The planet of Galileo is approximately eight light years from Earth, heading toward the center of the galaxy. Total travel time from Earth is approximately 34 days at faster than light speeds. The planet orbits a main sequence yellow star in the Galileo System and is just a little inside the distance of Earth to its sun.
The planet has a slow rotational period and a large moon so that a full rotation takes almost 27 hours but its seasons and weather patterns are stable.
For 170 years, Galileo was the capitol planet within the Unified Republic of Stars
Galileo was the first planet discovered in the Republican Star Cluster, its discovery dating to 2104 when scientists with the New Earth Project landed roughly on the site of modern day Galileo City to survey the world for its potential suitability for sustaining human life.
For four months, the member scientists camped out and explored the world, finding it hot but more than hospitable.
By the end of the year, colonization had launched into full swing and soon there were close to three thousand settlers on the planet. In ten years, that number rose to almost two million. Fully a quarter of those settlers found a home in Galileo City. Half set out to homestead and claim as much land as possible before more arrived. The rest disbursed to the other small town springing up.
In 2115, the city of New Chicago was founded and by 2124, a mere twenty years after the first settler arrived, the population of Galileo was an outstanding 6.8 million people, almost four million alone spread between the two cities and the growing Rayoville.
By 2160, when colonization officially ended, the population leveled off to almost thirty million people, making it the seventh most populated planet out of the fourteen that had been settled.
Timeline of Events on Galileo
In the early days of settlement, it appeared the Galileo had three main products: beef, alcohol, and violence. Since gaining independence, some have argued that violence was replaced with prostitution, a nod toward the many brothels in every city and even some towns as well as the presence of the new Republican government.
Galileo has always been a ranching planet. The very first settler to step off a colony ship also very probably brought a herd of cattle with them. But even if not, it wasn't long until they were. The low, flat grasslands made for perfect grazing lands. And those who couldn't make it work ranching could take one of the many jobs in the slaughterhouses outside the cities.
If a rancher was the first person to step off a colonization ship, a bar owner was the second. Within two years there were almost as many bars in Galileo City as in the entire rest of the Republic. Because in the early days there were no beer brewers or distilleries, many of the larger bars took on the task for themselves, often with mixed results. However, the best soon became brands and Galilean Whiskey soon became a staple in many a liquor cabinet, even back on Earth.
Given the mixture of ranching and alcohol, it was only a matter of time until violence ensued. For forty years, Galileo was known as one of the more lawless planets. The closest thing to law that the cities and towns had were the rules of a given bar. While they did little to prevent people from taking their grudges out in the street, violating the rules of a bar could result in a swift and extreme punishment, making the bars perhaps the safest places to be at night.
However, as the cities became more organized and began to institute and enforce Common Laws, the planet grew more civilized.
The prostitution charge, though, was absolutely fair. The larger bars all operated as brothels also. The more legitimate ones like Liz's Dinner & Cabaret kept clean and safe establishments for the boys and girls that worked in them. Others, like The Welshman & The Wop were among the worst sort of flophouses.
From 2173 until 2343, Galileo was also the capitol planet and the seat of the Republican government. During those years, it became the dominant business in Galileo City just as the Republican Fleet had taken over so much of College Park. New Chicago however remained predominately a cattle town though as its population grew it diversified into a range of manufactured goods and produced the vast majority of television watched by the planet.
Galileo is also a major publishing center within the Republic though this is mostly due to the academic influence in College Park.
Galileo was one of the first planets to take part in what was then Colonial Baseball, with the first four teams within Galileo City alone. As baseball expanded, so it did to other cities, eventually fielding teams in New Chicago and College Park. All of the teams play in the Capitol League and in the Galileo City or New Chicago Divisions. College Park has two teams, one of each that plays in each division.
The teams are:
- Galileo City Division
- Galileo City Steers
- Galileo City Grass Deer
- Galileo City Republicans
- Galileo City Barflies
- College Park Flightmen
- New Chicago Division
- New Chicago Brakemen
- New Chicago Land Grabbers
- New Chicago Lakemen
- New Chicago Pinstripes
- College Park Cadets
Without a doubt, baseball is the most watched sport on Galileo. Even in the other towns where they do not have a team, live 24-hour coverage is beamed in from stations from all over the globe.
While the northern and southern zones of the planet can have temperature swings of a hundred degrees Fahrenheit between seasons, the equatorial climate where most of the population lives maintains a relatively steady 80-110 degrees during the day and almost universally low humidity except during the rainy season once a year.
The rainy season can see up to three months of thunderstorms brought in off one of the three great lakes, drenching the parched ground and causing the creeks and rivers to overflow.
While surface waters are mostly limited to the great lakes and a few large rivers, the underground water table is where most of the water on the planet is believed to be. Deep wells can find vast reserves and this is often what's used to irrigate fields and water animals in the far inland areas.
Native & Transplanted Life
The bulk of the native plants on Galileo tend toward low prairie grasses, scrub bushes, and deciduous shrub like trees that can reach two to three meters tall if near a water source.
However, with regular watering, most Earth grasses, trees, and crops survive well so long as they do not require deep root systems.
The native animals are a full range of insects that care little for Earth life, both plant and animal, as well as borrowing mammal like creatures. Unfortunately, the introduction of snakes to the planet seemed to have had a devastating effect on their population and some areas of grassland have died without the constant soil turnover they provided.
To the larger end is a six-footed beast as tall as a pony and capable of sprinting long distances at high speeds. The early settlers called them "Grass Deer" for the small antlers on their heads. Hunting removed them from the populated areas but their numbers remain high in the more remote areas.
Also, in the cold regions to the north and south, are several species similar to bear that appear to hunt the Grass Deer. That the same variety of species can be found in both places hints strongly to a cooler period in the planet's history.
Transplanted Earth herbivores have been very successful on the new planet, finding the local grasses and plant life much to their liking. Interestingly, most Earth insects were discovered to have a difficult time adjusting to the new world for reasons unknown, leading to problems with pollination among crops until other means were discovered. But almost all birds brought to Galileo have thrived well if they were used to living in similar climates originally.
The only type of animal that met with absolute failure upon introduction to Galileo were fish. The great lakes proved too hostile, both in terms of predators and environment. The water was far too oxygenated for them to breathe and the microbial life on which the fish would feed were not compatible biologically as food. But even in attempted fish farms, a native kind of fungus would inevitably infect and kill entire stocks. However, Galileo has a native fish-like creature that, while different in taste and texture, people found to be a suitable substitute.
- Galileo, and Galileo City in particular, was the setting for the story Liz Carter which tells the story of Liz's Dinner & Cabaret and The Welshman & The Wop, two popular establishments within the city.
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- ↑ An unfair term given that no planet had official laws. But it was most likely a reference to the daily violence and death that occurred in or around the bars of the planet's cities and the equally violent reprisals that came about as a result.