Gerald Nordley designed the Scoti planetary system. He presented it at Silicon, California in 2002 where one set of alien inhabitants were designed. John Bray and Del Cotter took his work and ran a second alien design workshop at Seacon, the UK Eastercon, in 2003. These pages showcase the planet and the different alien creations.

Planetary System

The primary star is an old (circa 6 Ga) K0V star with a luminosity of 0.45 suns. It has six planets, listed below.

#dist(AU)mass (Earths)RadiusType
II.9729589.834superjovian (Scoti primary)
III4.13 20359.764superjovian

The "habitable zone" planet is an eccentric superjovian, about 2.5 times Jupiter's mass with a high inclination like Uranus and a magnetic field aligned with its roatational axis, like Saturn. It has two roughly Mars sized moons (inner moons and rings optional) within its magnetosphere protected from the K star's anemic particle winds. It's orbital period is 1.143 years or roughly 417 days. The eccentricity of the orbit is 0.4934, with its equatorial plane roughly aligned to the star at periastron and apoastron. In the northern hemisphere, autumn is at periastron, winter starts 40 days later and lasts for 154 days. Spring starts at apoastron and lasts for six months. The short, very hot summer starts then lasts for another 40 days or so, bringing the planet back to periastron. For southern hemispheres, the mirror image occurs.

The satellites are tide-locked to the primary with orbital period days of 0.92 day and 1.84 day. They have Mars-like surface gravities (about 40% of Earths). The atmospheres are earthlike but deep, with vertical scales about 2.5 times those of Earth. Over the course of its year, the superjovian and its satellites go from Mars-like apoastron insolation in to Venus like insolation at periastron.

The inner satellite is called Scoti. I envision it as having Io like morphology. Because the Arctic circle is essentially at the equator, insolation in the northern and southern hemispheres varies dramatically over the year. A graph of noon insolation for the northern hemisphere lies below. Because the polar days are so long, the poles get more total insolations than the equatorial region, which could remain icebound. This could lend itself to isolated hibernating cultures, or a migratory culture that goes from one pole to the other. The rapid change in insolation around periastron should lead to some significantly violent weather, and there should also be a fair amount of volcanism and tectonic activity. I'm envisioning glaciated highlands around the equator and in ridges at the poles, but the Scoti team should feel free to modify that as needed. The weight of ice at low lattitudes has depressed the lithosphere below sea level in places.

The outer moon, would have an Europa like morphology, with a 200 km ocean, but also with an atmosphere. I'm provisionally calling it Hydropa. It's ocean would probably freeze over at apoastron and melt as the superjovian swings in toward the sun. It would also have underwater volcanism, though not as much as Scoti.

Silicon Aliens

Randall Clague wrote a report on the aliens they designed, and how they reacted to a First Contact scenario. Gerry produced an image of what the second group of creatures looked like.

Seacon Aliens

The Seacon attendees got rather bogged down in planetology in the first few sessions, but finally came up with 4 aliens, the stay at home tusker, the volcanic vent based velcro squid, the migrating cockroaches (no picture) and the aerial gasbag. A happy Autumn scene!

We then voted on who should progress to sentience, and so we did more work on the final 2 days on ... the velco squid, and even made a cuddly toy!

Contributions from: Gerald Nordley, John Bray, Del Cotter, Pia Hall, Dr Bob, Simon Tatham, Dan Smithers