Geography and Astrography O - P

Stars, planets, satellites and places on them:

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Panjandrum (city): The mostly lawless capital city of the French Prefecture (New France) and site of a spaceport on the planet Panjandrum. A true "hive of scum and villainy." Streets are paved with green bricks. (The Pirates of Panjandrum) Many buildings are roofed with slate or red tile. (The Centaurian Bud Vase)

   At a certain time of year the Twin Suns rise up between the Twin Peaks of the Twin Mountains when seen from the city. The event is considered a tourist attraction. (The Pirates of Panjandrum). The best place to view this event is at the space port. Several buildings, including Hangar 14, have roofs specially constructed to accommodate tourists.

   The city does not experience a true winter--the extended season caused by a planet's axial tilt or its orbital eccentricity. Here, a combination of the elevation of the Lorendonna Plateau and the location of the surrounding mountains brings cold air and snow for five to six weeks each year. (The Centaurian Bud Vase)

Panjandrum (planet): The Earth-like second planet of the double stars Damascus A and B (The Twin Suns). (The Centaurian Bud Vase, The Pirates of Panjandrum). It has a day of about 38 hours. Panjandrum has no native birds. (Superb Owl Sunday)

  A portion of one continent was settled by the people of France (The Tartian Egg), Monaco, and Italy (The War of the Olives) in what was originally called the Panjandrum Colonial State. The PCS, as it is often called, was divided into three prefectures: New France, New Monaco, and Italy.

   There are a pair of similar mountains (The Twin Mountains) which each have a similar peak (i.e., The Twin Peaks).

Papeete: Capital of The Nation of the Pacific. Located on Tahiti on Earth. (Blood Stone and Red Sky in Mourning)

Papenoo: Tahitian city on the beach west of Papeete. Location of Skull Rock. (Blood Stone)

Patience: One of the planets taupiformed by the Taupoians before The Great Dying. They had only proceeded as far as establishing plant life before the planet was abandoned.

   In 2173 The Warren Ark began bringing animals from Earth. (The Last Acorn) In 2177 actual human colonization began. However, the humans at the site of the original colonization experienced a constant hissing in their ears. They felt that this was some sort of disease, known simply as The Hiss, but were unable to determine the cause. Out of fear that the disease could spread and/or become more serious, the colony was abandoned in 2182.

   In 2210, the Waxonians, assuming that as a different species, they would not have this problem, took over the site of the previous colony, but experienced a similar auditory problem, although to a much lesser degree. A year later, Leonas won the struggle for succession and began a purge of pretenders and intellectuals. These Waxonians fled to the colonies, including Patience, and in 2213 The Kindred hid the Treasures of Ramunus, with his sword going to Patience.

   Because of concern for The Hiss (as instigated by The Kindred,) the colony was abandoned in 2215 and has since been classified as "Uninhabitable" and placed under quarantine by the SEC.

Planet - Definition: A planet is an object formed from a dust and gas cloud whose mass has never been great enough to ignite nuclear fusion and whose mass is great enough that the body is approaching hydrostatic equilibrium between its rotation and its gravitational attraction.

   Note 1: The above definition is different than the one arrived at by the International Astronomical Union in 2006. People have said that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Many people seem to have similar ideas about the IAU's definition of "planet." Their definition could easily be modified within the next few years. It certainly needs to be changed.

   Note 2: Some planets orbit stars, some orbit other planets (and may be referred to as "satellites"), and some exist in interstellar space after being ejected from their original stellar system.

   Note 3: A slowly rotating planet's shape would tend to be nearly spherical due to the effect of gravitational attraction. Rotation causes the equatorial diameter to be greater than the polar diameter. Tidal effects of the planet's star(s) or satellite(s) and events such as circulation of the planet's interior or impacts of other objects may distort the planet's shape.

   Note 4: In our solar system, planets may be placed into subcategories due to their composition: Terrestrial planets (like Earth) are primarily rocky and metallic. Jovian planets are primarily gasses and gasses compressed to liquids (like Jupiter). Dwarf planets are primarily water ice (like Pluto). In our solar system, Uranus and Neptune have been considered Jovian planets. But recently I've noticed that some people are referring to them as something like "water giants" because of the amount of water that they contain.

Poco a Culm: The home town on Zeta 4 of Tom Clancy's friend, Ondomo. The name means "Peaceful View of the Lake." (Ghost Writers in the Disguise, A Many-Splendored Thing)


Page updated: 07 August 2020
Page created: 19 January 2012