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This article is about the moon Pandora. You may be looking for Pandora (quest).
Pandora. What Earth once was -- she is. I would die to protect her.

Pandora, also known as Eywa's Child by the Na'vi (Na'vi name: Eywa'eveng[1]), is an Earth-like habitable extrasolar moon from the Alpha Centauri System, the closest star system to humanity’s own Solar System. It is the fifth moon[2] of the gas giant Polyphemus, which orbits Alpha Centauri A. It is located 4.423 light-years (26 trillion miles) from Earth.[3] The names of both the moon and its mother planet are coined by humans in reference to figures in Greek mythology.

Despite being almost as large as Earth, Pandora is only a moon of a planet that has thirteen other moons. However, due to the smaller mass, Pandora's gravity is 20% less than Earth's, although its atmosphere is much denser than Earth's due to the presence of heavier gases. Depending on the position of the various moons, two or even three moons can be seen at once in the sky of Pandora. This causes solar eclipses to happen on almost a daily basis. Pandora and its sister moons also cast large black shadows on Polyphemus.

Discovery, Research and Terraforming[]

Pandora was discovered by space telescopes at some point between 2050 and 2077. Astronomers were stunned by evidence of strong magnetic fields. Pandora's discovery prompted the invention of even larger space telescopes for more accurate readings.

The news services would run clips of the wild scenery on Pandora and its bizarre flora and fauna, prompting many people on Earth to dream about visiting the moon, although this was mainly reserved for the hyper rich or qualified Resources Development Administration (RDA) officials.

Around the year 2119, mass colonization and terraforming of Pandora began to occur.[4] While the RDA is responsible for researching Pandora and extracting resources, it also has a joint research program with the Pandoran Research Foundation. Meanwhile, the Pandora Conservation Initiative is unaffiliated with the RDA.

Earth has undergone a large amount of environmental damage by the 22nd century and faces extinction, Pandora is of great interest to humanity due to the amount of natural resources it has. The RDA has set up two major facilities on Pandora, Hell's Gate and Bridgehead.

Plants and Lifeforms[]

Pandora ViperWolfChase

Artwork showing the duality of Pandora's beauty and danger; there are three giant spiders here

Due to Pandora's lower gravity, most creatures on Pandora are hexapods (six-legged), although the Na'vi resemble humans and have only four limbs. Creatures roam the air and forest canopy below, similar to Earth's animals, but on a scale several times larger. One of the most domesticated creatures on Pandora is the direhorse, a gray-skinned, hexapodal herbivorous animal with bioluminescent qualities that the Na'vi ride when hunting, similar to the human usage of horses. The Na'vi also ride the mountain banshee to hunt from the air, but the hunter can become prey in the presence of the great leonopteryx. In the canopy below, other deadly yet exotic wild animals roam: vicious packs of viperwolves, thick skinned hammerhead titanotheres and the most fearsome predatory animal of all, the thanator.

Other than the richness of varying colors, the trees resemble those of Earth. They have the familiar trunks, branches and leaves, though due to the difference in gravity, many of the shapes appear strange to humans and the proportions are greater because of the lower gravity. The trees and plant life of Pandora have formed electrochemical connections between their roots and effectively act as neurons, creating a moon-wide "brain" that has achieved sentience, which is known to the Na'vi as Eywa.

Pandora's wildlife also has bioluminescent qualities. Pandora looks like a lush paradise by Earth standards during the day, but at night, virtually all life on the moon exhibits bioluminescent qualities in various shades of blue, purple and green. This possibly explains the Na'vi's blue skin color, which most likely provides them better camouflage at night on Pandora.


Jake, seeing arrows on Hell Truck's wheels

All humans must wear exopacks to breathe on Pandora to prevent death

Pandora's atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide (>18%), xenon (>5.5%), methane, and hydrogen sulfide (>1%) and is about 20% denser than the atmosphere on Earth primarily due to the high percentage of Xenon; a heavy, colourless, odourless, and generally unreactive noble gas. The high concentration of carbon dioxide in the Pandoran atmosphere makes it extremely poisonous and unbreathable to humans, rendering them unconscious in about 20 seconds and causing death in about 4 minutes when they venture out unprotected by specialized breathing masks. The hydrogen sulfide present is also quite hazardous; concentrations over 1000 ppm (0.1 %) can cause immediate collapse with subsequent loss of breathing, even after inhalation of a single breath.[5]

The increased air resistance within this denser atmosphere has a number of effects:

  • Lower terminal velocity. Combined with Pandora's twenty-percent lower gravity, a freely falling object's maximum speed is significantly less than on earth. A Na'vi who happens to fall from a flying mountain banshee has a good chance of surviving uninjured if they are over a forested area. Even over water, falling spread-eagled can reduce their speed sufficiently to allow an impact with the surface that will not knock them unconscious.
  • The increased mass of the denser air means that more force is required to accelerate it as it is moved out of the path of a moving object. Humans on Pandora experience this when they try to run – it feels like there is a wind blowing against them, even though the air is still. They are further hampered by the fact that the reduced gravity causes their boots to slip more readily on paved or smooth surfaces, giving them less traction to force their bodies forward. The Na'vi compensate for this loss of frictional force by curling their large toes into the soft ground, and Pandoran six-legged animals use their many feet to gain a purchase on protruding rocks or small crevices.
  • Flying animals can take advantage of both the lower gravity, which reduces the weight of their body, and the increased air density, which requires more force to displace with the downward/rearward stroke of their wings, and thus gives the animals body more impetus with each flap. The downside is that the denser air is harder to move through, and requires highly-efficient streamlining to achieve high flight speeds.
  • Plants are subject to greater wind force, as the greater air density means that the moving air carries more kinetic energy and more momentum, and the plants, leaves, stems, branches, and trunks must all have a greater strength and/or flexibility to resist it.

Day-Night Cycle[]

Daytime pandora

The surface of Pandora during the day

Pandora receives significant light from Alpha Centauri A (ACA). As a result, Pandoran nights are never dark during half of the Polyphemian year, but instead are more like Earthly dusk. At the closest point in its orbit, ACA is about 2,300 times as bright as Earth's full moon; at its furthest point, it is still one hundred and seventy times as bright. During the other half of the year when ACA is in the daytime sky, many Pandoran nights are illuminated by both Polyphemus's huge disk and the reflected light from other nearby moons. Truly dark nights are uncommon. Polyphemus occasionally eclipses ACA at night for about one hundred minutes, but the light reflected by the planet still keeps the night from being dark.

Polyphemus view

Polyphemus seen at night

When ACB shares the daytime sky with ACA, at its closest it adds about half a percent to the total illumination. When the 2 stars are close together in the sky, the effect of ACB's more orange light is unnoticeable. But, as they separate over the years, an orange tint may be seen in areas shadowed from ACA's direct illumination. At its most distant, ACB is about 2,700 times dimmer than ACA and does not produce noticeable lighting effects. However, it still appears as a blindingly-bright tiny orange disk in the sky.

Because of its high axial tilt (29°), Pandora exhibits considerable annual variation in the day-to-night ratio. In addition, its elliptical orbit produces seasonal temperature variations and a range in daytime illumination of about ten percent.

Internal Structure[]

Pandora's physical construction resembles Earth's: a liquid iron core, a plastic mantle, and a semi-rigid crust. Like Earth, it has two internal heat sources: the disintegration of radioactive isotopes, and energy from the gravitational collapse of its initial formation. There is an additional and much larger energy input from tidal forces; the nearest inner and outer moons pull on it in contest with Polyphemus. This excess of energy drives continental drift at a much faster rate than Earth, causing the tectonic plates to fracture more extensively because of the increased stress. This explains the lack of large continents on Pandora, as well as its volcanism and geothermal activity.

Surface Features[]

Pandora's land-to-water ratio is greater than Earth's, but because the land area is broken up into a larger number of smaller continents, no land area is as far from the ocean as on Earth. The moderating influence of oceans reduces extremes in temperature. Polar ice caps that are smaller than Earth's exist, but because there are no land masses in the polar areas, the Pandoran ice caps are currently free-floating.

Pandora is more volcanically active than Earth. There are vents both on the land and under the oceans. Many of the mountains and other surface features are of recent volcanic origin. Numerous hot springs and geysers dot the landscape, and there are several rivers that are almost boiling at the place where they erupt from underground aquifers. All of these serve to maintain the local concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas deadly to humans. Landforms are shaped extensively by the higher density atmosphere - dust grains carried by the wind are larger, and strike objects with greater energy. Exposed rock weathers more rapidly, creating more sedimentary material to be carried away by rivers.



Stone arches formed as a result of unobtanium's magnetic fields

The terrain on Pandora differs somewhat from place to place, as do the Na'vi clans that inhabit them. The humans have settled in the forest region which is home to the Omatikaya clan. There are different ecosystems within each region, and many species such as the mountain banshee are present over a much wider range of biomes than their name would suggest. The Pandoran surface features forests, mountains, volcanoes,[6] plains (savanna), and oceans. A desert also exists in Anurai mythology.[7]

Like on Earth, the forests of Pandora contain a wide diversity of flora and fauna. These are all part of the giant neural network that covers Pandora. The forests are full of bioluminescent life that glows in shades of blue, green, indigo and violet during the night.

Natural Resources[]

Pandora is a treasure trove of both living and nonliving natural resources. It is the first celestial body to host intelligent sentient lifeforms away from Earth and is also home to a plethora of diverse and spectacular species unlike anything ever speculated by humanity. In terms of nonliving resources, several large areas of the moon's surface contain the extremely rare superconducting mineral unobtanium. This mineral is worth twenty million standard dollars per unrefined kilogram and twice that in its refined state. The mineral's superconductivity makes it a baffling scientific discovery.


The name Pandora refers to the first woman according to Greek mythology. She was a very curious woman who was given a jar (Pithos) and was told not to open it. Pandora was not able to resist opening the jar and, when she did, all the evils in the world were released. When she discovered the evil she'd unleashed, she hastened to close the jar, and managed to contain one evil before it escaped: "Hopelessness". Therefore, all humans still had hope, an idea that would eventually conquer the evils. Pandora was not punished for her actions, as Zeus knew she would open the Pithos.

In reality, one of the smaller moons of Saturn is named Pandora.

Polyphemus refers to a cyclops in Greek mythology, the son of Poseidon who was later blinded by Odysseus.

World Map[]

Pandora equator labeled

A portion of Pandora (only the equator) extracted from the Wii game with approximate locations of notable locations

Pandora world map

A globe of Pandora seen in The Game

Although there does not currently exist a canonical world map of Pandora, there exists a globe in James Cameron's Avatar: The Game which provides the names of its various territories in the conquest mini game. The PC/360/PS3 version uses the same globe map as the Wii version.

Pandora Visual Dictionary

The globe in The Visual Dictionary

There is a portion of a globe seen in Avatar: The Way of Water: The Visual Dictionary. There are similarities between the globes, however, there are some noticeable differences, namely the proportions, shapes and locations of some regions. The video games also depict more landmass on some parts of the globe.

In Avatar: The Game, known major regions on Pandora include:

One of the major seas on Pandora is known as the Eastern Sea.

In Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, there is also a continent known as the Western Frontier, that is located across the moon from where the Omatikaya live.[8]

In 2024, Joshua Izzo stated that one of his life goal's is to get a canonical world map/globe of Pandora created (possibly a 3D interactive version), which will show where various parts of the games/movies have occurred, as well as focus on topography, showing where the various floating mountains are, the flora/fauna exclusive to certain regions, etc.


  • James Cameron once described Pandora as "kinda the Garden of Eden with teeth and claws."[9]
  • James Cameron said the Avatar sequels may explore a desert.[10]
  • The non-canon Avatar: The Game mentioned in the Pandorapedia that due to the moderating influence of oceans reduces extremes in temperature, there are no deserts on Pandora. Despite this, there was a region called the Archaeus Desert on its map.
  • The old Pandorapedia once mentioned that Pandora's oceans are "somewhat caustic".[11] Despite this, Miles Socorro swims through it without any skin damage, making it possible that it takes time for humans to be damaged underwater, although this could simply be retconned.
  • In the original script, Pandora's flora was mostly violet, blue and cyan in color, but ultimately director James Cameron decided to go with the more familiar green so as to keep the scenery more believable.[12]
  • Stephen Baxter's book The Science of Avatar gives somewhat different numbers for the size and mass of Pandora than An Activist Survival Guide, even though both books are officially licensed (Baxter includes a "Resources" section in his book in which he recommends An Activist Survival Guide along with a few other books and websites, but he adds "note that these sources derive from different points in a still-continuing development process and aren't always consistent.") Baxter writes in Chapter 14 that "Pandora's gravity is about eighty percent of Earth's. Its diameter is three-quarters of Earth's, and its mass about half", whereas p. 6 of An Activist Survival Guide gives the diameter as 11447 km (about 89.7% of Earth's equatorial diameter of 12756 km) and its mass as 72% that of Earth.
  • Pandora is also the name of the planet in the video game series Borderlands, though the world is mostly wasteland.
  • All moons orbiting Polyphemus are named after Greek mythology.[13]



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