Thursday, April 9, 2020

100 Planet Names and 40 Planet Types

NASA Image Library

This is a supplement for my planet and system generation tables.

100 Planet Names

  1. [6'53" of Static with Intermittent, Indistinct Screams]
  2. Abacus
  3. Abaia
  4. Akupara Ahtooin
  5. Algedonia
  6. Ambergris
  7. Antediluvia
  8. Antipode
  9. Armok-Krugg
  10. Aurora Abnormalis
  11. Autumn
  12. Bad News
  13. Balloon
  14. Beagle
  15. Billiard
  16. Bir Tawil
  17. Brahmapura
  18. Brindlecap
  19. Buerland
  20. Cappadocia
  21. Caravan
  22. Carcosa
  23. Cetus
  24. Chimera
  25. Circe
  26. Cleave
  27. Cooldown
  28. Coyolxāuhqui
  29. Crow Point
  30. Cursefountain
  31. Cydonia Prime
  32. D.B. Cooperstown
  33. Dâyuni'sï
  34. Dead Heat
  35. Didelphus Maxibene
  36. Drear
  37. Dustbunny
  38. Dvaraka
  39. Emancipation
  40. Florence
  41. Gluggaveður
  42. Goalposts
  43. Han Xiangzhi
  44. Hayashida
  45. Hellmouth
  46. Hundun
  47. Isolata
  48. Ixion
  49. Knot
  50. Kubaba
  51. Lathe
  52. Let's Try It Again!
  53. Lintukoto
  54. Lithomare
  55. Loxley
  56. Magetobria
  57. Mal Locus
  58. Malina
  59. Menelik
  60. Midlothian
  61. Montague
  62. Mornington Crescent
  63. Mwindo
  64. Naraka
  65. Nessus
  66. Nysa
  67. Octavia
  68. Oliphaunt
  69. One Angry Goose
  70. Pangur Ban
  71. Pegana
  72. Pharos Major
  73. Pisswater
  74. Plutomandacare
  75. Polyphemus
  76. Polyrana
  77. Ram Setu
  78. Rock House
  79. Scholomance
  80. Sekhmet
  81. Silverspot
  82. Skennenrahawi
  83. Squatters' Rights
  84. St. Germain
  85. St. Severian
  86. Suaveolent
  87. Sulayman Dawud
  88. Tanabe
  89. Tezcatlipoca
  90. The Back-Down
  91. Three Moths
  92. Uzumaki
  93. Vasuki
  94. Xi Wangmu
  95. Xin Zhui
  96. Yan Tan Tethera
  97. Yesod
  98. Yoko
  99. Youdu
  100. Zagreus

40 Planet & Planetoid Types

These are intended to whip up a planet irrelevant of what is in the rest of the system, so it is unweighted and not modified by anything. I am using the following guidelines.
  • Asteroid - Not enough mass to form a sphere or spheroid.
  • Dwarf - Has enough mass to pull itself into a sphere or spheroid.
  • Terrestrial - Sufficient mass to generate internal geologic activity.
    • Mercurial -  Very thin to no atmosphere. Usually close to parent star.
    • Martian - Liable to lose atmosphere relatively quickly as core quiets down.
    • Gaian - Can maintain long-term atmosphere and hydrosphere due to longer period of geological activity.
    • Supergaian - Gaian worlds up to 2.5 earth masses. Typically dense atmospheres and high water content.
  • Superterrestrial - In excess of 2.5 earth masses. Typically very dense atmosphere.
  • Neptunian - In excess of 10 earth masses. >50% atmospheric water and ice.
    • These are called ice giants, but can come in all sorts of temperatures!
  • Gas Giant - Very, very big. Primarily hydrogen and helium, <50% atmospheric water and ice.
And some things to note:
  • A strong magnetosphere (generated by strong internal geologic activty) will protect an atmosphere from being stripped by the parent star.
  • The closer you are to the parent star, the more likely it is that the atmosphere has been stripped off .
  • The smaller the body is, the more likely the atmosphere gets stripped off due to weak magnetic field.
  • The closer you are to the parent star, the more likely it is that the planet is tidally locked or has an extreme day/night cycle.
  • "Habitable"does not mean "this won't immediately kill you."
  • If you use the right habitats, everything is habitable.
  • This list is as far from exhaustive as it is possible to be.
  1. Asteroid, rocky
  2. Asteroid, metal
  3. Asteroid, icy
  4. Dwarf planet, rocky
  5. Dwarf planet, icy
  6. Dwarf planet, ice-rock mix
  7. Dwarf planet, europan (rocky core, ice shell, subglacial oceans)
  8. Dwarf planet, titanian (icy, thick atmosphere, liquid methane hydrosphere)
  9. Dwarf planet, molten
  10. Terrestrial, mercurial
  11. Terrestrial, molten
  12. Terrestrial, hot arid martian
  13. Terrestrial, cold arid martian
  14. Terrestrial, watery martian
  15. Terrestrial, frozen martian
  16. Terrestrial, gaian (<25% water coverage)
  17. Terrestrial, gaian (25-50% water coverage)
  18. Terrestrial, gaian (50-85% water coverage)
  19. Terrestrial, gaian (85-100% water coverage)
  20. Terrestrial, frozen gaian (majority of water is ice)
  21. Terrestrial, greenhouse gaian (hot, high atmospheric CO2 content)
  22. Terrestrial, pressure-cooker gaian (very hot, dense atmosphere that still permits liquid surface water)
  23. Terrestrial, exotic gaian (high quantities of atmospheric chlorine, sulfuric acid, etc)
  24. Terrestrial, venusian (extremely hot, extremely dense atmosphere)
  25. Terrestrial, icy
  26. Terrestrial, titantian (icy, thick atmosphere, liquid methane hydrosphere)
  27. Supergaian, continental (any% water coverage)
  28. Supergaian, panthalassic (total ocean coverage)
  29. Superterrestrial, rocky
  30. Superterrestrial, icy (liquid interior oceans possible)
  31. Superterrestrial, arid martian
  32. Superterrestrial, panthalassic (total ocean coverage) 
  33. Superterrestrial, venusian
  34. Superterrestrial, titanian
  35. Superterrestrial, molten
  36. Superterrestrial, cthonian (core of a neptunian or gas giant stripped of its atmosphere)
  37. Neptunian, hot
  38. Neptunian, cold
  39. Gas giant, hot
  40. Gas giant, cold

The Simple d10 Terrestrial Table

Something useful I found while turning this all over in my head was buried in the Wikipedia page for planetary habitability - reference to a paper which categorized terrestrial planets by the state of water upon them, splitting them into four classes. I've taken those classes and added my own to round it out to ten options:
  • Class 0 - The planet's conditions do not and have never supported liquid water.
  • Class I - The planet has the right conditions to support liquid water on its surface.
  • Class II - The planet previously had conditions for liquid water, but cannot maintain them and either is losing or has already lost its hydrosphere.
  • Class III - Planets that have liquid water oceans beneath a layer of ice.
  • Class IV - Planet with liquid water layers either above or between layers of ice.
  • Class V - All water on the planet is in the form of ice.
  • Class VI - Planet is covered entirely in liquid water.
  • Class VII - Planet is undergoing a period of extreme glaciation.
  • Class VIII - Planet possesses a high percentage of exotic compounds in the atmosphere.
  • Class IX - The planet possesses an artificially-established hydrosphere.


  1. GENERAL CHALLENGE: Use the tables here and in the other post as the basis for a Mothership 1 shot.

    Alternatively, have fun looking up which names are references to what.

    1. Armok Krug, after the dwarven God of Blood Armok, but also the living fortress Armikrog from the disappointing spiritual successor to The Neverhood of the same name.

    2. Unintended on the latter, but appropriate.

  2. "Sulayman Dawud" is from KSBD.

  3. Carcosa is from the King in Yellow, *but* I'm guessing it's a reference to the planet in Mass Effect.

    1. All references to Carcosa are simultaneously references to all other references to Carcosa.

  4. Bad News and Let's Try It Again! sound rather Nivenesque, along the lines of We Made It. Or possibly, Douglas Adams' NowWhat.

    Tezcatlipoca, the Smoking Mirror, I'm guessing has a thick atmosphere of high albedo and a surface of black rock. (Not to be confused with Xipetotec, mineral-rich and strip-mined to exhaustion. Capital: New Xibalba. Don't go there.)

    1. Niven has some great stuff for the background setting but his foreground writing gets a big old Y I K E S from me.

    2. That is the appropriate response. Good alien concepts and fun tech/physics gedankenexperiments; discard anything having to do with humans, and ESPECIALLY anything Pournelle-adjacent.