Mote Prime

Mote Prime:  Marginally habitable world in the Trans-Coalsack Sector.  Primary:  G2 yellow dwarf star approximately ten parsecs from the Trans-Coalsack Sector Capital New Caledonia.  Generally referred to as the Mote in Murcheson's Eye (q.v.) or the Mote.  Mass 0.91 Sol; luminosity 0.78 Sol.

Mote Prime has a poisonous atmosphere breathable with the aid of commercial or standard Navy issue filters.  Contraindicated for heart patients or where emphysema problems exist.  Oxygen:  16 percent.  Nitrogen:  79.4 percent.  CO2:  2.9 percent.  Helium:  1 percent.  Complex hydrocarbons including ketones:  0.7 percent.

Gravity:  0.780 standard.  The planetary radius is 0.84, and mass is 0.57 Earth standard; a planet of normal density.  Period:  0.937 standard years, or 8,750.005 hours.  The planet is inclined at 18 degrees with semimajor axis of 0.93 AU (137 million kilometers).  Temperatures are cool, poles uninhabitable and covered with ice.  Equatorial and tropical regions are temperate to hot.  The local day is 27.33 hours.

There is one moon, small and close.  It is asteroidal in origin and the back side bears the characteristic indented crater typical of planetoids in the Mote system.  The moon-based fusion generator and power-beaming station are critical sources for the Mote Prime civilization.

Topography:  50 percent ocean, not including extensive ice caps.  Terrain is flat over most of the land area.  Mountain ranges are low and heavily eroded.  There are few forests.  Arable lands are extensively cultivated.

The most obvious features are circular formations which are visible everywhere.  The smallest are eroded to the limits of detection, while the largest can be seen only from orbit.

Although the physical features of Mote Prime are of some interest, particularly to ecologists concerned with the effects of intelligent life on planetography, the primary interest in the Mote centers on its inhabitants...

From The Mote in God's Eye, by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven (Pocket Books, 1974).

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