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Does Verces have seasons?


Starfinder General Discussion


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Does Verces have seasons? Is there tilt to its axis?


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Even if it has an axial tilt, it's tidally locked, which means the axial tilt won't affect exposure to sunlight throughout the year differently, since the tilt will always be angled towards, or away from the sun the same, so it shouldn't have seasons. I think.


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I'm not sure that's how that works. I believe that the tilt would produce a wobble, like it does on earth. A tidally locked planet is still rotating on its axis, and that rotation would most likely cause the same axial wobble seen in other worlds. This would mean that the terminal line would move depending on time of year. The equatorial regions would more or less remain stable but the polar regions would likely have noticeable seasons.


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An interesting twist to a Verces like planet would be one where one side of the planet always faced the center of the galaxy. Then days would be 1 year long. The seasons would be morning, afternoon, and evening, and night.


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The terminator doesnt change throughout the year though because its tidally locked.


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Upon further study, it looks like I'm likely wrong. While it is possible for a tidally locked planet to have axial tilt, it wouldn't be significant enough to notice seasonal change.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
Does Verces have seasons? Is there tilt to its axis?

If it has an atmosphere and weather, it has seasons. It almost definitely isn't an earthly summer/fall/winter/spring, but there is going to be some be some weirdness happening in a predictable pattern.


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Though it does give me an idea for an almost locked world where the rotation is very nearly in sink.


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Grolloc wrote:
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
Does Verces have seasons? Is there tilt to its axis?
If it has an atmosphere and weather, it has seasons. It almost definitely isn't an earthly summer/fall/winter/spring, but there is going to be some be some weirdness happening in a predictable pattern.

This makes sense.

The Exchange

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If it has an elliptical orbit, it will have seasons. Even if it is tidally locked.

They will be based on its distance from the star instead of its axial alignment.

Game of Thrones seasons are likely due to this, for instance. (Though that's speculation on my part, I haven't read anything specific in relation to game of thrones). The idea where winter comes for very long periods of time due to an uneven orbit.


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Grolloc wrote:
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
Does Verces have seasons? Is there tilt to its axis?
If it has an atmosphere and weather, it has seasons. It almost definitely isn't an earthly summer/fall/winter/spring, but there is going to be some be some weirdness happening in a predictable pattern.

Predictable patterns of weather is climate. Seasons are defined by the day night cycle, which verces doesn't have. While the climate would have variations, it should remain far more consistent within a given region than anything we would see on Earth.


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Sophont wrote:
Grolloc wrote:
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
Does Verces have seasons? Is there tilt to its axis?
If it has an atmosphere and weather, it has seasons. It almost definitely isn't an earthly summer/fall/winter/spring, but there is going to be some be some weirdness happening in a predictable pattern.
Predictable patterns of weather is climate. Seasons are defined by the day night cycle, which verces doesn't have. While the climate would have variations, it should remain far more consistent within a given region than anything we would see on Earth.

Martin has stated that the seasons in GoT are completely the result of magic shenanigans, rather than super weird orbital mechanics.

The Exchange

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Thanks Sophont, hadn't read that.


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Wrath wrote:
Thanks Sophont, hadn't read that.

I don't even remember where I saw it, so I can't cite my sources, but I'm pretty sure it was in an interview or something. I might be wrong but I recall that.


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Sophont wrote:
Sophont wrote:
Grolloc wrote:
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
Does Verces have seasons? Is there tilt to its axis?
If it has an atmosphere and weather, it has seasons. It almost definitely isn't an earthly summer/fall/winter/spring, but there is going to be some be some weirdness happening in a predictable pattern.
Predictable patterns of weather is climate. Seasons are defined by the day night cycle, which verces doesn't have. While the climate would have variations, it should remain far more consistent within a given region than anything we would see on Earth.
Martin has stated that the seasons in GoT are completely the result of magic shenanigans, rather than super weird orbital mechanics.

Those aren't mutually exclusive. I think Triaxus has super weird orbital mechanics that are the result of magic shenanigans.


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If my research in this topic is correct a tidal locked planet can both have a tilted axis and an eccentric orbit. The moon has an axial tilt of 6.687° and a eccentricity of 0.0549 and is locked in a 1:1 rotation-orbit resonance. (Earth for example has an axial tilt 23.4392811° and an eccentricity of 0.0167086.)
So it is quite possible that Verces may have seasons (including nights of half a planetry years length in the polar regions if its axis is tilted).


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Wrath wrote:

If it has an elliptical orbit, it will have seasons. Even if it is tidally locked.

They will be based on its distance from the star instead of its axial alignment.

Game of Thrones seasons are likely due to this, for instance. (Though that's speculation on my part, I haven't read anything specific in relation to game of thrones). The idea where winter comes for very long periods of time due to an uneven orbit.

Yes it would be much more a question of is the orbit elliptical and how much so. As it passes closer to the sun the sunny side would get hotter yet and that would cause more wind which would likely make for storm season where a lot of storm systems rip across as the hot dry air slams into the cooler more humid air and generate some spectacular storms along the midline and crazy snows in the cold side. How going into the "winter" phase when away from sun could be an interesting question for what the effects would be. Possibly another stormy season as the cold air becomes denser and denser could sort of "suck" warmer lighter air from the median and sunny side.

One way or the other the weather on a planet like that could get really weird. Big enough storms could force some REALLY hot weather or REALLY cold weather into the habitable zone which could get exciting fast for the local area.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

We do have good reason to believe that Verces has a relatively small axial tilt. The only inhabitable part of the planet is along the day/night terminator line/circle.

A high degree of axial tilt would put the regions that are closest to the poles well into the bright/day side during the summer and well into the dark/night side during the winter, meaning that the inhabitants would have to migrate periodically as the region where they are living moves out of the limited habitable region.


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I've seen a documentary about Proxima b, the closest exo-planet. This is a super-earth in a very close orbit around a red dwarf which probably is tidal-locked with its sun. The documentary speculated, based on scientific caculations, that the complete night side would be covered with ice while the complete day side would be inhabitable with all known climate zones. There will be a sub-artic climate at the terimnator and an arid desert, similiar to the Sahara, in the region where the sun is always in zenit. (If Proxima b is tidal locked in a different ratio, then it would much more unhabitable.)

Seasons on such a planet would depend on the orbital eccentricity and the axial tilt. The orbital eccentricity causes a change in the intensity of the solar radiation, resulting in higher temperatures in summer and lower temperatures in winter. The axial tilt changes the incidence angle of the solar radiation, which can ahve a much bigger influence on temperature than the orbital eccentricity, and causes a change of day and night in both polar regions.


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Verces has entire cities and nations built in its terminator, which wouldn't make sense if the terminator moved. If the terminator doesn't move, then the only orbital motion that can affect Verces' exposure to the sun is its eccentricity. I can't speak to how much eccentricity can influence climate, though i was under the impression that unless the eccentricity is extreme, that it would have a minimal, albeit extant, effect. But axial tilt and/or precession either can't be present or are otherwise, somehow, cancelling each other out, because again, the Vercean terminator does not move. If it did, the Ring of Nations would not exist.


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There can still be an axial tilt, perhaps not a very great one, but it still can be. The effect would be greatest in the polar regions which will know hot bright summer days and cold dark winter nights. Those living in both equatorial regions will only notice minimal fluctuations in the sunlight intensity.
BTW Verces is twice as far away from the sun than Golarion was. So it gets only a quarter of the solar energy Golarion got. This means that the whole light side of Verces should be inhabitable.


Ok I'm going to put my two cents in here: First of all the axial tilt of Verces would at least be close to 90 degrees off from earth's tilt in order to maintain a stable livable band like they describes Verces. Meaning the only way seasons would change in the livable belt is by proximity of the sun. If it had a tilt like earth the livable belt would move constantly and also would not define tidally locked because different sides will face the sun.


Sophont wrote:
Martin has stated that the seasons in GoT are completely the result of magic shenanigans, rather than super weird orbital mechanics.

The man's also a hack who starts out with great ideas and then peters out towards the end. I'd rather go with super weird orbital mechanics.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Tigrean wrote:
Ok I'm going to put my two cents in here: First of all the axial tilt of Verces would at least be close to 90 degrees off from earth's tilt in order to maintain a stable livable band like they describes Verces. Meaning the only way seasons would change in the livable belt is by proximity of the sun. If it had a tilt like earth the livable belt would move constantly and also would not define tidally locked because different sides will face the sun.

That 90 degree angle most definitely would not work. The direction in which the axis of a planet points varies only slowly over the course of centuries, so a planet tilted at an angle of 90 degrees would have one pole pointed at the sun at one point in the year and the other pole pointed at the sun half a year later. The only axial tilt that works given the information we have is a relatively low one (say, 0 to 10 degrees at most) that severely limits how much the angle of sun exposure changes over the course of the year.


Tigrean wrote:
Ok I'm going to put my two cents in here: First of all the axial tilt of Verces would at least be close to 90 degrees off from earth's tilt in order to maintain a stable livable band like they describes Verces. Meaning the only way seasons would change in the livable belt is by proximity of the sun. If it had a tilt like earth the livable belt would move constantly and also would not define tidally locked because different sides will face the sun.

You mean 0 degrees and not 90 degrees. A planet with an axial tilt of 90 degrees is never tidal locked and will have weird seasons and day/night cycles.


David knott 242 wrote:
Tigrean wrote:
Ok I'm going to put my two cents in here: First of all the axial tilt of Verces would at least be close to 90 degrees off from earth's tilt in order to maintain a stable livable band like they describes Verces. Meaning the only way seasons would change in the livable belt is by proximity of the sun. If it had a tilt like earth the livable belt would move constantly and also would not define tidally locked because different sides will face the sun.

That 90 degree angle most definitely would not work. The direction in which the axis of a planet points varies only slowly over the course of centuries, so a planet tilted at an angle of 90 degrees would have one pole pointed at the sun at one point in the year and the other pole pointed at the sun half a year later. The only axial tilt that works given the information we have is a relatively low one (say, 0 to 10 degrees at most) that severely limits how much the angle of sun exposure changes over the course of the year.

Ok I was thinking that what defines a normal axis would be Perpendicular to the sun which would define 0 degrees -|- = 0 degrees. so I was thinking -- would = 90 degrees so I apologize if I got that wrong. but you get the idea to be tidally lock, one pole would have to always face the sun because if it didn't then the livable belt would shifting all the time which would make it a normal day and night cycle on the planet which it doesn't have that, if it did wouldn't be defined as tidally locked.


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Tigrean wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Tigrean wrote:
Ok I'm going to put my two cents in here: First of all the axial tilt of Verces would at least be close to 90 degrees off from earth's tilt in order to maintain a stable livable band like they describes Verces. Meaning the only way seasons would change in the livable belt is by proximity of the sun. If it had a tilt like earth the livable belt would move constantly and also would not define tidally locked because different sides will face the sun.

That 90 degree angle most definitely would not work. The direction in which the axis of a planet points varies only slowly over the course of centuries, so a planet tilted at an angle of 90 degrees would have one pole pointed at the sun at one point in the year and the other pole pointed at the sun half a year later. The only axial tilt that works given the information we have is a relatively low one (say, 0 to 10 degrees at most) that severely limits how much the angle of sun exposure changes over the course of the year.

Ok I was thinking that what defines a normal axis would be Perpendicular to the sun which would define 0 degrees -|- = 0 degrees. so I was thinking -- would = 90 degrees so I apologize if I got that wrong. but you get the idea to be tidally lock, one pole would have to always face the sun because if it didn't then the livable belt would shifting all the time which would make it a normal day and night cycle on the planet which it doesn't have that, if it did wouldn't be defined as tidally locked.

That's completely wrong. On a tidal locked planet the planet needs the same time to complete a rotation as it needs to complete its orbit around the sun. The Moon is a very good example for atidal locked satelite.


Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:
Tigrean wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Tigrean wrote:
Ok I'm going to put my two cents in here: First of all the axial tilt of Verces would at least be close to 90 degrees off from earth's tilt in order to maintain a stable livable band like they describes Verces. Meaning the only way seasons would change in the livable belt is by proximity of the sun. If it had a tilt like earth the livable belt would move constantly and also would not define tidally locked because different sides will face the sun.

That 90 degree angle most definitely would not work. The direction in which the axis of a planet points varies only slowly over the course of centuries, so a planet tilted at an angle of 90 degrees would have one pole pointed at the sun at one point in the year and the other pole pointed at the sun half a year later. The only axial tilt that works given the information we have is a relatively low one (say, 0 to 10 degrees at most) that severely limits how much the angle of sun exposure changes over the course of the year.

Ok I was thinking that what defines a normal axis would be Perpendicular to the sun which would define 0 degrees -|- = 0 degrees. so I was thinking -- would = 90 degrees so I apologize if I got that wrong. but you get the idea to be tidally lock, one pole would have to always face the sun because if it didn't then the livable belt would shifting all the time which would make it a normal day and night cycle on the planet which it doesn't have that, if it did wouldn't be defined as tidally locked.
That's completely wrong. On a tidal locked planet the planet needs the same time to complete a rotation as it needs to complete its orbit around the sun. The Moon is a very good example for atidal locked satelite.

Oh right, I forgot that the planet would have to rotate to maintain the same side to the sun. So it would be almost at a perfect 0 degree tilt to be tidally locked. So it would a have a slow rotation speed depending on how long a full orbit around the sun. Though without a fast rotation the magnetic field that protects the planet from solar radiation would be rather weak.


Uranus has a pole that points towards the sun... and this pole is in darkness for half a year when it is on the other side of the sun. So Barbarossa is right.

However, the people of Verces probably would consider the point directly below the point as a "type" of pole (The "Hot Pole" perhaps) since it is still geographically significant in the same sort of way.

About the "Wobble":

The wobble is potentially really significant for a planet like Verces.

Consider this:

Let us assume for the moment that the Sun is the same size as our sun and Golarion is (or rather, was) the same distance from that sun as Earth is from ours. Our sun only takes up 0.5 degrees of arc in the sky. If Verces is double the distance from the sun as Earth/Golarion are (a reasonable rough guess), then it will take up only 0.125 degrees of arc in the sky.

Normally, a person at the terminator of Verces will be able to observe the sun exactly bisected by the horizon, so only half of the sun is visible. The sun will be there all the time, and that spot on the terminator will receive 1/2 of the normal available amount of sunlight, because half the sun is not visible.

Verces' angle of inclination must be very close to zero. But it is unlikely to be exactly zero. Our moon's angle of inclination compared to its plane of orbit is about 5 degrees, for example.

If Verces' angle of inclination is only 0.125 degrees, then at some points the sun will sink below the horizon completely, and at other times will rise completely above the horizon. This change will happen over the course of one Vercite "day," but since their day equals their year, this will be over the course of the year. So instead of receiving 0.5 solar radiation all the time, over the course of the year the amount of available sunlight would vary from 0 to 1.

So seasons due to a "wobble" are quite possible, in the habitable zone around the terminator. At the hot pole or cold pole it will not make any real difference though.


Golarion is a little bit closer to its sun than Earth is to our, because its year is aproximatly 0.256 days shorter.

Based on the map of Verces in Distant Worlds the axial tilt might be around 0.01 degrees, like Mercury.

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