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This is the second of the gas giant outer planets beyond Tefireth’s orbit.  The explorers of the Mitzvah were struck by the similarities between Hod and Neptune in the Sol system.  Hod is the sixth planet orbiting in the seventh orbital node of Keser (the fifth orbital node being occupied by Tefireth).  Hod is larger than Neptune, and has a greater number of satellites and debris rings.  The larger satellites are potentially habitable with proper infrastructure development and the other satellites have significant resource potential.

Pronunciation & Astronomical Name

(Hōd) aka Keser 6

Astronomical Characteristics

Hod's orbit lies beyond the orbit of Netzach at a mean distance of 2.82 billion km from Keser; its period of revolution is 39.86 standard years. In order from Keser it is the second of the gas giant planets, Netzach, Hod, Yesod , and Malkuth very large, massive planets of relatively low density, having rapid rotation and thick, opaque atmospheres. Hod has a diameter of 88,500 km, more than 11 times that of Earth. Its mass is approximately 1,328 times that of Earth.

Physical Characteristics

The atmosphere of Hod is composed mainly of hydrogen, helium, methane, and ammonia. However, the concentration of nitrogen, carbon, and sulfur as measured with an instrument package dropped by a probe from the slowboat surveyor Mitzvah in the 2582 CE flyby of the planets was more than twice what was expected. Traces of argon, xenon, and krypton were also in evidence. The atmosphere appears to be divided into a number of light and dark bands parallel to its equator and shows a range of complex features including spots and other turbulences.

Hod has a rocky core. One theory proposes a gradual transition from the outer ammonia clouds to a thick layer of frozen gases and finally to a liquid or solid hydrogen mantle. Beneath that Hod probably has a core of rocky material with a mass 15-20 times that of Earth. The markings of the atmosphere provide evidence for Hod's rapid rotation, which has a period of about 12 hrs. This rotation causes a polar flattening of over 8%. The temperature ranges from about 83°A for the visible surface of the atmosphere, to 201°A at lower cloud levels; localized regions reach as high as -23°A at still lower cloud levels near the equator. Hod radiates about four times as much heat energy as it receives from the sun, suggesting an internal heat source. This energy is thought to be due in part to a slow contraction of the planet. Hod is also characterized by intense non-thermal radio emission; in the 15-m range it is a strong radio source. Hod has a huge asymmetrical magnetic field, extending past the orbit of Yesod in one direction but far less in the direction of Keser. This magnetosphere traps high levels of energetic particles far more intense than those found within Earth's Van Allen radiation belts .

Satellite System

Twenty-eight natural satellites are known to orbit Hod. They are conveniently divided into three groups. The four largest are Hé, Vau, Daleth, and Mikhail. Hé (diameter: 3,838 km), the closest to Hod of the four, is the most active geologically, with twenty-two active volcanoes that are probably energized by the tidal effects of Hod's enormous mass. Vau (diameter: 3,009 km) is a white, highly reflecting body whose smooth surface is entirely covered with dark streaks up to 61 km in width and from several hundred to several thousand miles in length. Daleth (diameter: 5,568 km), second most distant of the four and the third largest satellite in the Keser-Tefireth system, has heavily cratered regions, tens of miles across, that are surrounded by younger, grooved terrain. Mikhail (diameter: 5,178 km), the most distant and the least active geologically of the four, has a heavily cratered surface.

A second group is comprised of the four innermost satellites Praise, Honor, Fame, and Renown. The red color of Fame (diameter: 189 km), a small, elongated satellite, probably results from a coating of sulfur particles ejected from Hé. Praise (diameter: 40 km), Honor (diameter: 20 km), and Renown (diameter: 100 km) are all oddly shaped. Praise and Fame orbit close to Hod's thin ring system; material ejected from these moons helps maintain the ring.

The final group consists of the eight satellites with orbits outside that of Mikhail: Success (diameter: 10 km), Triumph (diameter: 106 mi/170 km), Elation (diameter: 24 km), Rejoice (diameter: 80 km), Felicity (diameter: 20 km), Reward (diameter: 30 km), Splendor (diameter: 36 km), and Beauty (diameter: 28 km). The most distant four of these Felicity, Reward, Splendor, and Beauty located from c. 21 million-24 million km from Hod, have retrograde motion, i.e., motion opposite to that of the planet's rotation. The other four have direct orbits. All eight might be captured asteroids. The seventeenth satellite, Victory, discovered in 2593 from images taken in 2585, is a small, irregularly shaped body in an orbit between Success and Mikhail and does not appear to belong with either group.

Eleven small previously unknown satellites were reported in 2593. These were not named but catalogued H-2593Aleph through H-2593Kaph and raise the number of Hodian moons to 28.

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