The climate on Cyraria is one of dramatic extremes, from as cold as -51oC/-60oF to highs up to 101oC/214oF. While the lemniscadian orbit is partly to blame, the 87o inclination of the planet’s axis is also a major factor. Earth is only 23o from the vertical, yet this accounts for the seasons as one hemisphere, then the other, leans toward the Sun. This changes its declination (height in the sky), making its rays hotter the higher it gets, as well as the length of the ecliptic (path across the sky), which determines the number of hours of daylight.
Cyraria, however, is tipped on its side and is thus closer to being horizontal than vertical. Thus, there are times when its northern hemisphere is facing either Zeta or Zinni constantly, while the southern is in complete darkness and vice versa. Sigma3/Epsilon is at 45o North Latitude, so is halfway between the planets north pole and equator. This tempers its seasons slightly, versus what it is at the extremes, but still results in dramatic differences.
The length of the seasons differ dramatically as well. This is due to the nature of elliptical orbits. According to Kepler’s 3rd Law of Planetary Motion, a planet will sweep out “equal area in equal time.” The illustration above is not to scale, but you can get the idea that when the planet is between Zeta and Zinni in its Opposition period, the area shown is relatively small compared to that at the opposite ends, such as its Ecli-noctial periods. Thus, the planet actually moves faster in its orbit during the smaller sectors than the larger ones. This has the fortunate effect of shortening Opposition compared to the others, but is still substantially longer than Earth’s seasons.
A lemniscadian orbit is unstable and highly unlikely to occur. If nothing else, when the planet it between the two stars it undergoes tremendous gravitational forces in opposite directions, which could tear it apart. At the least, it will experience groundquakes and various other disturbances during this time.
Temperature extremes between the north and south hemispheres contribute to severe weather, such as pressure vortices (PVs), or tornadoes, as they’re known on Earth. When cold air and hot air mix, they tend to form a funnel as the hot air rises and cold air drops. The temperatures would be even more extreme if it weren’t for the thick atmosphere, which contains a significant amount of dust. During the PV season, more dust is stirred up, which actually helps prevent opposition temperatures from being even higher.
1. Eclinoctial A: GROWING SEASON. Temperature Range: 4 – 24C/40 – 75F (1528 Days) Zeta and Zinni begin in conjunction, then gradually move apart, Zeta closer and much larger in appearance. Zeta predominates, with this the perigee of Cyraria’s orbital sector that surrounds it, thus the farthest away, except when the planet is in the orbital sector around Zinni. It is cooler in Sigma/Epsilon than equatorial regions because of its latitude, with Zeta 45 degrees above the horizon. This period is long and provides for a long and stable growing season.
2. Z-Separation: GROWING SEASON. Temperature 24 – 39C/75 – 103F (765 Days) During this season, Zeta and Zinni begin to separate in the sky, i.e. Zinni gradually becomes visible, then rises and sets. However, it is small due to its distance, i.e. approximately six times as far as the Orbit of Pluto or the size of Earth’s solar system. It will appear as a bright star, such as an extremely bright Venus at maximum elongation, but provides minimal heat. At this time, Zeta’s path is lopsided and circumpolar, extending from horizon to zenith, providing strong light and heat, which warms the planet quickly. Zeta is slightly closer now, and Zinni is getting closer as well, thus increasing in size and influence. This is the prime growing season with sensitive crops harvested before Summer heat sets in.
3. Summer: MOSTLY TOO HOT. Temperature 39 – 52C/ 103 – 126F (765 Days) Zeta no longer ascends to directly overhead, but is 45 degrees above the horizon and circumpolar. Therefore, it never sets, which means the surface never cools. Zinni continues to rise and set, plus it’s growing in size, its influence increasing and likewise contributing to the heatload. Crops grown during this season have to either be hardy against heat or protected.
4. Opposition: TOO HOT. Temperature 52 – 72C/ 126 – 161F (382 Days) Zeta is again tracing a lopsided, circumpolar path, and reaches 90 degrees declination directly overhead before dipping to the horizon, only to rise again. Zinni’s path is likewise lopsided, but goes slightly below the horizon at perigee. It is about the same distance as Zeta, so provides equal heat. Surface heat rises rapidly into the lethal range, spawning pressure vortices (PVs) which stir up additional dust, adding to the planet’s turbidity but actually shielding it slightly. Groundquake season begins, due to opposing gravitational forces from Zeta and Zinni.
5. Down* Opposition: TOO HOT. Temperature 72C – 20C/161 – 68F (396 Days) Cyraria is now directly between Zeta and Zinni, where it crosses over into Zinni’s portion of the lemniscate. Both rise and set, one after the other, so that one is always in the sky, resulting in constant daylight. Sigma/Epsilon is spared the worst of this period due to its high latitude, meaning neither sun is directly overhead, but it is still extremely hot as the season begins. Both are at approximately 45 degrees above the horizon at apogee. However, the transition to cooler weather comes quickly as the planet progresses into the portion of its orbit around Zinni. This is because the northern hemisphere, which includes Sigma/Epsilon, is facing away from both Zeta and Zinni. This sudden temperature drop begins another Pressure Vortex or PV season due to extreme differences in the northern and southern hemispheres. Groundquakes are less frequent. (*Down refers to start of Zinni orbit.)
6. Grey Winter: COLD. Temperature 20 to -42C/68 to -45F (791 Days) Both Zeta and Zinni are disappearing behind the planet and temperatures drop quickly as the cold season begins. Zeta barely peeks above the horizon, providing minimal heat for a few hours; light from its low declination provides short, dimly-lit days. Zinni is relatively close, but constantly below the horizon. Oppsuit functions are switched to protect against the cold instead of heat.
7. Dark Winter: COLD. Temperature -43 to -51C/-45 to -60F (791 Days) Zeta barely reaches 10 degrees above the southwest horizon, so Sigma/Epsilon is in low light when it is above the horizon. Zinni remains below the horizon. The temperature differential between the North and South hemispheres is substantial and results in PV’s along equatorial regions.
8. Old Winter: COLD. Temperature -51 – 4C/-60 – 40F (1582 Days) Zeta begins to rise in the southwest, but only reaches 20 degrees above the horizon. It is still cold, but begins to thaw. Zinni is still invisible, other than minimal dusk.
9. Eclinoctial B: GROWING SEASON. Temperature 4 – 27C/ 40 – 80F (1582 Days) Equal day and night return. Zinni is visible and eclipsing Zeta. Again, the two suns will gradually separate. Another growing season begins, starting with cool weather crops with hot weather crops phasing in.
10. Spring Down: HOT. Temperature 27 – 40C/80 – 104F (791 Days) Zinni’s path is again lopsided circumpolar, ranging from horizon to zenith. Zeta is visible again, but far away and contributing minimal heat. It is slightly cooler than Eclinoctial-B, because PVs along the equator add dust to the atmosphere, deflecting some heat.
11. Ante Opps: HOT. Temperature 40 – 49C/104 – 120F (791 Days) Zinni is 45 degrees above the horizon and circumpolar. Zeta rises in the northwest and is high in the sky at “noon,” heat increasing with its proximity.
12. High Opps: LETHAL HEAT. Temperature 49 – 101C/120 – 214F (396 Days) Zinni is lopsided circumpolar from horizon to zenith. Zeta rises in the northwest and reaches a high declination. At times, both are visible in the sky, but in opposite directions. Temperatures rise rapidly in the Northern hemisphere and cool in the Southern, generating PVs. Groundquakes resume. This is the hottest season of the circuit for Sigma/Epsilon. Peak Opps, the middle third (132 days) of this season, are the hottest of the entire circuit.
13. Up* Opps: EXTREME HEAT TO MILD. Temperature 65 – 15C/150 – 60F (382 Days) Zinni and Zeta chase each other across the sky, one or the other visible at all times. Their declination is 45 degrees with neither directly overhead. This is the same position as Down Opps (5). (*Up refers to leaving the space between Zeta and Zinni to head into orbit around Zeta.)
14. Dead Drop Winter: TOO COLD. Temperature 15 to -34C/60 to -30F (765 Days) Neither Zinni nor Zeta rise, but Zinni provides a hint of dusk a few hours each day. Another cold season begins.
15. Black Winter: TOO COLD. Temperature -34 to -45C/-30 to -50F (765 Days) Zeta is still invisible, but Zinni rises a few degrees above the horizon to lend some light and heat. Zinni is about the same size and distance as Eclinoctial-B, when Cyraria is at perigee and provides some dusky light.
16. Spring Up: TOO COLD. Temperature -45 – 4C/-50 – 40F (1528 Days) Zeta is just below horizon and provides dusk while Zinni is rising and setting halfway up the sky, allowing for some light, but minimal warming, due to being at nearly maximum distance.
TOTAL CIRCUIT: 14,000 days (35 Standard Galactic Years [SGY] of 400 days)
GROWING SEASON: Eclinoctial A (1,528); Z-Sep (765); Summer (765); Down Opps (partial) (132); Eclinoctial B (partial) (1,055); Spring Down (791); Ante Opps (791); Up Opps (partial) (191)
GROWING SEASON TOTAL: 6,018 days (43%) (15 SGYs)
HEAT SEASON: Opposition (382); Down Opps (264); High Opps (396); Up Opps (partial) (191)
HEAT SEASON TOTAL: 1,233 days (9%) (3 SGYs)
COLD SEASON: Grey Winter (791); Dark Winter (791); Old Winter (1,582); Eclinoctial B (partial) (527); Dead Drop Winter (765); Black Winter (765); Spring Up (1,528)
COLD SEASON TOTAL: 6,749 days (48%) (17 SGYs)