The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hypnale: The Sunspot Desert

Directly beneath the sun on tidally locked Hypnale sits the most inhospitable piece of real estate on that planet, and most other biofaring worlds. The Sunspot Desert is constantly bombarded by Lalande 21185. In some part of the desert lowlands, temperatures hover around 350K, quite lethal to anything from Earth. As well as deadly for Hypnalaforms. Directly beneath the sun, virtually nothing lives. No free water flows anywhere on the surface of this desert. Underground rivers and lakes are a source of water. These sources have prompted the plants that grow in the less inhospitable regions of the desert to evolve deep roots, as well as vicious defense mechanisms to ward of herbivores.. The animals that make the desert home are all adapted to burrow to avoid the worst of the heat, as well as in search of food and water. Animals that can not go underground do not survive long. Where lakes are closest to the surface, natural springs offer their own form of shelter to the wildlife.
If not for the constant convection of air from the Starward Hemisphere, the desert might well exceed the boiling point. The desert helps regulate the planet’s overall climate. Heat from the desert rises, which forces air from other parts of the world to rush in and fill the void. The hot air flows on the atmospheric conveyer toward the darkness, where it sinks and cools. The heat it transfers prevents the Starward Hemisphere’s seas from freezing completely.

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