A hydrogen-methane gas giant, Pauling's gravitational field is believed to have cleared most of what would otherwise have been a sizable asteroid belt. The 2163 mission of the space probe 'Ultimate' gave the inhabitants of Watson reams of data reinforcing this theory, giving the colonist an accurate count of its moons (66), rings, moonlike ring objects, and more than 200 visible impact craters on its pockmarked surface. Ultimate has since been retrieved for re-use on subsequent missions within the solar system.
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- Since the planets in the Skepsis system are probably named for famous scientists and thinkers, Pauling is likely named after Linus Pauling (1901-1994), an American chemist.