Prometheus

Planet: Prometheus B867558-9

Star: Alpha Centauri A


The Prometheus colony is Terra’s first colony, founded by the European Space Agency within 5 years of the discovery of the jump drive. It is expected to pass one million citizens in the next few years. In 2122 it had the honor of being the first interstellar nation admitted to the United Nations, and the Republic of Prometheus was a founding member of the Terran Compact. It still maintains a European character, but Humans of all types can be found in the colony.

Prometheus orbits Alpha Centauri A closely enough to receive somewhat more stellar radiation than Terra does from Sol. This makes the world quite warm. The equatorial regions are nearly uninhabitable, so settlements tend to cluster around 60° north and south latitude. The southern zone is the home of the original European colony, while the northern zone is more recently settled and much more mixed. Grav transports shuttle between the two regions several times a week.

The entire Alpha Centauri star system has a high concentration of metals, as much as twice that of Sol, so Prometheus is rapidly becoming a major mining center. It’s cheaper to get basic metals like iron and nickel from asteroids, but in cases where vulcanism and water can help concentrate the metals (for example, gold, copper, and palladium), Prometheus is turning up sites richer than anything ever found on Terra.

The system’s most unusual feature is its companion stars. Swinging in and out from 11 to 36 AU over the course of 80 years, Alpha Centauri B is a spectacular sight, far brighter than Luna in Terra’s sky and packed into a smaller disk. Despite its impressive appearance, it is too distant to affect Prometheus’ climate in a way noticeable without instruments. Naturally, B draws a lot of attention from tourists, but a tradition has grown up that an immigrant isn’t really a Promethean until he’s seen Proxima with the naked eye. Dim and far more distant, Proxima is only just visible near the Pleiades. The newcomer’s friends will take him out one night specifically to take a look, and binoculars are available if needed (though the guest of honor can expect ribbing if they have to be used).