Ares

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Planetary Conditions

Ares (or Gliese 876 d) is an exoplanet approximately 15 light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius. The planet was the third planet discovered orbiting the red dwarf Gliese 876. Due to this low mass, it can be categorized as a super-Earth.

Ares is located in an orbit with a semimajor axis of only 0.0208 AU (3.11 million km). At this distance from the star tidal interactions should circularize the orbit; however measurements reveal that it has a high eccentricity of 0.207, comparable to that of Mercury in our solar system.

The outer planets are nearly coplanar with an inclination of around 59° with respect to the plane of the sky. Ares orbits in the same plane as the other planets. Tidal heating plays a significant role in the planet’s geology to the point of keeping it completely molten. Total heat flux is approximately 104-5 W/m2 at the planet’s surface; for comparison the surface heat flux for Io is around 3 W/m2. This is similar to the energy it receives from its parent star of about 40,000 W/m2. Ares has a maximum albedo of 0.8 with a temperature of 430–650 K.

The planet was likely formed further from Gliese 876 as a gas giant and migrated inwards with the other gas giants. Giving it a composition richer in volatile substances such as water. As it arrived in range, the star blew off the planet’s hydrogen layer via coronal mass ejection. The planet has a pressurised ocean of water (in the form of a supercritical fluid) separated from the silicate core by a layer of ice kept frozen by the high pressures in the planetary interior. The planets atmosphere contains water vapor and free oxygen produced by the breakdown of water by ultraviolet radiation.

Ares may be insanely hot by human standards, but has abundant raw materials that are often hard to find elsewhere. Ares has proven to be a carbon heavy to the point of having diamond rain and large concentrations of graphite and silicon carbide.

Population

  • Interstellar Era:
  • Modern Era:

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Ares is a harsh world with most of the surface dedicated to mining and orbit is ruled by the massive shipyards.

Locations of Interest

Ares

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