Pequar (also designated KIP 1357 d) is the third object orbiting Cercani and the largest terrestrial planet of the system. The third planet in the mod Other_Worlds, Pequar is a Super-Kerbin, meaning that it has a radius greater than 600 kilometers. It is a cold desert world with huge ice caps, a giant impact basin, and a golden ring system. The planet is circled by two medium-sized moons and hosts a substantial atmosphere.
"Known to be cool (What a pun), Pequar is the main rocky planet of the Cercani system. Covered with big ice caps and not that big sand mares. It was the second planet of the Cercani system to be discovered by the scientific community. At the beginning, they thought they had discovered a new Duna, but they were wrong."-Kerbal Astronomical Society
Pequar is a large planet, with a radius of 780 kilometers - 1.3 times the radius of Kerbin. It has about 1.859 times the mass of Kerbin and 10% more gravity. However, despite its large size, Pequar is less dense than Kerbin and Eve. This suggests that Pequar is made mostly of ice. The surface is only partially covered with dust and sand, possibly due to collisions. Another hypothesis is that Pequar lacks a substantial iron-nickle core, which would correlate to its lack of geologic activity. In fact, Pequar may not even have a core to begin with, as the area it formed in has very little iron and nickle.
The surface of Pequar is dominated by icy plains and cold deserts. The planet's ice caps reach down to about 40* latitude in each hemisphere, leaving a rather narrow band of desert terrain. The northern ice cap has a large gap in it, however, possibly due to an ancient impact. Pequar has many large impact basins created by large asteroids, some possibly up to the size of Minmus. Without a thick atmosphere Pequar's surface is vulnerable to these types of impactors.
Around the craters and icy regions are odd dark patches. The origins of these spots are unknown, but they could be one of two things: dried-up lava from past activity, or gigantic groups of photosynthetic bacteria. The latter is highly unlikely, as Pequar's atmosphere shows no signs of a biological presence. However, the dried-lava theory is possible because some of the dark regions border the giant impact basins. They could've been created when large impacts thrust molten rock onto the surface, which later cooled.
Atmosphere and Climate
The atmosphere of Pequar is only moderately substantial. While far thicker than the atmosphere of Duna, it is only about 40% the thickness of Kerbin's air. It contains absolutely no oxygen, but there may be chemicals such as Carbon Dioxide, Argon, and Nitrogen. This can be inferred by the orange-ish color of Pequar's atmosphere. Plus, at this distance from Cercani, Pequar should be much colder, suggesting that the atmosphere provides some sort of greenhouse effect.
Pequar's surface temperature never exceeds 240 degrees Kelvin (about negative 33 degrees Celsius). Liquid water is therefore impossible on the surface. This is also the case for the planet's equatorial deserts, despite being the hottest place on the planet. Dust storms are likely due to the temperature variations between the icy regions and the equatorial deserts. Like on Mars, these storms can last for weeks on end.
Pequar orbits Cercani with a stable, nearly circular orbit. Its distance from its host star varies by only about 143,000 kilometers between periapsis and apoapsis. Pequar's semi-major axis is about 0.8757 times that of Kerbin, and its orbital inclination is around 4.2 degrees.
The space around Pequar is packed with several interesting places.
Pequar is one of two planets in the Cercani system to host a ring system, the other being Nienna. The rings of Pequar are golden in color and very bright. This is probably due to their large size - the rings of Pequar are almost 2,000 kilometers wide. There is just one main system of rings, which consists of many small ringlets.
Pequar has two medium sized moons. They are Disole and C3-2. One of them has an atmosphere, while the other is a small captured asteroid.
- DISOLE: The closest moon to Pequar, orbiting only a few thousand kilometers away from the rings. Disole used to be rather similar to Kerbin before a mysterious catastrophe turned the moon dead and dry. While small, it has a thick oxygen atmosphere, making flights here easy and weird The surface has very little craters, along with a possible ocean basin.
- C3-2: This is a small captured asteroid moon orbiting not that far from Disole. C3-2 is a golden color, similar to the rings. It is possible that C3-2 or another similar moon is responsible for the rings of Pequar. Other than that, though, this moon only has hills and craters. Nice views though!
- In the development version of Other_Worlds, Pequar had blue rings.
- Pequar can possibly be an analogue to planets such as Gliese 581d and Kepler-1229b.
- The latter is unlikely, as 1229b was discovered nearly a year after development began.