Maheux, the planet nobody wants to visit.

The planet Maheux is a frontier planet orbiting Epsilon Eridani, 12.61 yl from Rigil Kentaurus. Native species are mostly insectoid, though none are sentient.

Named after famous entomologist who classified many of the species found there.

M = .9E   Atmosphere: 63% N2; 34% O2; 0.05% CO2; 2.95% other including variable amounts of water vapor. Sea level atmospheric pressure: 586 mmHg.

Maheux is not on anybody’s list of the ten places to see before you die. It is not considered picturesque, or romantic, and it’s over twelve lightyears away from anything civilized. The temperatures tend to be chilly, the atmosphere is mildly toxic, and there are few emergency services beyond the Bureau of Frontiers. Mineral rights are strictly regulated, and there are vast land areas where humans are forbidden due to the danger of contamination of the Maheux biomes.

You need to understand that nobody will care if you are killed by local organisms. They authorities will ask you to sign no fewer than five different forms stating that you understand that it’s a dangerous place to visit before you’re allowed to land. However, they will prosecute you to the fullest extent if you contaminate the place, even accidentally. So pack your garbage out!

Maheux has no major moon. The largest satellite is an artificial one, built on site by humans in order to regulate human commerce. Due to the lack of a moon, the planet has neither tides nor the stabilizing effect of the Earth’s moon. Over the aeons, Maheux’s axis tilts wildly. Without tides, there are no tidal zones or broad coastal tidal flats for evolution to get a good foothold on dry land.

Life on Maheux is at least as old as life on Earth, and biologists are eager to debate the subject if they think you’re even tangentially interested. There are lots of fish on Maheux, but no land based vertebrates. Just bugs. Insectoids of all shapes and sizes which would see any newly emerging life-form from the seas as a tasty morsel.

One of the major factors limiting the size of insects on Earth is the oxygen content of the atmosphere. Three hundred million years ago, the Earth’s atmosphere was over one-third oxygen, and terrestrial insects were much larger then. It’s the same with Maheux insectoids.

Maheux only has two large continents. Sort of like Pangea with a sister. Maheux as almost no tectonic activity, and planetologists love studying it for this reason alone. Without significant tectonic motion, there are no new mountains. Several major rivers drain the polar ice sheets, and without mountains, they flow across featureless desert plains, meandering like the Mississippi. The major parts of the continents that are separated from the seas by hundreds of kilometer of dry land are referred to as “vast inland deserts.”

There are researchers who claim that, while there is little overlap between biological chemistries between Maheux and other human occupied planets, there is too much overlap.

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