Known as The Bright One by the first settlers of Lauz, Dunhar is the brightest object in their night sky. Originally a mining colony, Dunhar became independent soon after being founded, turning into Lauz’s main economic partner.
After Daxio’s colonization Dunhar was identified as an strategic partner whose resources would allow the development of the Space Infrastructure Project, that requires vast amounts of metal for the construction of orbital cylinders around the binary planet.
After several decades, Daxio’s investment on infrastructure has allowed Dunhar to become the largest exporter of metal, as well as having one of the fastest-growing populations, transforming into a cultural, artistic and industrial center of the system. The planet still has a large growth opportunity, for a large part of its surface hasn’t been explored yet.
Dunhar is the system’s most geologically active planet after Lauz. Its large iron core generates the largest magnetic field of the rocky planets, allowing the stability of its atmosphere. Dunhar’s mantle activity can be observed in its uneven terrain, caused by the collision and separation of the tectonic plates. Through satellite surveillance numerous mineral deposits have been identified at a low depth, many of them still unexplored.
Dunhar’s climate is mainly cold and dry, with an average temperature below water’s freezing point. Strong winds are common across the planet, covering it in electrostatic sandstorms due to the friction between the dust particles. Despite of its low temperatures and arid air, it’s possible to survive on the surface with warm clothing and an oxygen source.
Many ecologists agree that the terraformation of Dunhar is viable, if its average temperature is increased to start the water cycle in its atmosphere and the oxygen levels in its atmosphere are increased, the planet would be capable of supporting life. There are many underground water deposits that are the remnants of a primitive ocean that once covered the surface. Another challenge is to provide the planet with enough solar radiation, this could be achieved through solar collectors around the planet, especially in Dunhar’s L1 point.
Dunhar’s high density is due to its abundance of metals such as as iron and titanium, as well as other valuable elements like silicon and carbon.
There are many challenges that prevent the development of the mining industry in the planet. Mainly the high gravity due to its large mass, that only allows the most powerful nuclear rockets takeoff and get to orbit. Another risks include the low availability of water, the toxicity of silica dust that threatens the health of the field workers, and the sandstorms that demand resilience and repairability in the mining equipment.
Nevertheless, several advantages position Dunhar as one of the best sites for the extraction and processing of metals, by having a dense atmosphere, it enables the landing of cargo ships. The planet also has a permanent human presence, and its closeness with Lauz and its strong space infrastructure, make Dunhar the ideal place of the expansion of Daxio’s infrastructure project.
Dunhar provides several energy sources whose potential has not yet been fully exploited. The main energetic resources are the wind, the internal heat of the planet, and to a lesser extent, solar. Wind and geothermal infrastructure is cheap, efficient, and renewable; however, future industrial projects and the expected population growth in the coming years turns nuclear fission and fusion energy into a viable option. Despite of the refinement, handling and disposal of atomic fuel, the poor environmental regulation of the planet facilitates the construction of reactors on its surface.
The fine dust dispersed in the atmosphere and the lack of oxygen, prevents the use of aircraft for transportation. The low cost of metals has enabled railroads to become the preferred method for transportation of materials and resources through the settlements. Daxio operates and administers the majority of the roads that connect the main cities and populations. The railroad has turned into the backbone of the dunharian civilization, transforming inhospitable regions into prosperous towns and shortening distances.
There are proposals for the use of airships as an alternative transport method, the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere being an advantage that allows the use of hydrogen as a lifting gas.
The analemma of a planet tells the story of our star’s behavior throughout the year. On the solstices, the star reaches its highest and lowest point in the sky.
The star’s horizontal movement is due to the difference between the mean and apparent solar time, for along its slightly eccentric orbit, Dunhar experiences both shorter and longer solar days.
Dunhar’s mass allows ships coming from Daxio to use a gravity assist maneuver to reduce their speed using very little fuel. In addition, ships coming from Lauz use Dunhar to boost themselves beyond Basso’s orbit.
The Geostationary Orbit is used to constantly monitor the surface and relay information coming from Dunhar’s ground stations, allowing communication between the planet’s settlements. Lower orbits are used for space launch and construction infrastructure, where the metal coming from the planet’s surface is transferred from the powerful shuttles to the large, slow, and efficient atomic cargo ships.
Other kinds of orbits allow a prolonged coverage of the polar regions of the planet, where the greatest water deposits are located and a zone of large scientific and economic interest. Some satellites are put in a highly inclined orbit to scan the planet’s surface in search of mineral deposits.