Dawn in a binary starsystem. This planet is illuminated
by the light of its two suns. On the right there is the bright primary,
a yellow G star like our own sun, around which the planet follows its orbit.
The secondary member of this system is a bit cooler and of type K - it
is at periastron now, so its light is added that of the primary. Look closer
and you will see two lines of shadow for each object. In the course of
the next century, the second sun will move farther out on its orbit, until
it reaches the distance which Pluto has in our solar system, fading to
a very bright star rather than a sun.
This planet has seen better days. Once upon a time,
a river carved this beautiful canyon. But the two suns forced the planet
on an excentric orbit, and the climate deteriorated until the planet became
more of a Mars-like desert. Iron rich dust gives the sky its peculiar colour,
while the morning fog is evideence for the last moisture. If there was
once life on this world, it can only survive in deep subsurface aquifers.
Since the majority of stars travels in pairs, lonely
worlds like this one should be very common throughout the Galaxy...