|Right ascension (Epoch J2000)||00h 18m 22.89s|
|Declination (Epoch J2000)||+44° 01′ 22.6″|
|Spectral type||M1.5V + M3.5V|
|Distance from Sol||11.70 ± 0.03 ly|
(3.587 ± 0.010 pc)
|Other designations||ADS 246 A, Gliese 15, GX/GQ Andromedae, BD +43°44, GCTP 49, GJ 15 A/B, Gi 171-047/171-048, HD 1326, HIP 1475, LHS 3/4, LTT 10108/10109, LFT 31/32, SAO 36248, Vys 085 A/B|
|Planets||Meru (G 34 A I)|
Thuvaraiyam Pathi (G 34 A II)
Shamballa (G 34 A III)
Kumari Kandam (G 34 A IV)
Mughal (G 34 A V)
The Groombridge 34 binary system was the target of the 2021 venture between graduate students from the University of Delhi’s new Xeno Studies department and the Nekomi Institute of Technology, as well as a grab-bag of just over a dozen scientists from across the globe. The project was supported by the Republic of India and several private donations. Leasing the eight kilometer mobile station NFV Barge, the expedition left in June of that year for a one year mission.
Having already predicted the existence of planets from long-range observations, being carried along were numerous long-term research satellites, a disassembled, prefabricated base for use as either a planetary facility or a lunar/asteroidal one, and a quantum entanglement communicator purchased from Catgirl Industries. This was part of a secondary goal of the project, in which those members of the DU-NIT Mission previously volunteered and vetted would establish a research station in the Groombridge 34 A system.
What the crew found upon arrival stunned them. At three, the 34 A system remains the current record for habitable planets.
Following the International Astronomical Union’s moratorium on using Greek mythological names for stellar bodies, the crew of the 2021 DU-NIT Mission happily used names of locations from the Hindu faith for Groombridge 34 planetary nomenclature.
The planet closest to the star is a hot one. This is not only due to its location, though. Meru is 5.05 times the mass of Earth, making it a superterrestrial. Furthermore, it is so geologically active (Starfleet Class C (Supergeomorteus)) that it has no permanent surface and its atmosphere is a soup of volcanic gasses.
The second inner planet is the first of the habitable bodies of the system. Despite not retaining as much water as it would have slightly further out, Thuvaraiyam Pathi maintains 45 percent surface water in the form of two saltwater oceans - Makara and Timingila – and numerous lakes and oasis. Regardless, just over half of the land area is near-desert scrubland. Said land itself comes in the form of two continents, Heheya and Kekeya. Kekeya is itself probably technically two continents, however, indicated by Himalaya shaming Kaustubha Range.
The largest lifeform encountered by survey teams was the Heheya Rhinoceros, an herbivorous mammal the size of an African bull elephant travelling the Vaidurya Plains in small herds and possessing a fearsome trio of triceratops style horns. These, in turn, were often stalked by the largest predator seen on the world, the Chameleon Naga, a feline-like lizard the size of a Clydesdale horse with terrifyingly good camouflage ability.
The planet is also clearly a Gardener-affected world. Surveyed geological strata identified by the 2021 mission display no fossil record whatsoever. Even more conclusively, plant samples taken by the mission closely match with samples obtained from Gallifrey.
The second of the system’s habitable worlds, it is the most lush world and has just over 60 percent water coverage. Extensive river systems carry water across the planet’s land masses and desertification is minor. Continents include a disconnected northern and southern pair in one hemisphere, Kishkindha and Danda, and a connected pair of western and eastern continents, Videha and Mithila. It possesses one moon, Kalapa.
After the examination of the second planet, a similar study of the third indicates that Shamballa is a natural world. One particular geological sample was an upthrust cliff along a fault line, examination of which revealed an iridium rich layer, estimated at 14 million years ago, similar to that possessed by Earth’s geological record at the K-T Extinction Level Event.
Life on the planet is rich and diverse, ranging from temperate and rainforests, and possessing a varied animal kingdom. Of interesting note about the mammal analogues of Shamballa is that they are capable of swapping their genders over a several month period, much like certain fictional dinosaurs. In particular, Danny, Cory, and Chuck – clever, resourceful, lemur-like animals – were brought back to Earth for further study. Other living samples brought back were seedlings and one fully-grown specimen of a tree which grows a fruit similar to a pear year round and which is safe for human consumption.
Research Station Deva was founded November 15, 2021 on Videha. Shamballa would become the focus of India’s 2023 colonization program. By 2024, a population of 20,000 was permanently established, centered around the settlement Indraprastha on Danda.
“A world of Australias” as described by one observer, Kumari Kandam’s land is composed entirely of island continents, the largest half again Australia’s size and the smallest the size of North and South Islands of New Zealand combined, all named after the sixteen Mahajanapadas. The land to water ratio is roughly even at 48 to 52 percent respectively. The environment is analogous to Earth temperate forests for most of the planet, cooling very slowly eventually to sub-arctic and polar conditions. It has three moons, all small, captured asteroids.
The most confusing thing about the planet is the uniformity of its biosphere. Planet and animal specimens taken from each of the island continents show very little differentiation or variety. As an example, there were maybe fifteen species of bush identified across the entire globe during the survey, with few to no subspecies.
It is so odd that surveyors originally thought this was another Gardener terraformed world. A collection of fossil samples from three continents, however, gave only more headaches. The samples clearly show the presence of life going back far into the past. In fact, one living specimen of a sea bird perfectly matches a recovered fossil specimen… from an estimated 250 million years ago.
Your basic debris belt of leftovers from the system’s creation, estimates place it at only about half as dense as Sol’s belt.
The final planet of the 34 A system is a dark green, ringless gas giant roughly in the weight class of Neptune. Due to focus on the three habitable planets of the system, little was observed about the system’s big brother other than it possessing several cryogenic-type moons similar to Triton.
Groombridge 34 B
The companion to Groombridge 34 A was only observed in passing on the 2021 mission’s trip home. An example of a solar system that failed to form, it possesses numerous asteroid belts and several dozen dwarf planets. Groombridge 34 B was, however, noted as a possible rich source of space mining.
- 1: The exception is Mughal, which is named in honor of the empire by that name. It was decided that naming the stellar bodies after the Hindu deities could wait until a larger system where more could be represented could be found. The fist fight that came about from trying to decide which names of which incarnations of which deities to use prior to this decision had nothing to do with it.
- Actually, they apparently snuck aboard the Barge via a returning secondary craft. They were only discovered half-way back to Sol while on a venture out of Refuse Holding Compartment #3, where they had made a den-slash-nest while crewmembers were tracking who or whatever was stealing food from storage.
- Not very tasty though. On a scale of “Ugh” to “Yum,” it rates a “Meh.”
- According to India’s colonization plan, all colonial settlements are to possess the no-longer used names of cities from antiquity as a way of preserving culture. Delhi is believed to be the site of the city of Indraprastha, capital of the Pandavas in the epic Mahabharata.
- Anga, Assaka, Avanti, Chedi, Gandhara, Kashi, Kamboja, Kosala, Kuru, Magadha, Malla, Matsya, Panchala, Surasena, Vriji, and Vatsa.