The second planet orbiting a nearby star is warm enough to have liquid water. Kapetyn’s Star is 13 light years from Earth, which itself makes it a fascinating place, but that’s not even the half of it.
The weird part is that both the star and the planet make mockeries of what we currently think we know about planetary and stellar development. The star itself is over ten billion years old and might be nearly as old as the universe. The planet is five times Earth’s mass (similar to the fictional planet Terra in Aquarius Ascendant, but Terra is the third planet in its star system, not the second).
A star that is ten to thirteen billion years old (the universe, to our knowledge, is about 13.8 billion years old), by the models we had, should have been extinct by now, but Kapteyn’s Star is still around. Will we walk on the surface of Kapteyn b eventually? Maybe; it’s not beyond the realm of possibility, especially since its mass gives a hard upper limit of 5g for its planetary gravity.
Might Kapteyn have been the home of a precursor civilization? I can only speculate. But I’m a speculative fiction author, so that’s what I do.
Kapteyn b: Galactic cultural preserve
Near the heart of Allied space, the planet Kapteyn b is an interstellar mystery. The world, nearly as old as the universe, holds cities that were thriving before any modern sentient life form arose on its homeworld. Worn to rubble over the millennia, this world’s towers show bases and architectural features indicating that they were once kilometers high, constructed from antigravity materials that indicated a mastery of the fundamental forces of the universe at least as great as what we have achieved today. There are six major archaeological missions currently working the surface of the planet, looking for clues as to the nature of the planet’s natives, their present whereabouts, if any, or their eventual fate.
Because of the planet’s proximity to the Human homeworlds of Sol system, Human systematic names are used for both its primary and planets.