ice.
More recently detailed surveys on the Necron Red II give much more detail about the history of liquid water on the surface of Necron Red II. Despite the many giant flood channels and associated tree-like network of tributaries found on Necron Red II there are no smaller scale structures that would indicate the origin of the flood waters. It has been suggested that weathering processes have denuded these, indicating the river valleys are old features. Higher resolution observations from spacecraft also revealed at least a few hundred features along crater and canyon walls that appear similar to terrestrial seepage gullies. The gullies tend to be in the highlands of the southern hemisphere and to face the Equator; all are poleward of 30° latitude. The researchers found no partially degraded (i.e. weathered) gullies and no superimposed impact craters, indicating that these are very young features.
In a particularly striking example surveys performed six years apart, show a gully on Necron Red II with what appears to be new deposits of sediment. It is argued that only the flow of material with a high liquid water content could produce such a debris pattern and coloring. Whether the water results from precipitation, underground or another source remains an open question. However, alternative scenarios have been suggested, including the possibility of the deposits being caused by carbon dioxide frost or by the movement of dust on the planet's surface.
Further evidence that liquid water once existed on the surface of Necron Red II comes from the detection of specific minerals such as hematite and goethite, both of which sometimes form in the presence of water.
Nevertheless, some of the evidence believed to indicate ancient water basins and flows has been negated by higher resolution studies taken at resolution about 30 cm by Federation Survey Teams.
Necron Red II lost its magnetosphere 4 billion years ago, so the solar wind interacts directly with the planet's ionosphere, keeping the atmosphere thinner than it would otherwise be by stripping away atoms from the outer layer. Visiting starships have detected these ionized atmospheric particles trailing off into space behind Necron Red II. The atmosphere of Necron Red II is now relatively thin. Atmospheric pressure on the surface varies from around 30 Pa (0.03 k Pa) on Mount Emaya to over 1155 Pa (1.155 k Pa) in the depths of Kohano Abyss, with a mean surface level pressure of 600 Pa (0.6 k Pa). This is less than 1% of the surface pressure on Earth (101.3 k Pa). Necron Red II's mean surface pressure equals the pressure found 35 km above the Earth's surface. The scale height of the atmosphere, about 3 km, is lower than Earth's (6 km) due to the higher gravity. Necron Red II's gravity is about 148% of the surface gravity on Earth.
The atmosphere on Necron Red II consists of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and contains traces of oxygen and water. The atmosphere is quite dusty, containing particulates about 1.5 µm in diameter which give the sky a tawny color when seen from the surface.
Survey Teams have detected methane in the planet's atmosphere with a concentration of about 10 ppb by volume. Since methane is an unstable gas that is broken down by ultraviolet radiation, typically lasting about 340 years in the Necron atmosphere, its presence would indicate a current or recent source of the gas on the planet. Volcanic activity, cometary impacts, and the presence of methanogenic microbial life forms are among possible sources. It was recently pointed out that methane could also be produced by a non-biological process called serpentinization involving water, carbon dioxide, and the mineral olivine, which is known to be common on Necron Red II.
During a pole's winter, it lies in continuous darkness, chilling the surface and causing 25–30% of the atmosphere to condense out into thick slabs of CO2 ice (dry ice). When the poles are again exposed to sunlight, the frozen CO2 sublimes, creating enormous winds that sweep off the poles as fast as 400 km/h. These seasonal actions transport large amounts of dust and water vapor, giving rise to Earth-like frost and large cirrus clouds. These storms post a constant threat to the inhabitants of the planet.
Of all the planets, Necron Red II's seasons are the most Earth-like, due to the similar tilts of the two planets' rotational axes. However, the lengths of the planet's seasons are about twice those of Earth's, as Necron Red II’s greater distance from the Sun leads to the Martian year being about two Earth years in length. Surface temperatures vary from lows of about −140 °C (−220 °F) during the polar winters to highs of up to 20 °C (68 °F) in summers. The wide range in temperatures is due to the thin atmosphere which cannot store much solar heat, the low atmospheric pressure, and the low thermal inertia of the soil.
If Necron Red II had an Earth-like orbit, its seasons would be similar to Earth's because its axial tilt is similar to Earth's. However, the comparatively large eccentricity of the planet's orbit has a significant effect. Necron Red II is near perihelion when it is summer in the southern hemisphere and winter in the north, and near aphelion when it is winter in the southern hemisphere and summer in the north. As a result, the seasons in the southern hemisphere are more extreme and the seasons in the northern are milder than would otherwise be the case. The summer temperatures in the south can be up to 30 °C (54 °F) warmer than the equivalent summer temperatures in the north.
Necron Red II also has the largest dust storms on record for any inhabited planet in the Alpha Quadrant. These can vary from a storm over a small area, to gigantic storms that cover the entire planet. They tend to occur when Necron Red II is closest to the Sun, and have been shown to increase the global temperature.
The polar caps at both poles consist primarily of water ice. However, there is dry ice present on their surfaces. Frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) accumulates as a thin layer about one meter thick on the north cap in the northern winter only, while the south cap has a permanent dry ice cover about eight meters thick. The northern polar cap has a diameter of about 1000 kilometers during the northern Necron Red II summer, and contains about 1.6 million cubic kilometers of ice, which if spread evenly on the cap would be 2 kilometers thick. (This compares to a volume of 2.85 million cubic kilometers for the Greenland ice sheet.) The southern polar cap has a diameter of 350 km and a thickness of 3 km. The total volume of ice in the south polar cap plus the adjacent layered deposits has also been estimated at 1.6 million cubic kilometers. Both polar caps show spiral troughs, which are believed to form as a result of differential solar heating, coupled with the sublimation of ice and condensation of water vapor. Both polar caps shrink and regrow following the temperature fluctuation of the the seasons.
Orbit and Rotation
Necron Red II’s average distance from it's primary Sun is roughly 230 million km (1.5 AU) and its orbital period is 687 (Earth) days. The solar day (or sol) on Necron Red II is only slightly longer than an Earth day: 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds. A solar year is equal to 1.8809 Earth years, or 1 year, 320 days, and 18.2 hours.
Necron Red II's axial tilt is 25.19 degrees, which is similar to the axial tilt of the Earth. As a result, Necron Red II has seasons like the Earth, though on Necron Red II they are nearly twice as long given its longer year.
Necron Red II has a relatively pronounced orbital eccentricity of about 0.09. However, it is known that in the past Necron Red II has had a much more circular orbit than it does currently. At one point 1.35 million Earth years ago, Necron Red II had an eccentricity of roughly 0.002, much less than that of Earth today.The Necron Red II cycle of eccentricity is 96,000 Earth years compared to the Earth's cycle of 100,000 years. However, Necron Red II also has a much longer cycle of eccentricity with a period of 2.2 million Earth years, and this overshadows the 96,000-year cycle in the eccentricity graphs. For the last 35,000 years Necron Red II's orbit has been getting slightly more eccentric because of the gravitational effects of Necron Red I. The closest distance between the Necron Red I and Necron Red II will continue to mildly decrease for the next 25,000 years.
Necron Red II has one fairly small natural moon, Ichaya, which orbits very close to the planet and is thought to be a captured dwarf planet
From the surface of Necron Red II, the motions of Ichaya appear very different from that of our own moon. Ichaya rises in the north, sets in the south, and rises again in just 11 hours.
Because Ichaya's orbit is below synchronous altitude, the tidal forces from the planet Necron Red II are gradually lowering its orbit. In about 50 million years it will either crash into Necron Red II’s surface or break up into a ring structure around the planet.
It is not well understood how or when Necron Red II came to capture its moon. Ichaya has a very circular orbit, very near the polar equator, which is very unusual in itself for captured objects. Ichaya's unstable orbit would seem to point towards a relatively recent capture. There is no known mechanism for a nearly airless Necron Red II to capture a lone stellar object, so it is likely that a third body was involved — however, asteroids or other planetary bodies in the Necron System are rare.
The current understanding of planetary habitability—the ability of a world to develop and sustain life — favors planets that have liquid water on their surface. This requires that the orbit of a planet lie within a habitable zone. Necron Red II orbits half an astronomical unit beyond this zone and this, along with the planet's thin atmosphere, causes water to either freeze on its surface or sublimate into the atmosphere. The past flow of liquid water, however, demonstrates the planet's potential for habitability. Recent evidence has suggested that any water on the surface would have been too salty and acidic to support native life. However, we see the tenaciousness of biological life everywhere we look on Necron Red II. Through either biological evolution or through adapting alternate biological processes, the carbon based lifeforms on Necron Red II have thrived despite the harsh conditions that prevail here.
The lack of a magnetosphere and extremely thin atmosphere of Necron Red II are an even greater challenge: the planet has little heat transfer across its surface, poor insulation against radioactive bombardment and the ionizing effects of Necron Red's harsh solar wind. This along with insufficient atmospheric pressure to retain water in a liquid form (water instead sublimates to a gaseous state) places the odds of native life flourishing here astronomical. Necron Red II is also nearly, or perhaps totally, geologically dead; the end of volcanic activity has stopped the recycling of chemicals and minerals between the surface and interior of the planet.
Evidence however, suggests that the planet was once significantly more habitable than it is today. The species native to Necron Red II have been categorized as extremophile forms of life. Tests conducted have shown that the soil has a very alkaline pH and it contains magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride. The soil nutrients are therefore able to support life, but early life would still required extensive survival mechanisms to protect themselves from the intense ultraviolet light produced by their sun.
History of Sentient Life on Necron Red II
Necron red II did not develop it's own indiginious sentient life, instead sentient life came to Necron Red II.
In the early to mid- 2200s a starship carrying members of the Earth hopi tribes were forced out of warp and crashed on necron Red II. The planet although extremely danegrous to Human life was conquered by the haopi, through a surprising combination of generational mutations and the ability to modify their environment.
They found that they were able to construct adequately shielded shelters to allow their continued survival, and slowly over a period of time, their bodies began to adapt to the harsh environments of the planet. Some members of the inhabitants developed limited telepathic or empathic abilities, perhaps caused by a mutation triggered by the intense radiations.
Additionally, the considerably heavier gravity, forced the bodies of the natives to adapt. These adaptations include a stronger circulatory system as well as greater muscular and osteopathic density. In addition, other biological factors contributed to better toxin screening as well as allowingfor the adapation of biological symbiots that could repalce the function of a particular organ within the body of the average Necron Red inhabitant.
- Epoch J2000
- Aphelion 249,209,300 km (1.665 861 AU)
- Perihelion 206,669,000 km (1.381 497 AU)
- Semi-major axis 227,939,100 km (1.523 679 AU)
- Eccentricity 0.093315
- Orbital period 686.971 day (1.8808 Julian years, 668.5991 sols)
- Synodic period 779.96 day (2.135 Julian years)
- Average orbital speed 24.077 km/s
- Inclination 1.850°
- 5.65° to Solar Equator
- Longitude of ascending node 49.562°
- Argument of perihelion 286.537°
- Satellites: 1
Planetary Physical characteristics
- Equatorial radius 3 396.2 ± 0.1 km (0.533 Earths)
- Polar radius 3 376.2 ± 0.1 km (0.531 Earths)
- Flattening 0.00589 ± 0.000 15
- Surface area 144798500 km² (0.284 Earths)
- Volume 1.6318×1011 km³ (0.151 Earths)
- Mass 6.4185×1023 kg (0.107 Earths)
- Mean density 3.934 g/cm³
- Equatorial surface gravity 14.69 m/s² (1.476 g)
- Escape velocity 7540.5 km/s
- Sidereal rotation period 1.025957 day (24.622 96 h)
- Equatorial rotation velocity 868.22 km/h
- Axial tilt 25.19°
- North pole right ascension 21 h 10 min 44 s (317.681 43°)
- North pole declination 52.886 50°
- Albedo 0.15
- Surface temp.
- Kelvin (min/mean/max) 186°K/227°K/268°K
- Celsius (min/mean/max) −87 °C/−46 °C/−5 °C
- Apparent magnitude +1.8 to −2.91
- Angular diameter 3.5—25.1"
- Surface pressure 0.7–0.9 k Pa
- 94.72% Carbon dioxide
- 2.7% Nitrogen
- 1.6% Argon
- 3.2% Oxygen
- 0.07% Carbon monoxide
- 0.03% Water vapor
- 0.01% Nitric oxide
- 2.5 ppm Neon
- 300 ppb Krypton
- 130 ppb Formaldehyde
- 80 ppb Xenon
- 30 ppb Ozone
- 10 ppb Methane