The Kelnis System is a planetary system that revolves around the ultracool red dwarf star called Kelnis. The system contains 7 nearly Kerbin sized worlds, with three of them in the habitable zone, and three of them capable of supporting some sort of life.
The Kelnis System, like every other star system in The Kermes Cluster, was created when a piece of a large interstellar dust cloud began its own gravitational collapse billions of years ago. Over the course of millions of years, the resulting protoplanetary disk began to collapse into a dozen slowly accumulating planetary-mass bodies, including the former water-world Irke. The Kelnis System began a lot more spread out than it currently is, allowing Ora, Nelvem, Telim, and Cyln to retain significant amounts of surface ice and atmospheric mass throughout Kelnis's violent early years (while the innermost planets lost nearly all their volatile elements due to heavy solar activity, and Irke was reduced to retaining a few small seas). As Kelnis matured and began to settle down, gravitational interactions with the protoplanetary disk allowed the planets of Kelnis to spiral inward toward the star. As planetary distances became even closer than before, planets that were not in resonance with their neighbors were destabilized and thrown out of the system, leaving only the synchronized planets to migrate in lockstep. Ora and Nelvem entered the habitable zone and became temperate, watery worlds. The small amount of water that Irke had left on its surface since migrating inward away from the habitable zone meant that most of its land became scorching desert. Within just a billion years the protoplanetary disk finally dissipated and planetary positions came to where they are today. It is thought that life in the Kelnis System began on Nelvem billions of years ago and has spread to every other habitable planet in the system since. It is also believed that Nelvem experienced a cataclysmic extinction event in which all life on the planet was extinguished over a period of time millions of years ago. Scientists have linked this event to a sharp increase of radioactive waste and carbon monoxide in the planet's biomes that occurred at around the same time.
The Kelnis System is most well known for having 7 Kerbin-sized worlds, a record for any star system currently discovered. It also holds a record for most planets in the habitable zone around a single star.
Currently, most of the planets around Kelnis are being held in their orbits by the other planets through a complete series of orbital resonances that includes all the planets, making the system very hard to destabilize. It is a great spot for tourism, where visiting tourists can see up to 7 other planets, all looking like moons.
Another interesting thing about the Kelnis System is that it resides around Kelnis, a M8V star, which is borderline brown dwarf. Because of this, Kelnis tends to double and half its solar output often, as well as transits from other planets decreasing the amount of light reaching the system. Another unique aspect of the Kelnis System is that all the planets are tidally locked to Kelnis, and none of them have any moons.
The Kelnis System contains one habitable world and three organic worlds. Three planets reside in the habitable zone (Ora, Nelvem, Telim).
- Irke (Organic)
- Ora (Habitable)
- Nelvem (Organic)
- Telim (Organic)
- The Kelnis system is based off of the real life TRAPPIST-1 system.
- The planets in the Kelnis System are the only exoplanets based off of real life analogues
- The planets in the Kelnis System are also the most similar to their real life analogues for exoplanets
- All of the planets in the Kelnis system are tidally locked, meaning they always point one face toward the star.
- Kelnis is a red dwarf star, meaning sunspots and sudden solar flares can increase or decrease solar output by a factor of two in mere minutes. Life around this star is tough to adapt to these conditions.
- Although Irke is not technically within the habitable zone of Kelnis, it still supports liquid water on the surface making it capable of supporting rudimentary lifeforms.
- Cyln was discovered by Kerbal scientists based on observed orbital perturbations that it exerted on the other six planets in the Kelnis System.