Kalder (RS 8411-6-6-176877-3 A8 in 0.9.7.4 Beta Patch 8) is a frozen T-Class planet in the Small Magellanic Cloud that harbors exotic unicellular life on land and in its oceans. It is the eighth and final planet of its parent star, Calida A, and is orbited by one large moon, Izotz.
Kalder is significantly larger than Earth with a diameter of 21562.88 kilometers (169.04% that of Earth's), and its surface gravity is 1.156 G's. The planet's mass is 3.29 times Earth's mass. The rotation period of Kalder is fourteen hours and sixteen minutes, and its orbital period is 140.053 Earth years.
Kalder orbits much further from its parent star than any other planet in its system with a semi-major axis of 32.324 AU. The planet has a very large axial tilt of approximately 206 degrees. The surface temperature of the planet is -185.961 degrees Celsius. It has a calculated ESI of 0.344.
The majority of the planet's land is covered with large sheets of glacier ice formed from frozen hydrocarbons. These glaciers shrink and expand extremely slightly over the decades-long seasons depending on latitude. Most of these glaciers extend three kilometers above sea-level, but some have reached five kilometers. These glaciers are desolate and barren, and no life has been discovered thriving in this environment.
Most other terrain on Kalder are flat plains. This is where most land life on the planet can be found. The plains are broken up by numerous small patches of hills near where this land and glaciers meet. These plains are just beyond beaches and between large glacier sheets.
The shorelines of Kalder are jagged and unpredictable. Because liquids on the planet are denser than water, erosion has had a much larger toll on the land over history. Portions of mainland have been cut off into individual islands, large rivers run deep into terrain, and beaches have been carved into seemingly random directions. These shorelines have been worn down to extremely flat beds of dark sand and silt, which has created some of the smoothest terrain on the planet.
Kalder's atmosphere is dense but short. Air on Kalder, mostly methane, is 1.466 denser than Earth's air, and the atmosphere only rises twenty-three kilometers above sea-level. Atmospheric pressure, then, rapidly decreases as altitude increases. Where most life is located, air pressure is slightly higher than Earth. At glacier levels, the atmosphere is only half or a third atmospheric pressure.
What little methane exists on Kalder is found as a gas, which leads to the formation of methane clouds. Due to other elements and molecules common in Kalder's skies, these clouds appear orange. This darker color warms the clouds slightly. The air rises, cools when it reaches the upper atmosphere, and falls to the surface. This cycle of convection has created moderate winds but no storms, since the clouds lack the excess moisture to cause rain. Also present are light tan clouds created by glacier ice that has melted and evaporated. These clouds are denser, and thus exist below the methane clouds.
Since these clouds create greenhouse effects, the planet is 34.139 degrees Celsius warmer than it would be otherwise.
On average the temperature on Kalder -185.961 degrees Celsius. Over its year, the temperature will rise and fall only by a few degrees. Despite the axial tilt of Kalder, seasons are nearly indistinguishable from one another.
The unicellular life on Kalder is some of the most interesting ever discovered. It has been classified as "exotic," meaning it is not based on common carbon compounds. Exotic life can be based on metallic elements such as silicon, sulfur, arsenic, or other rare compounds. Life on Kalder is based on ammonia. Ammonia molecules are abundant in the Universe and share many properties as water, making them susceptible to many of the same chemical reactions that occur with water. These reactions with other common chemicals in Kalder's oceans are what most likely brought life to the planet about three-hundred and seventy million years ago.
Life on Kalder has adapted to living in the oceans and on the land, but while it may be unicellular it is by no means invisible to the eye.
In the oceans, life commonly takes on the form of cells ovoid in shape approximately half a meter in diameter. They are similar to the Valonia ventricosa algae of Earth. The outside of the cell is covered in a large membrane, and they are often a single color such as dark maroon or brown, or, more rarely, black or tan. The interior of the cell is filled with a highly dense fluid rich in liquid propane and other heavy compounds absorbed by the cell. Floating membranes that fulfill various cell duties use this fluid to power themselves. Anchored at the bottom of the cell are three nuclei. Two of the nuclei store extensive arsenic-based DNA, while the third nuclei, named the "productive nucleus," controls the cell and manages reproduction. Reproduction of these organisms is performed by the productive nucleus collecting DNA from the other two nuclei, engulfing the DNA in a small "capsule" of internal fluid and membrane, and embedding the capsule within the outer membrane of the parent cell. Capsules are as small as 0.1 millimeters wide, so hundreds of thousands can be grown simultaneously. When the capsules have grown to approximately one centimeter in width, they are ejected from the cell and are carried by undersea currents to a new location. Where they settle they expand, develop, and mature to reproduce for themselves.
Some of these cell capsules are washed upon the beaches of Kalder, and over the last hundred million years the cells have adapted to living out of the oceans. These cells are much more flat and irregular in shape, since they do not carry as much fluid in themselves as their oceanic counterparts. The cells also are more purple and orange, which causes the colors visible from space. This was done to take advantage of a primitive photosynthesis they have created. However, these land cells face a great deal of challenges. They grow in tight clusters due to the lack of ocean to spread them apart, and thus less nutrients are available for each individual cell. Many cells die from starvation. Another disadvantage are slopes. Keeping a grip on dirt is difficult for cells, and if terrain is not level enough the cells will slide down to flatter ground. Highly-elevated glaciers and hills are untouched by life for this exact reason. Finally, land cells are victim to dangerous weather. In response to this danger they have evolved thicker and tougher membranes, but against heavy winds it is seldom enough to protect the cell.
While life on Kalder is unique, it is not expected to give arise to an advanced civilization for several million years, if at all.