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Wolf 359 is a red dwarf star in the constellation Leo, 7.9 lightyears from Sol, making it one of the nearest stars.

Overview

The proper motion of Wolf 359 was first observed by German astronomer Max Wolf in 1917. In 1919 he published a catalogue of over one thousand stars with high proper motions, including this one, that are identified by his name. He listed this star as entry number 359, and the star has since been referred to as Wolf 359 in reference to Max Wolf's catalogue.

Because of its close distance, the star has been featured many times in classic Earth Sci-fi, so visiting this system was especially exciting for sci-fi fans.

Wolf 359 is orbited by 9 planets and was first visited in 2095 by the Valkyrie mission as part of the MSEP.

Exploration

The Valkyrie discovered 9 planets in orbit around the star. While not all of them were properly explored, a few worlds caught the interest of the ship's crew and were further investigated and photographed during the mission. The more interesting worlds are listed below.

First planet

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Nicknamed 'Super Venus', this planet is a scorched D-class planet, covered in stormy clouds, acidic rain, volcanic eruptions and catastrophic earthquakes. It is 3x the size of Venus, hence its nickname. The Valkyrie spent a day orbiting the planet, taking photos of its cyclonic storms and sending small drones to analyse the atmosphere as well as to record the speeds of the planet's winds. Some atmospheric mines were established in its skies due to the presence of H2O in its atmosphere which can be used for terraforming other worlds. Two dwarf moons orbit around it.

Sixth planet

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A ringed ice world with a pinkish red sky. The planet's atmosphere is 99.7% nitrogen and the surface is a frozen desert of nitrogen ice. Standing on the planet would be difficult as the ice is extremely slippery. Even robotic rovers had trouble travelling on the surface because of it. A beautiful ring also surrounds the planet, likely being the remains of a destroyed moon. Small subsurface lakes have been found deep beneath the ice by melt probes but nothing aside from hydrothermal vents were found.

Seventh planet

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A shuttle viewing an aurora at the planet's north pole.

A large J-class planet, 2x the size of Jupiter. The planet is an orange colour with some storms that are faintly visible within the banded clouds. 74 moons orbit around the planet, 7 being big enough to be spherical. Winds speeds on this planet go up to 340 mph and some of its moons peaked the interest of the Valkyrie's crew, even seeing one of them as a potential future colony. These moons were further explored in later missions. Glorious auroras occur at its poles.

Moons of the seventh planet

Rubeus

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A shuttle approaching Rubeus.

The closest of the planet's 7 larger moons is a red desert world, nicknamed 'Little Mars' due its resemblance to the red planet. The crew of the Valkyrie saw it as a potential future colony world and in 2447, domed cities were constructed on the surface, currently having a population of 1.2 million. Geographical features include canyons, gorges and mountains, many of them reminding visitors of the pre-terraformed Mars.

'Rusty Luna'

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A small ice world nicknamed for its "rusty" colouration. While no settlements have been built there, many explorers enjoy looking at it due to its interesting appearance. From space, multiple craters and grooves can be seen.

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