J.M. Daniels: The Stars & Planets of Dune, 1999

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J.M. Daniels: The Stars & Planets of Dune, 1999

Postby SandRider » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:53 pm


The Stars and Planets of Frank Herbert's _Dune_: A Gazetteer

By Joseph M. Daniels

(c) 1999 (14201 B.G.), All rights reserved.



To Cliff Amos, who told me a quarter century ago that I should read sci-fi:
--I said I preferred non-fiction.
To Chuck Bertram, who strongly suggested almost a decade ago that I read _Dune_:
--I told him I saw the movie.
To the young woman behind the counter of the L. L. Bookworm Bookstore,
Holden Beach, North Carolina in June, 1994:
--She thought _Dune_ was the greatest book ever written.
So I finally yielded to suggestion:
--Thus becoming hopelessly addicted to the spice melange!
They are all partly to blame for this!


Table of Contents:

Part One: Introduction
A. Prologue
B. Conventions and Source Citations
C. Mapping the Imperium

Part Two: The Zensunni Wandering
A. Origin: Old Earth
B. The First Stop: Poritrin
C. The Second Stop: Salusa Secundus
D. The Third Stop: Bela Tegeuse
E. The Fourth Stop: Ishia
F. The Fifth Stop: Rossak
G. The Sixth Stop: Harmonthep

Part Three: Miscellanea Imperii
A. Chusuk: the Music Planet
B. Corrin
C. Delta Kaising III
D. Ecaz: The Sculptor's Paradise
E. Galicia
F. Gamont: The Pleasure Planet
G. Grumman
H. Hagal: The Jewel Planet
I. Ix and Richese
J. Kaitain: The Imperial Court
K. Sikun
L. Tleilax
M. Tupile
N. Wallach IX

Part Four: Terrae Incognitae

Table of Stellar and Planetary Names

Part Five: Harkonnen and Atreides

A. Giedi Prime (later Gammu)
B. Caladan (later Dan)
C. Arrakis (later Rakis)-a.k.a. Dune


Part One: Introduction

"The singular multiplicity of this universe draws my deepest attention. It is a thing of
ultimate beauty."

-The Stolen Journals (of Leto II), __God Emperor of Dune__, page 234.



As every Bene Gesserit sister will come to know and all readers of _Dune_ should already know, a beginning is a delicate time. So I shall take care to explain my intentions.

I have long had a casual interest in both astronomy and science fiction. So when Frank Herbert's _Dune_ captivated me a few years ago, I decided to take a look at its astronomical references. I thought I

would visually observe such of them as I could and try to discover why particular stars were chosen and how planets were named.

I presumed that I would find a fairly straightforward scheme. This error was quickly corrected when I discovered that "Giedi Prime" and "Arrakis" were the names of real stars as well as fictional planets.

I supposed (and continue to do so) that Herbert named some planets after star systems in which important, but usually unspecified, historical events will have taken place. Come to think of it, someone of

Muad'dib's time might wonder how a small town in Indiana and a public square in London came to have the same name as a cape in Spain: Trafalgar. Such a person might very well know what happened near

the star Alpha1 Capricorni, otherwise Giedi Prime, to cause a planet to be named after it but be ignorant of Lord Nelson's victory.

This appealed to my interest in the historical, more abiding still than my attractions to astronomy and science fiction. So it began to look like a fun project, and indeed it has been. I hope you will find the results


The stars and planets discussed at length are those introduced in _Dune_ as opposed to the five other books of the Chronicles. Little fresh astronomical material was added in these later books: worlds were

given names but without any attempt to identify their location in the heavens. In the interest of thoroughness, I have listed these worlds in the section entitled "Terrae Incognitae".


Conventions and Source Citations:

When there are identical star and planet names and the possibility of confusion exists, the star name will be preceded by an "*", and the planet name with an "@". Thus I would write *Arrakis for Mu Draconis

and @Arrakis for Dune.

Sources will be given in the text except where the following either applies or suffices for the purpose:

1. The "Terminology of the Imperium" always included with the _Dune_ text will not be cited as a source. It is the "canon" with which all interested parties are expected (by me, at least) to be familiar.
2. Star positions given in equatorial coordinates, i.e., right ascension (RA) and declination (DEC), are taken from the program "Redshift3", Maris Multimedia Ltd., San Rafael, CA, precessed for the year 2000

C.E. (14200 B.G.). Visual and absolute magnitudes, distance, and spectral type are also taken from it unless otherwise noted.
3. Star positions given in galactic latitude (b) and galactic longitude (l) are my own calculations based on RA and DEC.

The following symbols will be used in lieu of complete book titles:

A. BM = _Breaking the Maya Code_, by Michael D. Coe (Thames & Hudson, New York, 1992).
B. CD = _Children of Dune_, by Frank Herbert (Ace Books, New York, 1987).
C. CH = _Burnham's Celestial Handbook_, by Robert Burnham, Jr. (Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1978), in three volumes.
D. CP = _Chapterhouse: Dune_, by Frank Herbert (Ace Books, New York, 1987).
E. DU = _Dune_, by Frank Herbert (Ace Books, New York, 1990).
F. DE = _Dune Encyclopedia_, edited by Dr. Willis E. McNelly (Berkley Books, New York, 1984). (I will often refer to this source as "the Encyclopedist". Its authority is ambiguous: all the more so given the

introduction written by Frank Herbert himself. But if it did not receive his unqualified endorsement, it clearly got his _nil obstat_.)
G. EB = _Encyclopaedia Brittanica_, (William Benton, Chicago, 1959).
H. EG = _The Gods of the Egyptians_, by E. A. Wallis Budge (Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1969), in two volumes.
I. FS = _The Fifth Sun_, by Burr Cartwright Brundage (University of Texas Press, Austin, TX, 1979).
J. GE = _God Emperor of Dune_, by Frank Herbert (Ace Books, New York, 1987).
K. GG = _The Guide to the Galaxy, by Nigel Henbest and Heather Couper (Cambridge University Press, 1994).
L. GM = _The Greek Myths_, by Robert Graves (Penguin Books, Baltimore, Md., 1955).
M. GS = _The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya_, by Mary Miller and Karl Taube (Thames & Hudson, Inc., New York, NY, 1993).
N. HD = _Heretics of Dune_, by Frank Herbert (Ace Books, New York, 1987).
O. HG = _A History of Greece_, by J. B. Bury (MacMillan & Co. Ltd., New York, 1963).
P. HH = _The Henry Holt Guide to Astronomy_, by David Baker (Henry Holt & Company, New York, 1990).
Q. HJ = _Hobson-Jobson: The Anglo-Indian Dictionary_, by Henry Yule and A. C. Burnell (Wordsworth Editions Ltd., Ware, England). A republication of the 1886 original.
R. LD = _Cassell's New Latin Dictionary_, by D. P. Simpson (Funk & Wagnalls Co., New York, 1959).
S. LQ = _The Anchor Book of Latin Quotations_, by Norber Guterman (Doubleday, New York, 1966).
T. NA = _National Audubon Society Guide to the Night Sky_, by Mark R. Chartrand (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1991).
U. OZ = _The Origin of the Zodiac_, by Rupert Gleadow (Castle Books, New York, 1968).
V. RA = _Rules of the Aztec Language_, by Arthur J. O. Anderson (University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City Utah, 1973).
W. SC = _The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible_, by James Strong (Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tenn., 1984-first published in 1890).
X. SN = _Star Names_, by Richard Hinckley Allen (Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1963). A re-publication of _Star-Names and Their Meanings_, 1899. (This book, given its status as a classic work

on this subject, may very well have been a source-or even the source-for Frank Herbert.)
Y. SU = _Supernova_, by Donald Goldsmith (Oxford University Press, 1990).

The "magnitudes" shown in my star descriptions are, of course, apparent magnitudes: they give some idea as to the relative brightness of stars as seen from Earth. Stars less than "7" are visible to the unaided

eye: the smaller the number, the brighter. The "absolute magnitude" is the apparent magnitude of a star if it were at a distance of 10 parsecs: thus it is the measure of its intrinsic brightness. Spectral classes are

based on a spectral analysis of the light from a star: I have equated this with "color" (red, orange, yellow-white, white, blue-white, and blue).

Two astronomers between 1912 and 1914 discovered that if one plotted absolute magnitude against spectral class distribution patterns emerged that were relative to the size of stars (dwarves, main sequence,

subgiant, giants, bright giants, and supergiants. The sun is revealed to be among the mainsequence group with an absolute magnitude of 4.8 and a spectral type of G2 (yellow-white). Canopus (the star of Dune)

is a supergiant with an absolute magnitude of -5.53 and a spectral type of F0 (white).

My "star designations" are chosen using the common method: If Johann Bayer (1572-1625) found the star prominent enough to assign it a Greek letter, then that designation is used. If not, the number assigned

by John Flamsteed (1646-1719) is used-where it exists. If all else fails, I use the number given in the Henry Draper Catalogue of Annie Jump Cannon, created in the early part of the twentieth century. [Please

note that I did not say "this century". This document is Y2K compliant!]


Mapping the Imperium:

"'Now', quod he thoo, 'cast up thyn yë.
Se yonder, loo, the Galaxie,
Which men clepeth the Milky Wey,
For hit ys whit (and somme parfey,
Kallen hyt Watlynge Strete)...'"

-Geoffrey Chaucer, "House of Fame", Book II.

The important thing in appreciating the Imperium as a physical entity is to think on a galactic level. This is why I use "galactic coordinates", as well as the better known equatorial coordinate system, for

referencing the location of celestial objects.

In the equatorial coordinate system, one essentially projects terrestrial points of reference onto an imaginary, fixed celestial sphere within which the Earth rotates. The poles and the equator thus have their

celestial analogues, and the Greenwich meridian finds it equivalent at the point the sun crosses the celestial equator at the spring equinox. Along the celestial equator, coordinates are given in 24 "hours" of right

ascension; and from pole to pole, the coordinates are in "degrees" of declination, where the north pole is +90deg, the celestial equator 0, and the south pole -90deg. This perspective is handy for a terrestrial

observer, but the earth's axis of rotation is not at right angles to the plane of the solar system (off by 23deg26'), and the Galactic plane is inclined at about 63deg to the celestial equator. Consequentially,

equatorial coordinates give little immediate information about an object's position relative to the galactic disk.

The Milky Way Galaxy is probably a slightly barred spiral galaxy-100,000 light years across-containing hundreds of billions of stars and with two major arms, the Sagittarius Arm and the Norma Arm. (Truth

to tell, some believe there are four or more major arms-the only incontestable features are the arm of which we are a part and the two flanking it.) The sun lies in an arm "fragment" outboard of the Sagittarius

Arm called the Local Arm or, more colorfully, the Orion Arm. Outside of the Orion Arm is another arm fragment called the Perseus Arm. The sun is no closer than 25,000 light years (hereafter "ly.") to the

galactic center and is rotating in the direction of the constellation Cygnus at 200+ km. per sec. The orbit is not circular, nor is the plane of the orbit parallel to, or coplanar with, that of the Galaxy. [GG, page


It would be nice, of course, to give the location of stars in coordinates reflecting this enormous object of which they are a part. Perhaps one could give this in degrees of rotation around the disk and the angle

above or below the plane of the Galaxy as viewed from its center and, of course, the distance from this center in light years or parsecs. Unfortunately, measurements on this scale are not all that accurate

presently: for example, estimates of the solar system's distance from the galactic center range up to 33,000 ly., and distances between the Earth and individual stars are sometimes given widely varying values

by different sources (e.g., see "Arrakis" for a discussion of the values assigned to Canopus). It is true, of course, that the Hubbell Space Telescope and its successors will correct many of the errors in this data.

The system referred to as "galactic coordinates" is similar to my ideal but still remains geocentric: the point of view chosen is the Earth itself, not the galactic center. (Well, Star Fleet will do no better with its

Sector 0,0,1!) The angle to a star, in degrees, above (from +90deg to 0) or below (from 0 to -90deg) the galactic plane is the galactic latitude (b); the degrees of rotation in the galactic plane (0 to 360deg)

about the point of observation is the galactic longitude (l). The zero point of longitude is the direction of the galactic center in the constellation Sagittarius.

Knowing an object's galactic longitude (l), one can tell if it is "ahead" (i.e., in the direction of the solar system's galactic rotation) or "behind" us, to the "right" (toward the galactic center) or to the "left". Deneb,

for example, has a longitude of 84.61deg and so we are rotating toward it. Canopus has a longitude of 261.28deg and is almost dead astern of us. A positive latitude (b) indicates the object is above the plane

(Deneb at 1.88deg is only slightly above); and negative latitude, below it (Canopus at -25.13deg is significantly below the galactic plane).

The sun currently finds itself in proximity to three families of stars: the Hyades, the Pleiades, and the Sirius superclusters. It did not find its origin amongst these stars, nor even in the Orion Arm for that matter.

[GG, pages 163-164] But Sirius, Alpha Canis Majoris, a blue-white main sequence star with a white dwarf companion, is the brightest star in our sky and is only 8.6 light years away. For this reason, Isaac

Asimov, that other great future historian, often and plausibly described the solar system as being in the Sirian Sector.

Only a few of the stars which we will be discussing are to be found in this Sirian Sector, no matter how liberally (but reasonably) defined. On the other hand, just about all stars (but not all objects!) visible to

the unaided eye lie within a sphere of only 1600 light years radius or so-basically within the Orion Arm. [SU, pages 7-8] Since almost all the stars of _Dune_ were such stars, one is struck by the relative

compactness of the heart of the old Imperium. A point not lost on Paul Atreides or his son.

Still, even House Corrino was often said to rule the Galaxy [e.g., DE, page 343]. Was this just hyperbole? One is reminded of Princess Irulan's introduction to the motion picture _Dune_: " . . . The known

universe is ruled by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV...." This echoes the words of Korba to Muad'dib, "Your legions control the known universe...." [DM, page 108] So how much is _known_?

Leto II, however, stated flatly, "This planet of Arrakis from which I direct my multigalactic empire...." [GE, page 13] We can idly speculate if this means more than the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds but it

clearly indicates mastery of the Milky Way Galaxy, if not necessarily the Andromeda Galaxy and the rest of the Local Group (of galaxies). The Scattering, of course, renders the issue moot relative to the

extent of mankind's spread, since this became no longer coterminous with the Imperium. One recalls, however, that the old Imperium will be the "Million Planets" to the Honored Matres. [CP, page 375]

The God Emperor of Dune will not forgive me if I failed to mention the fourth dimension of the Imperium: TIME. As he will know only too well, we ordinary folk tend not to feel motion in this dimension except

perhaps as we grow older and then only in a limited sense. We, of course, know better. But what really are millennia to us, much less ages-given our own brevity?

I have accepted the time line presented in the _Dune Encyclopedia_, by which this year of 1998 C.E. is 14202 B.G. (i.e., "before Guild"). One must point out that this time line does contain at least one

egregious error: the date of the Spanish Armada (against the English kingdom of Elizabeth I) is given as 14512 B.G., and the first use of atomics, as 14255 B.G. [DE, page vii] This indicates there was an

interval of 257 years. In fact the interval is 357 years (1945-1588=357). Before attempting to explain away this apparent error, one should be aware that the interval shown between Christopher Columbus's

first voyage and the Armada is correct (1588-1492=96 years, 14608-14512=96 years). [Ibid.]

Little is said by Herbert himself to establish a firm time line between now and then. He does refer in his appendix on the religion of Dune to "mankind's movement through deep space . . . during the one

hundred and ten centuries that preceded the Butlerian Jihad". [DU, page 501] Since the _Dune Encyclopedia_ links the start of the Jihad to the year 200 B.G., one looks with interest to what its timeline shows

for the year 11200 B.G.

For that year it lists "the Empire of a Thousand Worlds". When one considers the entry for the preceding century: "the Empire of the 10 Worlds"-the spread of mankind into deep space is clearly indicated.

[DE, page vii] 11200 B.G. will be three millennia after our own time, the year 5000 C.E., a three thousand-year interval that depends on the _Dune Encyclopedia_ alone for its authority.

Let us, however, refresh our perspective: This mere "three millennia" before the true Dune timeline even begins is approximately the extent of time between King David of Israel and Judah and today. The

putative length of the Zensunni Wandering was even longer-about 4200 years, the time that separates us from Egypt's Old Kingdom. And the time from now until the Kwisatz Haderach? Such an expanse,

projected backward, would take us back before the beginnings of civilization, before the last retreat of the glaciers. I can almost feel the "winds of time" ruffling my hair! (The most distant future event I have

found mentioned in the Dune Chronicles is the ten thousandth anniversary of the metamorphosis of Leto II-about 35,000 years from now! [HD, page 72] )


Part Two: The Zensunni Wandering

"Oh, the landscapes I have seen! And the people! The far wanderings of the Fremen and all the rest of it. Even back through the mists to Terra. Oh, the lessons in astronomy and intrigue, the migrations, the

disheveled flights, the leg-aching and lung-aching runs through so many nights on all of those cosmic specks where we have defended our transient possession."

-The Stolen Journals (of Leto II), _God Emperor of Dune_, page 31


A. Origin: Old Earth

"The conquests which began with Assur-nasir-apli carried arms into Media and later into Israel, Damascus, Edom, Arpad, Babylon and Umlias. Does anyone remember these names and places now? I have

given you enough clues: Try to name the planet."

-The Stolen Journals (of Leto II), _God Emperor of Dune_, page 131

By the "Zensunni Wanderers" I mean those followers of the sect of Ali Ben Ohashi whose original home was "Nilotic al-Ourouba" [DU, page 351] and whose direct descendants were the Fremen of Dune.

That this home was on the planet Old Earth is beyond question, even if one does not accept the detailed account offered by the _Dune Encyclopedia_ and despite the Zensunnis' own confusion in this regard.

(See "Poritrin".)

It is clear that they had a close connection with Egypt. "Nilotic" is obviously from the Latin adjective Niloticus, meaning "of, or related to, the Nile River". [LD, page 393] More definitive still is that fact that

they refer to themselves as the "Misr". Considering that the ancient Hebrew name for the Egyptians is Mizriy and for Egypt Mizrayim (and Arabic similarly has Masri and Blad Masr), I believe the burden of

proof is on those who disagree. [SC, "Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary", page 71] (There are further Egyptian allusions, see "Harmonthep" and "Arrakis" below.)

Their language (Arabic dialect) and the Islamic derivation of their religion reinforce the point. Indeed, the relative purity of their Arabic after 25,000 years seemed to be problematic enough to require an

elaborate explanation in the _Dune Encyclopedia_ [DE, pages 238-242]. One should compare this to the vast changes to English insofar as it contributed to Galach, the official language of the Imperium [DE,

pages 239 and 258-261].

By the time of Muad'dib the Earth will have probably been destroyed, foreshadowing perhaps the fate of Dune. I have found some resistance to this notion and offer the following in support of it:

1. "St. Thomas was preserved in the Orange Catholic Bible and the Azhar Book, but Canterbury was gone from the memories of men, as was the planet which had known it." [CD, page 238]
2. From the Stolen Journals (of Leto II): "This morning I was born in a _yurt_ at the edge of a horse-plain in a land of a planet which no longer exists." [Italics are Herbert's, GE, page 5] _Yurt_ is a Mongolian

word for a type of tent. [EB, vol. XV, page 710]
3. Speaking of the Chapterhouse Planet, Darwi Odrade said: "Each planet has its own character where we draw patterns of Old Earth. Sometimes it is only a faint sketch, but here we have succeeded. ...Our

ancestral worlds have gone, but here we have recaptured part of our origins." [CP, page 15]
4. Odrade further observed, "Tyrant, you were another clown. Pointing us into endless recycling of cells from that lost and lonely ball of dirt in our common past." [CP, page 139]

One should not, however, confuse this theoretical eschaton with the Encyclopedist's catastrophic event of 13402 B.G. caused by an asteroid striking Earth. [DE, page vii] For one thing, the Zensunni sect was

not founded until about 1381 B.G. For another, Old Earth was the meeting site of the Commission of Ecumenical Translators, sponsored in part by the Spacing Guild and Bene Gesserit-hence to be dated after

their founding. [DU, page 502] Earth will still be a viable planet at the beginning of the Imperium.

One supposes that the catastrophe of 13402 B.G. was conceived as a method to explain why Earth did not retain its ascendancy or at least its place of honor. (Asimov similarly used the growing radioactivity

of the Earth as a device in his Robot-Empire-Foundation series.)

Looking forward to the famous satellites of Dune, one should perhaps take note that people have seen various images on the face of Earth's moon besides the "old man": a hare being rather commonly

mentioned from classical times on. [SN, pages 266-268] (But one finds no mouse!)

Star System Data for Old Earth:
[All from NA, pages 627 and 641-667]

Star Designation: Sol
Spectral Type: G2 V (Yellow-White, Main Sequence)
Magnitude: -26.7 (Don't look!)
Absolute Magnitude: 4.8
Major Planets (with average distance in km. and astronomical units):
I. Mercury (57,910,000 km. = 0.3871 a.u.)
II. Venus (108,2000,000 km. = 0.7233 a.u.)
III. (Old) Earth (149,597,870 km. = 1 a.u. by definition)
IV. Mars (227,940,000 km. = 1.5237 a.u.)
V. Jupiter (778.330,000 km. = 5.2028 a.u.)
VI. Saturn (1,426,980,000 km. = 9.5388 a.u.)
VII. Uranus (2,870,990,000 km. = 19.1914 a.u.)
VIII. Neptune (4,497,070,000 km. = 30.0611 a.u.)
IX. Pluto (5,913,520,000 km. = 39.5294 a.u.)

Planetary Data:
[All from NA, page 648, except as noted]

Designation: Sol III
Common Name: (Old) Earth, Terra.
Diameter: 12,756 km.
Density: 5.52 g/cm3
Gravity: 9.8 m./sec2
Sidereal Period: 365.242 days = 1.002 (Imperial) Standard Years [HD, page 36]

Satellite Data:
[All from NA, page 634]

Name: Moon, Luna, inter alia.
Ave. Distance from planet: 384,400 km.
Diameter: 3,476 km.
Density: 3.34
Gravity: 1.67 m./sec2
Sidereal Period: 27.322 days
Magnitude: -12.7 (full moon).


B. The First Stop: Poritrin

The Zensunni either fled [DU, page 351] or were removed from Earth [DE, page 512]. The latter was supposed to have happened about 2800 A.G.

In either scenario, they ended up on Poritrin, the third planet of "Epsilon Alangue", where they enjoyed a relatively soft existence on a pleasant planet. This so-called decadence supposedly made them easy

prey for Imperial raiders seeking colonists with which to populate Salusa Secundus and Bela Tegeuse. [DU, page 358.]

On the other hand, their long-over 1600 years-and happy stay, remembered from the perspective of such a different future, led some to confuse Poritrin with their true point of origin, Earth.

The meaning of the planetary name I do not know. The designation of its star is interesting in that it reveals that Herbert occasionally used variant, obscure names for constellations: Alangue is a corruption of an

Arab name, Al Hawwa, for the constellation Ophiuchus and sometimes for its alpha star, normally called Ras Alhague. [SN, pages 299-301] This, incidentally, puts Poritrin in the same constellation as @Giedi

Prime and Sikun.

More such alternative names will come up. Why he used such variants is uncertain. Perhaps it was just to show that such irregularities would multiply over long stretches of time. One remembers the complaint

of the Princess Wensicia, when part of the name of Salusa Secundus was elided in her presence: "This is the planet Salusa Secundus. Do not fall into the lazy ways which spread through our Imperium. Full

name, complete title-attention to every detail." [CD, page 51]

As Epsilon Ophiuchi, this star actually has a common name of its own: Yed Posterior or "the following hand." Some have claimed it is a star of evil influence. [SN, page 302.] Further will be said of the

constellation Ophiuchus under "Giedi Prime".

Star System Data for Poritrin:

Star Designation: Epsilon Ophiuchi (Alangue)
Star Name: Yed Posterior
Equatorial Coordinates: RA=16:18:17, DEC=-4deg41'26"
Galactic Coordinates: b=30.21deg, l=8.89deg
Distance from Old Earth: 107.5 ly.
Spectral Type: G8 III (Yellow, Giant)
Magnitude: 3.23
Absolute Magnitude: 0.64
Known Planets:
I. ?
II. ?
III. Poritrin


C. The Second Stop: Salusa Secundus

"My father has told me of Salusa Secundus. Do you know, Thufir, it sounds much like Arrakis...perhaps not quite as bad, but much like it."

-Paul Atreides, _Dune_, page 32.

Half the Zensunni of Poritrin were forced to migrate to Salusa Secundus in 4492 A.G. [DE, page 513] They were to be slaves on this planet for nine generations.

Salusa Secundus was a planet of such harshness that it was capable of producing the Sardaukar soldier-fanatics of the Corrino emperors and, indeed, the House Corrino itself. The Imperial Court had, of

course, long been removed to Kaitain (1487 A.G. [ibid.]) and Salusa Secundus turned into a prison planet. As such, this hellish place contributed its share to the evolution of the Fremen of Dune and the

Fedaykin of Muad'dib as well.

Salusa Secundus and Dune were in fact analogous: as Salusa Secundus was to the Saudaukar and House Corrino; so Dune, to the Fremen of the Jihad and House Atreides.

Knowing this, we understand more than most will grasp in the time of Shaddam IV. In fact, it will be a dangerous secret. Thufir Hawat asked the question, "Were there people on Salusa Secundus before the

Emperor sent his first contingent of prisoners there? Even the Duke Leto, a cousin on the distaff side, never knew for sure." [DU, page 377] He was but trying to lead the Baron Harkonnen into drawing the

proper conclusions about the role this planet had played in Galactic history and understanding how badly the baron had erred in his interview with Count Fenring two years before.

In 5295 A.G., the Zensunni were allowed to emigrate to Ishia. [DE, page 514]

Its planetary name clearly implies that, like @Giedi Prime and @Arrakis, Salusa Secundus was named after a star. Secundus (Latin for "second") is a term sometimes used with the lesser of the two

components of a binary star. One would expect a "Salusa Prime" somewhere.

On the surface of it, salusa appears to be a Latin noun, such as nauta, which takes the masculine gender but is in a normally feminine declension. Thus it has an "-a" ending itself, while its adjective, secundus,

has the normal masculine "-us" ending. There is a Latin noun salus, meaning "healthful"-nice irony, that! -but is a feminine noun of another declension. ...And Herbert knew his Latin.

It is true, however, that the constellation Aries was known among the Jews as Shalish (variant Shalisha), the name of some sort of musical instrument. [SN, page 82.] Herbert was aware of this, for the planet

Chusuk (q.v.) is said to circle Theta Shalish.

Now Gamma Arietis is a well-known binary star and one of the earliest to be discovered (1664 C.E.). [CH, v. I, page 249.] Gamma2 Arietis is a star with a magnitude of 3.88 at about 204.4 ly. distance. If

this can be taken to be (Gamma) Shalisha Secundus, then we possibly have our namesake for @Salusa Secundus. There is other evidence that Herbert truncated names in this fashion, no doubt to the outrage

of the Princess Wensicia, for example, Eridani A. (See "Ix and Richese".)

Salusa Secundus is the third planet of "Gamma Waiping". Waiping (or Wae Ping, a "rolled screen") is a variant Chinese name for part of the constellation Pisces. [SN, page 343.] This indicates that Herbert not

only used variant names for constellations, but also sometimes used names that applied to some asterism within the constellation to describe the whole-a form of synecdoche. The continued use of the Bayer

designation-especially when, as in this case, a star with that Greek letter does not lie within the asterism itself-shows that the entire constellation is intended.

One may also note that Herbert makes reference to the "golden light" of Salusa Secundus. [CD, page 179] This is, at least, not in contradiction to the spectral type of Gamma Piscium.

Pisces, the Fish, is a zodiacal sign. The constellation is now where the Sun is found at the Vernal Equinox, the precession of the equinoxes having deprived Aries of that honor it held during ancient times.

Interestingly, the Greek myth about Pisces tells how Aphrodite and her son Eros escaped the giant Typhon by jumping into a stream, turning into fish, and swimming away. [NA, page 577] Now I once read a

story about how a mother and son will someday flee from an evil baron by disappearing into the desert, becoming one with the natives, and make good their escape.

Star System Data for Salusa Secundus:

Star Designation: Gamma Piscium (Waiping)
Star Name: None
Equatorial Coordinates: RA=23:17:09, DEC=3deg16'52"
Galactic Coordinates: b=-52.16deg, l=83.58deg
Distance from Old Earth: 130.9 ly.
Spectral Type: G7 III (Yellow, Giant)
Magnitude: 3.7
Absolute Magnitude: 0.68
Known Planets:
I. ?
II. ?
III. Salusa Secundus


D. The Third Stop: Bela Tegeuse

"Life was full with happiness until the raiders came."
--from a Fremen ritual, _Dune_, page 399.

Although called the "Third Stop" of the Zensunni, Bela Tegeuse is the alternate destination for those Zensunni spared from going to Salusa Secundus. [DU, page 358]

The planet was an acceptable home for them for eight centuries. Yet, despite an attempt at resistance, the Sardaukar removed them in 6049 A.G. to two new colonies, Rossak and Harmonthep. [DE, page


Dama, the Great Honored Matre, later mentioned Bela Tegeuse in a list of conquered worlds. [CP, page 223]

The name of Bela Tegeuse is a barely disguised, if slightly corrupted, anagram of one of the most famous stars of all, Betelgeuse, i.e., Alpha Orionis. The name Betelgeuse has been read as a corruption of the

Arabic Ibt al Jauzah ("Armpit of the Central One") [SN, page 310] or as Bet El Jeuze ("House of the Twins"). [NA, page 563] The latter name would imply it was once included in the neighboring constellation

Gemini. It is a variable red giant of about 0.45 magnitude and 427.5 ly. distance. It is one of the largest stars of known diameter: at its maximum it may be larger than the orbit of Jupiter! [CH, v. II, page 1290]

Bela Tegeuse is said to be the fifth planet of Kuentsing, which is Chinese for "army well". Allen identifies it as being a star in the vicinity of Alpha Leporis or Arneb-more than that he does not and, presumably,

could not say. [SN, page 268] This constellation is at the foot of Orion, that is, below the stars Saiph and Rigel.

Since Allen puts this information under Arneb and since the other 7 bright stars in Lepus (65-315 ly. away, magnitudes 2.8-3.8) offer little to choose between them, I will assign Bela Tegeuse to the alpha star

of the constellation.

The name means the "hare" from the Arabic name for the constellation Lepus, whose name is but Latin for the same thing. Arneb has several faint companions.

It is more than interesting that both the hare seen on Earth's moon and the muad'dib (i.e., the kangaroo mouse of Dune) seen on the Second Moon of Arrakis have a constellation named after them. (See "Old

Earth" and "Arrakis".)

Star System Data for Bela Tegeuse:

Star Designation: Alpha Leporis A
Star Name: Arneb (Kuentsing?)
Equatorial Coordinates: RA=5:32:44, DEC=-17deg49'30"
Galactic Coordinates: b=-24.64, l=221.14
Distance from Old Earth: 1284.1ly.
Spectral Type: F0 Ib (White, Supergiant)
Magnitude: 2.58
Absolute Magnitude: -5.34

Known Planets:
I. ?
II. ?
III. ?
IV. ?
V. Bela Tegeuse


E. The Fourth Stop: Ishia

The Zensunni from Salusa Secundus were allowed to immigrate to Ishia. This was a hot, arid planet, whose desert ecology helped prepare the Fremen-to-be for Arrakis. The immigration to Dune occurred

before the descendants of the Bela Tegeuse Zensunni also arrived there in 7193 A.G. [DE, page 516]

I cannot find confirmation of any of this in the text of _Dune_. I would surmise that Ishia was supplied by the _Dune Encyclopedia_ to fill in a gap in the data supplied by Herbert: only Poritrin, Salusa

Secundus, Bela Tegeuse, Rossak, and Harmonthep are mentioned as stops of the Zensunni, but Salusa Secundus is called the second stop and Harmonthep, the sixth.

It may be that Herbert actually gave the "missing" planetary name: Leto II remarks that he "can even remember when we Fremen were on Thurgrod." [CD, page 114] Could the Encyclopedist have overlooked

this and invented his own name, Ishia?

Ishia, whose name is of unknown significance, is supposed to be the second planet of Beta Tygri. [DE, page 314] But there is no such constellation.

"Tigris" can be an alternate name for the constellation Lynx. [SN, pages 279-280] I did not find, however, a Beta Lyncis! Most references show only an alpha star. One states that "only one star has a Greek-

letter name from Johann Bayer's 1603 atlas". [NA, page 543]

Such being the case I considered that the constellation Sagittarius was sometimes called the "Tiger" in China. [SN, page 356] As shown in these pages, Herbert often used Chinese names, but did the

Encyclopedist follow this methodology? If so then Beta Sagittarii would perhaps be Ishia's star.
This is an optical binary, i.e., two unrelated stars that happen to line up when viewed from our galactic position. Beta1 is a 3.96 magnitude star, spectral type B9 V. Beta2 is a 4.27 magnitude star, spectral

type F2 III, about 138.7 ly from Earth.

But then I discovered that someone, at least, did use Greek-letter names beside "alpha" for the stars of Lynx: An astronomy professor by the name of Young is quoted as referring to "38, or Rho Lyncis"! [SN,

page 280]. Finally I found a reference showing the star HD58661 as Beta Lyncis! [HH, page 119]

Did the Encyclopedist know that such existed? Considering the choice made for Rossak's star [see below], was there actually intent to employ plausible sounding, but unused names? If that were the case, then

he erred here.

The constellation is not prominent: the standard joke is that one must have the eyes of a lynx to make it out. The comment is attributed to Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687), a Polish astronomer. [SN, page

280]. (Scholarly jests die hard.)

Star System Data for Ishia:

Star Designation: HD58661, Beta Lyncis (Tygri)
Star Name: None
Equatorial Coordinates: RA=7:48:52, DEC=48deg10'54"
Galactic Coordinates: b=26.45deg, l=170.18deg
Distance from Old Earth: 410 ly.
Spectral Type: B9 (Blue)
Magnitude: 5.7
Absolute Magnitude: 0.20
Known Planets:
I. ?
II. Ishia


F. The Fifth Stop: Rossak

A part of the Zensunni of Bela Tegeuse was sent to colonize Rossak, a cold and inhospitable world that is the fifth planet of Alces Minor. [DE, page 514] It will be, however, the site of an important discovery:

by use of an indigenous, poisonous plant, their Sayyadinas will be able to become Reverend Mothers and gain access to the collective memories of their ancestors. [DU, page 359]

In 7193 A.G., the Rossak Zensunni were able to bribe the Spacing Guild to transport the younger generation to rejoin their long-lost Ishian cousins already on Dune. [DE, page 515-516] No doubt all this

suited the Guild's plan to gain more control over Arrakis and, of course, the yet more convoluted machinations of the Bene Gesserit.

I do not know the origin of Rossak's name. Its star, Alces Minor, is also a bit of a mystery. There is an Alkes, the alpha star of the constellation Crater. Both words mean "cup": the former in Arabic (Al Kas),

the latter in Greek. [SN, page 183-184]

One may also note that there is a basin on the Temple Platform at Jerusalem by this name-Al Kas. (Do not consider this association too far-fetched: the Shrine of the Skull at Harg Pass will be called "El

Kuds", an Arabic title for Jerusalem meaning "the Holy Place". [DM, page 114] )

Normally "minor" would be used to describe the lesser of a pair of stars, e.g., Pherkad Major and Pherkad Minor in Ursa Minor. But no such name seems to have been attached to a star close to Alkes.

(Perhaps using a fictional name was a conscious choice of the Encyclopedist.) It has two optical companions, but they are not naked-eye stars: indeed, their magnitudes are greater than 9.

These are designated HD95424 and HD95383. (A third star, HD95384, is at a very great distance and is not under consideration.) The latter of these has a spectral class of F2 (White), whereas the former is

a G0 (Yellow-white) and presumably cooler. Thus HD95424 is a better choice for a star "that appeared to clutch much of its heat to itself". [DE, page 513] Beyond that, it is at a comparable distance (181.2

ly.) to Alkes (174.3 ly.). HD95383 is at a distance of 85.2 ly. Thus HD95424 is my admittedly conjectural candidate for Alces Minor.

One could, of course, hypothesize an as yet unseen companion of Alkes. Obviously its characteristics would be unknown. But whether one conceives of the designation "minor" being assigned in the future to a

presently known or unknown star, it seems unlikely that this somewhat antique naming style would be used. One would expect Alkes A and B, rather than Alkes Major and Minor.

Star System Data for Rossak:

Star Designation: HD95424
Star Name: None (Alces Minor?)
Equatorial Coordinates: RA=11:00:44, DEC=-18deg21'54"
Galactic Coordinates: b=37.25deg, l=270.14deg
Distance from Old Earth: 181.2 ly.
Spectral Type: G0 (Yellow-white)
Magnitude: 9.07
Absolute magnitude: 5.35
Known Planets:
I. ?
II. ?
III. ?
IV. ?
V. Rossak


G. The Sixth Stop: Harmonthep

The majority of the Zensunni of Bela Tegeuse were sent to Harmonthep, a satellite of the star Delta Pavonis. This planet was destroyed by an unknown cause in the 6800's A.G. [DE, page 516]

There is a mystery here, beside the obvious. Given its proximity to Caladan, an attractive planet in the same star system, how could Harmonthep be destroyed by unknown causes? Surely the future home of

the Atreides had been developed no later than Harmonthep! And even we of this primitive century did not fail to observe a comet colliding with another satellite of Sol, much less a planet shattering event!

Its name is interesting, suggesting an ancient Egyptian origin: Heru-Monthu-hotep, i.e., "(the god) Horus-Mentu is satisfied". Two elements of this are found in a common regnal name of the Theban XIth

Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom: "Mentuhotep". Two likewise are found in the Greek name for the city in Upper Egypt properly called Annu-Qemat or Annu-Rest: "Hermonthis". Mentu or Monthu was a

hawk-headed war god important in the nome of Uast, which contained not only Hermonthis, but the great Thebes as well. [EG, v. I, page 328, v. II, page 24]

Now both the Egyptian names of Hermonthis mean "Annu of the South" to distinguish it from the Annu of Lower Egypt, called "Heliopolis" by the Greeks. Readers of the Dune Chronicles will be more familiar

with the Hebrew form of the Egyptian name: "On". [Ibid.]

It was obvious that the name of Leto II's "festival city" Onn was a form of "Annu", and I immediately connected it with Heliopolis, recalling the solar and "pharaonic" associations Leto II made with his "Golden

Path." [CD, pages 78-79, 398; GE, pages 41, 127] He even supplied the ancient Egyptian for "Golden Path": Secher Nbiw. (This Egyptian phrase was used as the key to unlock Ghanima's memory of Leto's


The possible allusion to the Harmonthep tragedy, to Annu of the South and Thebes, and to the XIth Dynasty was a little less obvious. One must, of course, remember that Leto was half-Fremen and

remembered everything!

There will be further discussion of Delta Pavonis at a more appropriate point. (See "Caladan".)

Star System Data for Harmonthep:

Star Designation: Delta Pavonis
Star Name: None
Equatorial Coordinates: RA=20:08:38, DEC=-66deg11'01"
Galactic Coordinates: b=-32.89deg, l=329.88deg
Distance from Old Earth: 19.9 ly.
Spectral Type: G5 V (Yellow-white, Main Sequence)
Magnitude: 3.55
Absolute Magnitude: 4.62
Known Planets:
I. ?
II. ?
III. Caladan
? Harmonthep


Part Three: Miscellanea Imperii

"Humans have this deep desire to classify, to apply labels to everything. ...That way we lay claim to what we name. ...My street, my lake, my planet, my label forever."

--Darwi Odrade, _Chapterhouse: Dune_, page 17.


A. Chusuk: The Music Planet

"Now some of the she-donkeys of Saul's father Kish had strayed, so Kish said to Saul, 'My son, take one of the servants and be off; go and look for the she-donkeys.' They passed through the highlands of

Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but did not find them . ...So they went up to the town, and as they were going through the gate, Samuel came out in their direction on his way to the high

place. ...When Samuel saw Saul, Yahweh told him, 'That is the man of whom I told you; he shall rule my people.'"

-First Book of Samuel, Chapter Nine, Verses 3,4,14,17

Chusuk will be known for the quality of its musical instruments. Varota, a famous maker of balisets, will be a native of this planet.

It is also said that Gurney Halleck will come from Chusuk, his family being one of its Houses Minor. He will be captured during a Harkonnen raid in 10155 A.G. and taken to the slave pits of Giedi Prime. [DE,

page 282] As is well known, he will be rescued from Giedi Prime by a later Atreides counter-raid.

Chusuk is the fourth planet of Theta Shalish. As I have already explained under the entry for Salusa Secundus, "Shalish" was the name of a Jewish musical instrument: some sort of triangle or three-stringed lute,

for the Hebrew word means "triple". [SC, page 117 of the "Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary"]

I have no idea if Herbert was aware that Shalisha was also the name of a place in ancient Palestine and that the only time it was mentioned was in the passage quoted above, a passage depicting the

"recognition" of another god-sent deliverer. Given the intricate webs Herbert liked to weave, it would not surprise me if I were to find that he had been cognizant of it.

"Shalish" was a name applied to the constellation Aries, so I have interpreted Theta Shalish as Theta Arietis. Aries is, of course, one of the zodiacal signs and was associated by the Greeks with the ram from

which the Golden Fleece was taken. It was once, during ancient times, the constellation in which the Vernal Equinox occurred: now this happens in Pisces and, as was once eagerly noted in song, will eventually

happen in Aquarius as the equinoxes precess.

Star System Data:

Star Designation: Theta Arietis (Shalish)
Star Name: None
Equatorial Coordinates: RA=2:18:7, DEC=19deg54'1''
Galactic Coordinates: b=-38.01deg, l=149.9deg
Distance from Old Earth: 387.4 ly.
Spectral Type: A1 IV (Blue-white, Subgiant)
Magnitude: 5.58
Absolute Magnitude: 0.21
Known Planets:
I. ?
II. ?
III. ?
IV. Chusuk


B. Corrin

Corrin was above all else the name of the space battle near the star Sigma Draconis in 88 B.G. which brought the predecessors of Shaddam IV to the imperial throne. It is said that the victor was one Count

Sheuset Ecevit, who took the regnal name of Sheuset Corrino in remembrance of the battle. [DE, page 168]

It was in this battle that Abulurd Harkonnen, the lineal ancestor of the evil Baron we love to hate, disgraced himself by an act of cowardice. Others assert that it was in fact an act of treachery. [Ibid.] It may be

that the House Atreides was first distinguished here by the heroics of Demetrios Atriedes. [op. cit., page 56]

The battle will take its name from a quasi-nebula that was in turn named after the nearby planet Corrin. This quasi-nebula had resulted from the collision of a planetoid with a sub-stellar companion of Sigma

Draconis. [op. cit., page 169]

One finds, incidentally, that there were two ancient battles fought at Coroneia in mainland Greece on the road from Thebes to Phocis: The first in 447 B.C.E. saw the defeat of the Athenians by the Boeotians;

the second in 394 B.C.E., the nominal victory of Agesilaus II, King of Sparta, over the Thebans and their allies. In the latter battle, Xenophon and others of the legendary Ten Thousand fought on the Spartan

side. [HG, pages 301 and 544]

Sigma Draconis is relatively close to Old Earth (18.8 ly.)-one might say, in the Sirian Sector. It is interesting that this battle took place so close to mankind's birthplace. The star name of Alsafi is taken from the

Arabic Athafiyy, "cooking tripods". [SN, page 212] (Are we to be reminded of the Death Tripod of the desert executioner?)

It is part of the constellation Draco, the "dragon", which is associated with the obvious mythical monsters, including Tiamat and the dragon which guarded the Golden Fleece. [NA, pages 511-512]

The alpha star of Draco, called "Thuban", was the Pole Star 4000 years ago (the honor now belonging to Polaris, thanks to the wobble of the Earth's axis). As such, it may have been to this star that the ancient

Egyptians aligned some of their temples and pyramids. [Ibid.] Furthermore, the Chinese regarded the stars that revolved around the celestial North Pole and the Pole Star as the heavenly equivalent of their

own terrestrial "Middle Kingdom", centered on the Emperor. [OZ, page 88] Perhaps this is why Herbert placed the epochal space battle here.

The *Arrakis is also in this constellation, and the Atreides may have their historical origins (ignoring their Homeric genealogical claim) in the Mockmuhl cluster near Upsilon Draconis. [DE, page 56] And as will

be explained, Gamont and Grumman also revolve about a star in Draco.

The Encyclopedist informs us of another planet of Sigma Draconis: Ishkal. The language of this planet provided the word "shai-hulud" to the Zensunni ancestors of the Fremen-originally it stood for an extinct

but formidable vermiform creature native to Ishkal. [DE, page 236] Since it is not mentioned in the Dune Chronicles, I have not listed it separately but note its putative existence here.

Star System Data:

Star Designation: Sigma Draconis
Star Name: Alsafi
Equatorial Coordinates: RA=19:32:18, DEC=69deg39'47''
Galactic Coordinates: b=21.94deg, l=101.41deg
Distance from Old Earth: 18.8 ly.
Spectral Type: K0 V (Orange, Main Sequence)
Magnitude: 4.67
Absolute Magnitude: 5.87
Known Planets:
I. ?
II. ?
III. ?
IV. Ishkal
? Corrin

C. Delta Kaising III

This planet, along with Salusa Secundus, is the source of shigawire.

I am unable to identify a constellation called (apparently in Chinese) "Kai Sing". There is a Kien Sing, an asterism in Sagittarius. It is unknown if it was intended


D. Ecaz: The Sculptor's Paradise

"Men and their works have been a disease on the surface of their planets before now."
-from the dying thoughts of Liet-Kynes , _Dune_, page 275

Ecaz is called the "Sculptor's Paradise" because it is home to fogwood, a plant that can be shaped by thought alone. It is also called the "Greenhouse Planet" because of its bizarre biological products in general.

[DE, page 196] It in fact offers a pharmacopoeia of narcotics: elacca drug, semuta, verite, and even sapho (the mentat's drug of choice).

This is said to have come about because the planet was "slagged", i.e., made the object of an all-out assault with atomics, in 7033 B.G. The contaminated planet was left uninhabited for thousands of years,

during which time mutation ran riot. [op.cit., pages 196-197]

Ecaz is the fourth planet of Alpha Centauri B. As such it is a part of the nearest star system to Old Earth (any putative Nemesis excepted!) and the third brightest star in our night sky. It consists of an A and B

star, a fact discovered as early as 1689, with a distant companion called Proxima, discovered in 1915. The last is so called because it is the nearest to Earth of the three. The orbital period of A and B is about

80 years. [CH, v. I, pages 549-550]

If one were to view Sol from this star system, it would be a first magnitude star in Perseus, near the border of that constellation and Cassiopeia. [op.cit., page 550]

This proximity to Earth makes it highly unlikely, in my opinion, that the planet will not be discovered until the Encyclopedia's date of 8112 B.G. [DE, page 196] (One may also note that the planetary name is

always misspelled as "Ecas" in the entry for "Elaccawood" in the "Terminology of the Imperium" appended to _Dune_.)

Alpha Centauri is called Rigel Kent from Al Rijl al Kentaurus, "hoof of the Centaur" in Arabic. [SN, page 152] The constellation Centaur, of which it is a part, is mythically interpreted as the centaur Chiron, so

wise that he was tutor to Jason, Achilles, Heracles, and Aesclapius. [NA, page 475]

The Encyclopedist mentions that the third planet of Alpha Centauri B will be called Logi. It is said to be the birthplace of Thufir Hawat. [DE, page 299]

Star System Data:

Star Designation: Alpha Centauri B
Star Name: Rigel Kent
Equatorial Coordinates: RA=14:39:34, DEC=-60deg49'44"
Galactic Coordinates: b=-1.06deg, l=316.07deg
Distance from Old Earth: 4.4 ly.
Spectral Type: K1 V (Orange, Main Sequence)
Magnitude: 1.35
Absolute Magnitude: 5.70
Known Planets:
I. ?
II. ?
III. Logi
IV. Ecaz


E. Galacia

"Oh-h-h, the Galacian girls
Will do it for pearls,
And the Arrakeen for water!
But if you desire dames
Like consuming flames,
Try a Caladanin daughter!"

-"Galacian Girls", sung by Gurney Halleck, _Dune_, page 34

Other than this female preference for pearls (surely not exclusive), I find nothing else about this planet in the Chronicles.

There is a region in Poland on the northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains called Galicia. A better prospect in view of Herbert's classical interests is the region of northwestern Spain known as Galicia to

us but as Gallaecia to the Romans. [EB, "Galicia", vol. IX, page 975]

Spanish Galicia is a region of mineral wealth, and Pliny mentions a precious stone _gemma Gallaecia_. [Ibid.] It is, of course, not a source of pearls.


F. Gamont: The Pleasure Planet

"Who's that knocking at my door?"
"Who's that knocking at my door?"
"Who's that knocking at my door?"
Said the fair young maiden.

"D'ye ken me still, I'm Barnacle Bill,
O' the 'Rakis Royal Navy.
And here I stand, come from 'neath the sand,
With the 'Rakis Royal Navy."

--A Ditty from Gamont, _Dune Encyclopedia_, page 263.

Gamont is the third planet of the star Niushe and will be known for its hedonistic culture. While the Encyclopedist makes it all seem rather innocent by his amusing reference to the above survival-old even in

our own time!-and his entry under this subject in general, one should recall that Baron Harkonnen purchased a boy from Gamont for his pleasure and had him drugged into submission. [DU, page 186]

Dama, the Great Honored Matre, later mentioned Gamont in a list of conquered planets. One can be assured that the Honored Matres found this world a delicious conquest! [CP, page 223]

Niushe is the Chinese name for Psi Draconis and means "Palace Governess" or "Literary Woman". The ordinary name for this star, Dsiban, is a corruption of the Arabic Al Dhibain, meaning the "Hyenas", an

asterism the Arabs saw in this and surrounding stars. [SN, page 212]

For discussion of the constellation Draco, see "Corrin" and "Arrakis".

Actually Psi Draconis is a binary star whose components are 30" apart. I am associating Niushe with the primary star of the two.

Star System Data:

Star Designation: Psi1 Draconis
Star Name: Dsiban (Niushe)
Equatorial Coordinates: RA=17:41:52, DEC=72deg08'57"
Galactic Coordinates: b=31.11deg, l=102.95deg
Distance from Old Earth: 71.9 ly.
Spectral Type: F5 IV (White, Subgiant)
Magnitude: 4.57
Absolute Magnitude: 2.85
Known Planets:
I. ?
II. Grumman
III. Gamont


G. Grumman

Grumman is the second planet of Niushe and the home planet of House Moritani, who fought and defeated the House Ginaz in a war of assassins.

The House Ginaz will be an ally of the Atreides; and Duncan Idaho (the Original), their Swordmaster. Their defeat in 10181 was a prelude to the disaster on Dune ten years later. [DE, pages 501-502]

It is believed that Grumman will be the native planet of Nayla, the Fish Speaker whose loyalty Leto II so cruelly twisted to consummate his sacrifice. [DE, page 396]

The planetary name may have been suggested by the name for Xi Draconis: Grumium, meaning "jaw (of the dragon)". [SN, page 211] For comments on the star and constellation, see "Corrin", "Gamont", and


Star System Data:

See Star System Data for "Gamont".


H. Hagal: The Jewel Planet

Called the "Jewel Planet" from the gem mining that will take place there, Hagal's mines were mostly exhausted by the time of Shaddam I. The throne of Shaddam IVwas made from a single piece of Hagal

quartz. [DU, page 457] Not to be outdone, Paul Muad'dib had his throne cut from a single Hagal emerald. [DM, page 134-but Hagal here is misspelled "Hagar".]

According to the Encylopedist, Shaddam I's reign was from 482 to 553 A.G., with a hiatus in 548-549. [DE, page 200] It is also said that Duncan Idaho (the Original) was sent to a Harkonnen slave labor

camp on Hagal after the defeat of House Ginaz. [op. cit., page 318] A low-tech mining operation in a location considered "played out" for nine thousand years seems a bit unlikely, even for the greedy

Harkonnens-but there you have it!

If some future interplanetary prospector wished to get there before the Corrinos and Harkonnens, he would find that the locale is unfortunately a bit uncertain. Hagal is supposed to be "II Theta Shaowei".

Shaou Wei is Chinese, meaning the "Minor Guard". This name or similar is attached to two individual stars: Beta Cephei and Chi Ursae Majoris. [SN, pages 158 and 445] We are, of course, looking for a

constellation or, at least, an asterism. Camelopardalis is supposed to contain an asterism called Shaou Wei, but Bayer designations are not commonly used in this constellation after Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.

[op. cit., page 107] There is a region in Leo, toward Virgo, which was sometimes called by the name. [op. cit., page 254] Given that there is a well-known theta in Leo, I would conclude that our Theta

Shaowei is most likely Theta Leonis.

The common name for this star is Chort, from the Arabic Al Horatan, once a name for Theta and Delta, meaning "two little ribs". [op. cit., pages 260 and 263] The constellation Leo is, of course, one of the

signs of the Zodiac.

Star System Data:

Star Designation: Theta Leonis (Shaowei)
Star Name: Chort
Equatorial Coordinates: RA=11:14:14, DEC=15deg25'44"
Galactic Coordinates: b=64.98deg, l=236.7deg
Distance from Old Earth: 177.6 ly.
Spectral Type: A2 V (Blue-white, Main Sequence)
Magnitude: 3.32
Absolute Magnitude: -0.36
Known Planets:
I. ?
II. Hagal

(Part Three of Five--to be continued)
The Stars and Planets of Frank Herbert's _Dune_: A Gazetteer

By Joseph M. Daniels

(c) 1999 (14201 B.G.), All rights reserved.


This is Part Three of Five, in two halves, continued.


I. Ix and Richese

"Do not fear the Ixians. ...They can make the machines, but they can no longer make arafel."

-- Leto II, _God Emperor of Dune_, page 420

It is ironical that in the "Terminology of the Imperium" the entry for Ix says only "see Richese": for we hear little of Richese in the Dune Chronicles but much of Ix. I say that in spite of the fact that we meet no

Ixians until _God Emperor of Dune_, but their products play a significant part throughout, providing perhaps the bête noire which Leto II's "Golden Path" sought to avoid [CD, page 350; GE, pages 13, 235,

345, 348, 420].

These planets, supreme in technology, somehow managed to avoid the consequences of the Butlerian Jihad, and we are directed to an as yet non-existent book for an explanation, viz., _The Last Jihad_.

We have, of course, the _Dune Encyclopedia_, which attempts to supply the missing information. We are told that Ix (then known as "Komos") was once an agrarian planet dominated by the technologically

advanced planet Richese. The people of Komos, led by Jehanne Butler (230-182 B.G.), rebelled, conquered Richese, exiled the technocrats to Komos, and launched the Butlerian Jihad upon the Galaxy. In

the process, Richese itself was abandoned for almost two and a half centuries. [DE, page 137-143, 348-351, 436-437]

The exiled technocrats of Richese renamed Komos as "Ix" and founded there the technological society we have come to know as Ixian. Eventually they repopulated Richese and used it as a manufacturing

center. [Ibid.]

It is said that Aurelius Venport (140-79 B.G.) and Norma Cenva (148-78 B.G.) were Ixians. [DE, pages 497 and 153] You may recall that these two will be responsible for the design of the first Guild ship.

[GE, page 183]

(Please see "Tupile" and "Arrakis" for discussions of problems relating to this couple, the Guild, and the spice melange. Also note that DE has "Cevna" in lieu of "Cenva"! [pages 153-155 and elsewhere] )

The name of Richese may be related to the Galach name for the Houses Minor: "Richece". Ix, of course, is supposed to be derived from the Roman numeral for the number nine, Ix being the ninth planet of its

star system. The later Ixians will not know this derivation. [CD, page 282 and 385]

I do not wish to complicate matters but _ix_ is Yucatec Mayan for the title "lady". [BM, page 173] Now the Encyclopedist relates that the religion of Komos centered on a Mother Goddess named Kubebe,

served by an order of priestesses. [DE, page 349] I would have assumed this just a meaningless coincidence, but incredibly, the Classic Mayan word for "lady" was _na_! [BM, page 173] Is "na-Baron" an

inside joke? If so, "Ix" is as well; and the supposed ignorance of the Ixians, a bit of irony.

While on the subject of names, I would mention that the capital of Richese is supposed to be Lugdunum-the Roman name for the city of Lyons, France. (But why?) [DE, page 436]

Ix and Richese are planets of the star Eridani A. (Although to be precise, canon only implies that Ix is in the same star system as Richese. The Encyclopedist states it flatly. [DE, pages 348 and 436] ) The star

name is clearly truncated: The suffixed "A" should indicate the primary star in a multiple star system, so there should be a Bayer letter or Flamsteed number preceding the name of the constellation-especially

since the constellation is in the genitive case: Eridani meaning "of Eridanus".

Normally such an elision would leave one helpless to designate any particular star in Eridanus as that of Ix and Richese. I asked myself, however, if there were any star with "Eridani A" in its nomenclature

which might have suggested itself to Herbert. In fact, there is.

Appearing forty-first in the "list of nearest stars", commonly appended to astronomical reference books, is 40 Eridani A, which is also usually listed as Omicron2 Eridani A. (Sikun's star, by the way, appears

forty-third on this list.) The ambivalence of its nomenclature might have suggested (or even caused) the shortened form used by Herbert.

In any case, the star system is "a remarkable triple star system, containing the classic example of a white dwarf star for the small telescope" since it is eighth nearest of the naked-eye stars. Sir William Herschel

first measured the separation of the A and B components in 1783. [CH, v. II, page 890] The white dwarf, designated as the B star, was the first star of this type to be recognized as such (even before Sirius B)

and itself has a red dwarf companion as discovered by Otto Struve in 1851. [Ibid.]

This red dwarf-40 Eridani C-is perhaps the star of Seprek, the fourth planet of "Eridani C" according to the Encyclopedist. [DE, page 396] (I have included it among the "Terrae Incognitae" since Seprek is not

mentioned in _Dune_, but in the _God Emperor of Dune_.)

The star system of 40 (or Omicron2 )Eridani is called Keid, from the Arabic Al Kaid, meaning "the egg shells". [SN, page 220]

If I have reasoned correctly and the A star of Keid is the sun of Ix and Richese, then the statement by the Encyclopedist suggesting that Eridani A was "oddly situated within its galaxy [sic], which in turn was

on the fringes of human settlement" is problematic. [DE, page 350] One would, after all, hardly call a star within 16 light years of Old Earth "oddly situated". Reference to "its galaxy" (as if not the Galaxy)

seems like a serious error regardless of the correctness of my speculations. Any star whose nomenclature included
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