Celestial Matters, part two
The Night Sky
There are thirteen other planets in the Devanandi system, a mixture of rocky bodies and gas giants. Six of them are visible in Devanand’s night sky. Two of these are in the “Goldilocks Zone”, that area around the star where human habitation is possible.
The first of the Goldilocks planets is a little smaller, about 4/5ths the size of Devanand. It is also closer to the star, making it much warmer. It has a more pronounced tilt, making the seasons more extreme.
The second is larger than Devanand by about a quarter, and is near the outer edge of the Goldilocks zone. It is the brightest object, other than the moon, in the night sky.
Some of the Dragons are aware these erratic “stars” are not the same as other stars. A few, like Tarlah, have taken the time to observe and record their movements. If the dragons ever realize these strange stars are other planets, they will be able to devise spells allowing them to travel there. The two sister planets, though harsh, would be habitable.
There is also a bright, multi-colored band of stars scattered across the sky, running northwest to southeast. This is the edge of the galactic disk, though Devanand’s inhabitants see it only as a river of stars. Many people believe these are the souls of dragons and other beings.
Several times during the year Devanand experiences meteor showers. Most people believe these are souls, falling from the Celestial River and returning to the world. In addition to meteor showers, Devanand experiences a number of recurring comets. The dragons are long-lived enough to realize these are returning celestial bodies with predictable orbits. Their people see comets as they do all heavenly bodies: as souls. Comets are, obviously, the souls of great dragons, as opposed to the simple, everyday souls that meteors represent.
Devanand has a single satellite, slightly larger than the moon of Terra and, consequently, tides on Devanand rise a little higher than the tides of Terra. Devanand’s moon is also tidally locked, showing only one face to the planet below, and passing through the familiar phases from new moon to full and back again. The dragons name the moon “Sahoda,” which means “sister.” Among the other races she has many other names: Lady of Tides, Mother of Secrets, The Healer, The Hunter, and the Lady of Change. The sea-faring people of the eastern islands call her the Pearl of Heaven.
Without city lights to interfere, the people of Devanand can enjoy the bright, beautiful night sky, and contemplate its wonder and mystery. Unfortunately, few save the dragons and the Lanikamali’i ever do.
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.