Shards of Gaia: Ravenoak's Legacy
The world of Gaia is a Terrestrial (Class M) type planet that orbits a binary star system Duenar in an elliptical orbit. One “Year” in the Gaian calendar is similar to our Earth year in length — 364 days. Its 2 suns, Hyperion and Tartarus, orbit each other around a barycenter and complete a revolution about each other every three years. Tartarus is a red star, about 20% larger in diameter than Hyperion, a brighter bluish star. Due to this stellar revolution and the axial tilt of Gaia itself, its inhabitants go through 12 distinct seasons every 3 years. At perihelion, the atmospheric temperature at sea level may reach 65 degrees C or higher. At Aphelion, the global temperature averages around negative 20.
Gaia has 3 large natural satellites (moons) that are visible to the naked eye: Aurum, Ovum, and Citra. Aurum, the smallest of the three, is a deformed spheroid that spins around an axis that wobbles with respect to Gaia. It resembles a gold nugget. It has a protrusion that some scholars refer to as the “Nose” of Aurum, which can sometimes be seen when Aurum is “in profile” as it rotates around its axis every 14 hours . For reference, Aurum is about 1/10 the diameter of Earth’s Moon (as viewed from the surface of the planet.) Aurum completes a full revolution of Gaia every 5.5 days and its orbit is highly eccentric.
Ovum, next larger in size, is about 1/4 the diameter of Earth’s Moon, and is distinctly egg-shaped. Depending on the weather and season, the moons of Gaia may take on different shades and colors, but Ovum is known as the “dark moon” since its color is typically a yellow-brown and much dimmer compared to the other two major satellites. Ovum completes a full revolution of Gaia every 64.3 days and rotates about its long axis every 40 hours. Due to its odd shape, Ovum appears to go through 8 distinct phases.
Citra is about 10% larger than Earth’s Moon. It is the brightest object in the night sky, and its regular pattern of thirteen 28-day, 4-phase cycles set the pace for most, if not all, calendars created by Gaia’s peoples.