Celestial Respiration - An Astronomy Strategy Card Game (Ask Me Anything)

Sharukh G. Velupillai
Dec 1, 2017

Hi! I am not an Astronomer, but I am a space enthusiast. My name is Sharukh, and I am the creator of an Astronomy card game.

I enjoy star gazing, reading, and playing games.

I noticed there is lack of interest for Astronomical Studies, which is not a surprise because of all the light pollution in the cities.

We simply cannot be interested in something that we cannot normally see.

That is why I have decided to create a fun, interactive card game that will renew an interest in this lost beauty.

This game is called:

Celestial Respiration

Introduction / Disclaimer

This game is intended to introduce the Night Sky to its players in a fun interactive way. All information garnered for this game is from the Stellarium open-source software. Star images are also from the Stellarium software. The distance of Nebulae and Galaxies are calculated using Google's conversion tool (kilo-pascal to light years conversion) using Stellarium's data. This game is not intended to be used as a resource for Astronomical data, as data varies from source to source and data values range for certain celestial objects due to their attributes, their great expanse through space, and other factors (ie.extinctions). Other images used in this game are from NASA, Pixabay.com, and Wikipedia.com (Creative Commons). None of these sources endorse this product. This game is only intended to be used as a fun interactive way to familiarize with what is in our sky, and how general celestial processes work (stars are formed from a nebula and abundant stars form galaxies, using an H-R Diagram, etc). The Definitions of the Celestial Objects are from WordWeb Online Dictionary.


To win the game, you must create and use your stars, galaxies, and other relevant cards to “consume” other celestial objects. Each time you “consume” a celestial object, you gain 1 "token". A token represents a victory. Once you have accumulated 10 tokens, you win the game!

Simple Definitions

  • Consume – the act of a star "out-shining" another star. A Star may only do this if it is "Brighter" than the other Star. When your star “consumes” an opponent's star, you gain one token. Then, your opponent's star goes to the Discard Pile. Galaxies also consume stars and other galaxies.
  • Create – to play a Celestial Object on the Space Field, such as a Star or Galaxy.

The game is made of six different types of cards. The types of cards are Nebulae, Star, Galaxy, Lunar, Tools, and Discovery cards. Most of these cards are found in each 46 card deck.

The Space Field

Simple Definitions

  • Discard Pile – the area where cards are put when they are used. Stars are put here after they are “consumed” by an opponent's star, or when they are used to play a Galaxy, etc. Tools and Discovery cards are put here after they are “played” and thus “used up”. A Nebula goes here after stars are played using that specific Nebula. Note: Just because a star ends up in the discard pile doesn't mean you can't get it back! 
  • Space Field – The area where all cards are played and used.
  • TND Zone – The maximum three slots open in the Space Field where you may play or set Tools, Nebulae, or Discovery cards.

Star Cards

  • In order to Create a star card on the field, you must use a nebula.
  • There are 15 Star cards per deck.
  • The game revolves around the usage of stars. Star Cards are the main way to accumulate “Tokens”. A Star is considered a “celestial object” card.
  • A Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram is used to determine how much "Energies" is needed to create a star using a Nebula card.

Galaxy Cards

  • There are typically 3 Galaxies per deck.
  • Galaxies are (generally) the most powerful celestial object cards in the game. A single Galaxy card can consume stars instantly!

Nebulae Cards

  • There are 5 Nebula Cards (per deck).
  • The credit for the image of the cards is given on the bottom right hand side of the card pictures.

 Tools Cards

Every tool card in this game derives from human-made objects that help us understand Astronomical concepts better.

 Discovery Cards

Discovery Cards derive from random Astronomy related concepts, tools, and celestial objects. These cards give you a drastic advantage in the game. They have a distinct Reddish background.

 Lunar Cards

Lunar Cards are related to Earth's moon. They have a Purplish background, and can be played in the Zone of the Stars and Galaxies. If you collect 5 specific pieces, you win the game (similar to Jupiter/Jovian pieces)!

 Starting The Game

  • Both players should flip 1 coin together. Each player declare either Heads or Tails (one choice per person). The player who called correctly (where the coin landed face up) goes first.
  • The game starts by both players shuffling their opponent's deck, then return it to each other face down. Both players then draw seven cards.
  • Set/Setting – To place a card face down in the TND Zone. It may be “activated” anytime by flipping it face up after the turn you put it face down ends. The specific rules depend on the card's text.

The First Turn

    • The first player may play/set a Nebulae/Tools/Discovery card(s) in their respective zone (TND zone).
    • If a Nebula is played, it is active, and it has 10 “energies”. The energies are used to create “Star cards.” So, a Star can be played once per turn, and it cannot consume other stars during the First Turn of the Game.
    • Then they may play/set other Tools/Nebula/Discovery cards before they end their turn. Only one star may be played per turn, and up to 3 TND cards max at the same time.

The Second Turn and Beyond 

  • The next player draws 1 card from the deck. Then he or she may conduct their normal turn by playing or setting cards, such as what the first player was able to do. The second player may use his or her star to consume his or her opponent's star. Thus it is important to know the functions of a star, which are as follows:

Creating a Star

To create a star, the energy of a Nebula is used. To find out how much energies your star needs to be created, you need to use the H-R Diagram. You will need the following information about a Star:

- Absolute Magnitude and

- the Color Index (on the top right of the Star card)

A Nebula contains “10 Energies.” Once all of the Energies are used up, the Nebula is "destroyed" and goes to the Discard Pile.

Hyper/Super Giants = 5 energies

Bright/'Regular' Giants = 4 energies

Sub Giants/Main Sequence = 3 energies

Sub/White Dwarfs = 2 Energies

Red/Brown Dwarfs = 1 energy

Nebula Energy Tracker

Below is a chart that helps to determine and keep track of Nebulae Energies on the Space Field. Nebula cards are used to “Create" (play) Star Cards. Once all the “10 energies” of a Nebula is used up to create Stars, the Nebula is destroyed.

There are 3 Types of "Star Modes"

1.) Primordial Mode (used in primal stages of a Star's life: used for Consuming other Celestial Objects)

2.) Galactic Construction Mode (Revealing the Star's Intrinsic Brightness may be helpful in "Preventing Consumption." This mode is also used in "Galaxy Creating").

3.) Supernova Mode (Used as a last Resort)

A Star may be played in either "Primordial Mode" or "Galactic Construction Mode" to begin with, but "Supernova mode" is only after you have consumed another Star card at least once.

Using Your Primordial Mode Star to Consume another Star:

(Basically this is Simplest way to Gain Tokens; only Primordial Mode Stars may consume other Stars. This means your Star has to be "Brighter" than your Opponent's Star)

1.) If your opponent's Star is in “Primordial Mode”, you may only Consume that Star if your Primordial Mode Star's “Apparent Magnitude” is lower in numerical value than your opponent's star.

2.) If your opponent's Star is in “Galactic Construction Mode”, you may only Consume that Star if your Primordial Mode Star's “Absolute Magnitude” is lower in numerical value than your opponent's star.

3.) You can not consume a Supernova Star with another Star. You must use a Galaxy or an alternative method.

Note: Whenever you consume an Opponent's Star card from your own Star card (that is in Primordial Mode), you receive 1 token.

How Galaxies are Created

Galaxies do not need energies from Nebulae to be played; they need stars!

  • Galaxy cards are played by sending 3 star cards on the Space Field to the discard pile.
  • However, if you have 2 Star cards from the same Constellation on the Space Field, you may discard these two instead of the three Star cards.
  • If you have three Star cards in your hand from the same constellation, you can send them to the Discard pile in order to play a Galaxy from your deck or hand. 

You cannot play a Galaxy card in the same turn that you play a star card.

A Galaxy has the ability to consume one of your opponent's stars per turn while gaining 1 token in the process. A Galaxy may only be consumed by another Galaxy of a lower numerical Apparent Magnitude (never a Star card), or it may be destroyed by using a Tool or Discovery Card.

Note: Whenever you consume an Opponent's Galaxy card from your own Galaxy card , you receive 1 token.

Special Star Rules (Advanced Gameplay)

Pulsating Variable Stars – Once per turn, you may flip the Apparent Magnitude's numerical value with the Absolute Magnitude's numerical value. If the Absolute Magnitude is a positive number, you may turn it negative. At the end of the turn, the star returns back to its original numerical values.

Double Stars – "Equip" another Star card on your side of the field to the “Double Star” card. Place it underneath the “Double Star” card (to "Equip"). If your star were to be destroyed (either by Consumption,Tools cards, or Discovery cards), you may substitute and destroy the equipped star instead and your opponent gains no Tokens.

Once per turn, you may either "unequip" or "equip" a Star card to the Double Star card. Unequipped stars go back to the regular Zone for Stars and Galaxies.

Binary Stars – Equip another Star card on your side of the field to the “Binary Star” card. Place it underneath the “Binary Star” card. Then add the absolute values(not Absolute Magnitude! Absolute values means just to turn the number positive) of the Apparent Magnitude together, Then turn this new number negative (just add the “-” sign before the number).

This new Star System is permanent, and they may NOT be unequipped once they are equipped to each other. These cards are treated as “1” Star card in every aspect until they leave the Space Field (ie. being consumed or destroyed). Thus, when consumed, your opponent only receives 1 Token.

Ordinary Stars – have no special effect!

Kids Gameplay

Instead of using the H-R diagram for the creation of stars, each Nebula has 3 Energies (instead of 10 Energies), and each star requires 1 energy to be played. When the 3 Energies from the Nebula is used up, the Nebula is destroyed and goes to the discard pile.

Your Support Is much Appreciated in this Endeavor! Thank you for your time!


Image Content from Creative Commons (credit given to authors)

Star images from Stellarium

Astronomical Data from Stellarium software

Gregorian Chant from Archive.org (Creative Commons)

Video Media from Videezy.com

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