Merrion (Alpha Mensae)

Honorary capital system of the NoCoZo

Image from Steve Bowers
Amil Datuuh Jaak, the current name of a small dwarf planet in a distant orbit around both stars. The world is covered in tens of large dome habitats and a multitude of smaller ones.

Merrion - Data Panel

SystemNames: Merrion
Components: 2
1) M'riong (Alpha Mensae A)
2) Mer'eppo (Alpha Mensae B)
- Distance from Zeta Reticuli: 13.42 ly (J2000)
- Distance from Sol: 33.31 ly (J2000)
- Constellation: Mensa
Star ANames: M'riong, Alpha Mensae A, Gliese 231 A (GJ 231 A), HD 43834 A, HIP 29271 A, HR 2261 A
Physical characteristics:
- Mass: 0.961 x Sol
- Radius: 0.960 x Sol
- Luminosity: 0.799 x Sol (bolometric)
- Temperature: 5,569 Kelvin
- Spectral type: G7V
- Rotation period: 30.0 days
- Age: 6.1 billion years
Star BNames: Mer'eppo, Alpha Mensae B, Gliese 231 B (GJ 231 B), HD 43834 B, HIP 29271 B, HR 2261 B
Physical characteristics:
- Mass: 0.217 x Sol
- Radius: 0.239 x Sol
- Luminosity: 0.005015 x Sol (bolometric)
- Temperature: 3,142 Kelvin
- Spectral type: M4.5V
- Age: 6.1 billion years
Binary orbitOrbital characteristics:
- Average separation: 33.601 AU
- Orbital period: 179.5 years
Population:Total 81.2 trillion sophonts
Main Industries:Interstellar governance services, finance, marketing, media, transport, education, policy analysis, entertainment multiplexing.

First visited by a SecureSpace exploration probe in 1284 and a manned exploration mission in 1395. Merrion became NoCoZo seat in 2215 after the Treaty Revision summit. It was selected more or less randomly, as a practical meeting point reasonably far away from Solsys and with good refueling potential. Over time it acquired infrastructure, political and economic importance and developed into a populous Inner Sphere system. Merrion boasts a huge number of habitat domes and immense megastructures, where the major businesses and groups have their local offices, and across the net the Board constantly debates. Parts of the Board stream-of-discussion are publicly available and commented on political tracking channels.

The largest worlds in the Merrion system are no more massive than Mercury; the gravitational influence of the other stars meant most dust never had the chance to coalesce into larger worlds, and instead form asteroid belts, from which the inhabitants of this system used to construct their habitats. A thriving asteroid mining industry extends throughout the system as a result. After the Version War, which saw heavy bombardment of the planetary objects and the destruction of the various worldhouses and dome habitats, a very orbital habitat-focused culture has developed - one that continues to strongly influence the system in the Current Era.

As an archetypal NoCoZo system, the Merrion system's culture is extremely faddish, and structures tend to appear and disappear over a comparatively brief period of time compared to elsewhere in the Sephirotics. Some of the famous habitat clusters in the Merrion system in the Current Era are such as the Inghdallh Cluster and the Tangadakel Cluster, neither of them older than 300 years. Likewise, the name of nearly all objects in the system, save for the two stars themselves, are changed rather often, usually after notable businessbeings as a way to honor their capabilities.

City wide shot 2 ::
Image from Juan Ochoa
Dih M'jemm Habitat, one of the more busy rotating habitats in Merrion. The low gravity created by its gentle rotation allows the elaborate fancloth yachts to fly with ease.

While most sophonts in the Merrion system live in the orbital habitats, the planets are not totally abandoned. An example of a group living on a planet can be found at Louzoun, the Pluto-sized innermost world of Mer'eppo's planetary system, where the gradual merger of local maintenance and security corporations led to the development of a self-owning vec class - the Louzoun Dormbots - during the 6000's. They have their own culture, mainly centered on their world but selling services both systemwide and across the NoCoZo.

While actual coercion attempts remain extremely rare, visitors should note that the system is a Tier III polity, which makes subscription to a PPL (Privately Produced Law) firm or having an integrated insurance-arbitration contract strongly recommended.

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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg, partially updated by The Astronomer in 2021
Initially published on 14 November 2000.

Additional Information
Information of the two stars from