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Vassa

Vassa and its moon C2-1

Vassa (also designated as KIP 1357c) is the second planet orbiting Cercani and the second planet added by the Other_Worlds Star Pack. It is a tidally locked ocean world with one moon and an atmosphere.

In-Game Description

Vassa does not have a description yet.

Attributes

General Characteristics

Vassa, being an ocean planet, has no rocky landmasses. But there is an ice hemisphere from being tidally locked to Cercani. The planet is 84% the size of Laythe, making it one of the smallest objects with liquid oceans in the Kopernicus mod community. Despite the lack of land on Vassa, it has very high science rewards from being a very Kerbin-like planet.

Geological Features

There may not be any rocky land on Vassa, but that does not mean there are a few noteworthy geologic features. Besides the ice hemisphere and the ocean, there are multiple pits in Vassa's ice that contain miniature seas. Called "Hidden Seas", these small bodies of water can be tens of kilometers in radius. They are even major enough to get their own biome (see: "Biomes").

How the Hidden Seas came to be is rather mysterious. There could be three possible ways, at max. One idea is that the Hidden Seas were created from asteroid impacts. Even asteroids around the size of E-Class space rocks, which are only 30 meters in radius, could've made the Seas; The heat from the impact would've melted much of the surrounding ices. Another idea is that they are sinkholes, possibly from warm ocean currents carving their way towards the back of Vassa. But an even more plausible idea is that the Hidden Seas were formed from undersea volcanoes poking their way through Vassa's icy side.

Weather Systems

Vassa is the only planet in the Cercani system that has any notable weather. There is a giant cyclone over the major ocean on Vassa, caused by the direct exposure to Cercani's heat. Being tidally locked, Vassa's winds blow around that cyclone. However, the atmospheric pressure on the planet is around 55% that of Kerbin's.

Habitability

Vassa seems to be a rather nice place from just a quick glace at it, but closer looks reveal that it may not be so habitable. Vassa orbits around 7,600,000 kilometers from Cercani. That is over half Kerbin's distance from the stock Sun. Since Cercani puts out about half the heat and light Kerbol does, this orbit puts Vassa close to the cold edge of the system's habitable zone.

Orbital characteristics aren't the only things that could prohibit life on Vassa. The atmosphere is only 50 kilometers high and has less pressure than Laythe. It would be hard for most creatures to breathe on Vassa, especially since there is no atmospheric oxygen. And if Cercani does have wound up magnetic fields, then Vassa may be exposed to huge amounts of radiation. Past flares possibly shaved off part of the planet's atmosphere and gotten rid of its oxygen.

Biomes

Vassa has only three biomes because of its lack of land. They are:

  • Ice Hemisphere
  • Ocean
  • Hidden Seas

Moons

Being rather close to Cercani and having 55% Kerbin's gravity, Vassa has just one moon. It does not have an official name and goes by its designation of C2-1. C2-1 is a lumpy asteroid-like object, but has some interesting surface features.

Inspiration

There are many planets that Vassa could be based off of. One is Gliese 1214b, a planet 2.7 times the diameter of Earth that seems to be an ocean planet. However, GJ 1214b is a lot different than Vassa. Another possible inspiration is either Kepler-62e or Kepler-62f. Both are potentially habitable planets around an orange dwarf star. The final possible inspiration is the potentially habitable but possibly non-existant exoplanet Gliese 581g.

Trivia

  • OriginalVassa

    The original texture of Vassa, depicting it as a Terra planet.

    Vassa's original texture had yellowish land instead of ice for the back side.
    • That land also stretched further to Vassa's front side.
  • The cyclone on Vassa is not implemented by EVE. But with EVE, Vassa has no storms.

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