Daphnis was discovered back in 2005 by the Cassini mission team. Before that, scientists had suggested that there was a moon there based on the ripples they could see in the Keeler Gap, but hadn’t any solid proof it was there since… you know… the planet is so far away from us.
What the mission discovered is that Daphnis has a mean radius of 2.4 miles and completes one orbit around Saturn in 14 hours. It’s about 5 miles in diameter and what’s causing that ripple effect in the rings would be none other than Daphnis’ gravity brushing up against the ice particles lingering there. These ice particles move slower than Saturn, but faster than Daphnis, making that pretty wavy pattern we see.
In the grand scheme of things, that’s not much information, but as a novelist that was plenty for me. Especially since I was working on the idea that a station was placed inside the moon instead of on its surface. We do have one scene where a character is outside on the surface of the moon, trying to fix the hull of their broken ship, and I took a moment to imagine what sort of view they might have.
I mean… I had to.
That’s half the fun of science fiction, isn’t it?
Anyway, the relatively small space required that I keep this abandoned space station on the small side. I could only have the station so many level’s deep, after all, before you wound up on the other side of the moon.
And here’s where we suspend disbelief.
Because, you know, science fiction.
I put an oxygen farm in the center of the station. Which meant a literal farm of trees and plants in a greenhouse situation. Because it makes sense to me that if we ever do voyage out into space, we’ll want to bring plants with us both as scientists and for the practical use they provide.
There’s also a big fight that happens here.
Because I am nothing if not an action fan, and that shows itself a lot in my writing.
Which brings us to my topic for next week… Super Soldiers – Embrace the Cliché.