THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 204
…Is the NEWFOUNDLANDER a colonizer/scout that is now returning to a burned out home?…
A NEWFOUNDLANDER monitor dedicated to geological activity reveals a tempestuous surface, three-fourths boiling with volcanism. Elsewhere, raging magnetic storms ripple through a conspicuously toxic atmosphere.
“It may not be what you would call a vacation destination, but a recent course deviation puts us right in line with that monster.” He checks and rechecks his unlikely calculations, each time netting the same results.
“There cannot be so much as a trace of oxygen or a stable slab of ground on that planet Sam. Remember when we speculated that the NEWFOUNDLIANS may have been searching out a new home planet? Or has their world started a geological upheaval after they left? Is this ship a colonizer/scout that is now returning to a burned out home?”
“That is a possibility,” he says in a regretting tone, “but what if one of those moons happens to be their home? There is one moon, slightly smaller than Earth and yet another could be Neptune’s twin brother! And Neptune2 looks like it has a moon of its own. Doesn’t that blow your mind?”
This is an inaugural peek at a solar system through provincial perceptions of conventionality. Hubble had alerted Earthly eyes of the existence of viable planetary systems circling other stars, so odds favor it. But to have postulated the strange and complex menagerie attending to Epsilon Eridani, no super-telescope could have sorted out.
Exhibit One: There four mega-planets in similar orbits, over a billion miles away from their blue-white star, the largest planet owning two moons, one the size of Neptune, and that with a satellite to boot; unheard of.