Inner Sphere

Inner Sphere - Celestia
Image from Steve Bowers

At the center of human space lies the Inner Sphere, also known as the Core, the Old Worlds, the Local Bubble, the Centre, the Hub, or the Alpha Region. It is a roughly spherical region containing the earliest colonised worlds, and is approximately 200 light years in diameter. It is the home to many of the oldest cultures or inhabited worlds, and contains many capital systems and a dense branching of wormhole links. Due to the age and historical complexity of the region many empires and other political units overlap or mesh within it.

As Terragen civilization spread, much colonisation occurred radially outwards, making most of the main empires look roughly like pyramidal frustrums. This tendency was emphasized by the wormholes, as the expense of wormhole building and the constraints of wormhole connections led to a treelike topology with the root near the core and the branches extending outwards. This radial structure has led to the core practice of naming regions or radial directions after the ancient Anglic Old Earth constellations. For instance, "Centaurus" refers to the pyramid extending from the Sun in the Centaurus direction. This is what is meant when someone says that the Solar Dominion mainly lies in Ursa Major, Canes Venaticorum and Lynx. This is of course both inexact and solarocentric, but it works most of the time and is widely used by interstellar cartographers.

In the outer parts of inhabited space the radial pattern breaks down, as the colonisation fronts grow increasingly diffuse and are often affected by the density of habitable worlds, wormholes or other features. There, the empires dissolve into a mess of independent clusters, isolated worlds, and small colonisation spheres launched from especially vigorous cultures.

See Also

The Master Star List of stars and colonies in the Inner Sphere
Inner Sphere
Image from Steve Bowers

Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg

Initially published on 03 July 2000.