Icy world heated by an artificial ring of mirror particles

Image from Steve Bowers
Reflected light illuminates the world from the extensive ring system

Name: JD 3009-11890
Type: K2v
Luminosity: 0.33 x Sol
Distance from Sol: 3342 ly
Constellation: Scorpius, near NGC 6383
Allegiance: Sagittarius Transcultural Cooperation STC.

Name: Rosmion
Diameter: 11190km
Semimajor Axis: 1.896 AU
Orbital Period: 2.99 years
Star Luminosity at Planet: 9% Earth normal
Colonised: 5001 AT

Rosmion was colonised by the then-relatively new Sagittarius Transcultural Cooperation during the Commonwealth of Empires period. This icy world receives less than one-tenth of the light that a typical Gaian world requires to maintain an Earth-like temperature. However this planet was suitable in many other ways for a terraformation project, and so an artificial ring of steerable mirrors was constructed in orbit around the world. These mirrors are each protected by a transparent, slightly pressurised sphere, so that the mirrors are protected against the low-speed collisions that occur frequently in such a ring. These mirror units are a type of space-capable Weather Machine that is often used in this sort of situation.

The surface of Rosmion is heated by reflected light from the highly inclined rings, and for this reason the inhabitants experience no true night-time except when the rings are edge-on to the local star, during the planet's cold winter. An extra mirror swarm at the L2 point moderate the temperature in this season.

Rosmion has a population of several billion. This varies over time according to migration numbers, engenerated people, embodied or virtualized. However there are large regions of wilderness, traditionally used by a large fraction of the population for recreation. Wilderness activities have become so popular that many citizens are frequent vusers of a detailed virtual reality environment that amplifies the wilderness experience to a maximum. This environment, known as Sufficiency, is a type of System Double Virchworld which reproduces the system in it located in, or in this case just the planet's surface, but in an uncolonised state.

Each vuser is isolated on a recreation of the planet which is completely empty of other sophonts, and has no infrastructure of other technology available. The vuser must use survival skills to live on this deserted world, unaided by advanced technology. Some citizens opt to allow a small number of other people to visit them in this environment, but traditionally these guests can only stay for a standard day or less. In most cases Sufficiency runs at the same speed as the ril, but sometimes the vuser may opt to accelerate it by no more than a factor of two.

Another, somewhat more sociable virtual environment is also popular on this world; the Eternal Party sim is a continuous celebratory event, located in a virtual mansion the size of a small city; vusers continually drift in and out of the festivities, sometimes staying for days, weeks or months or sometimes only for minutes. The Eternal Party includes locations for social chat, more structured celebrations and meetings, virtual intoxication and more intimate connections. Some citizens alternate continually between the solitude of Sufficiency and the togetherness of the Party; others dip into one or the other when they are moved to do so, while remaining in real-life for most of their lifetime.

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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 29 February 2016.