Image from Steve Bowers
Some of the many moons of Jupiter

Type: Eujovian
Primary, Position: Sol, V
Primary, Distance from: 778,412,010 km
Natural Satellites: originally 28 (some have been mined away)
Diameter / Gravity: 142,984 km / 2.54 G
Length of day / year: 0.4135 days / 11.8626 years
Atmosphere: H2 (86.1%), He (13.8%), other gases 1.1%
Surface temperature: 288 to 293 K
Atmospheric Temperature (at level with pressure = 1 bar): 165 K
Surface composition: no true surface; atmosphere transitions to liquid metallic hydrogen

Population: 1.2 trillion sophonts (50% sophtwares (various clades), 30% Jovian tweaks (various forms adapted to local gravity and various pressure levels), 10% Vecs, 5% Free Bubblehabs, 3% Cyborgs, 1% Radiation Nation, 1% other).

Government: The Conclave of Storms - a cyber-democractic confederation that includes representatives from most (although not all) of the various Jovian nations. Individual representatives are chosen by their home nation by a variety of methods, including secret ballot, government assignment, random lots, hereditary obligation, or even trial by combat. The representatives of the Conclave gather in person every five years, but otherwise meet virtually with each representative sending a Copy of themselves to a location in the local cybercosm where they carry out the business of government while sending mental updates to their originals on a daily basis (or more often if required), who report in turn to their local national governments. The Conclave is technically a member of the Solsys Organization, but acknowledgement of the authority of the Solsys Org tends to wax and wane over the centuries as does the interest of the Jovian population in the wider Civilized Galaxy.

Planetary Surface: The 'surface' of Jupiter is made up of multiple layers of rapidly moving gases in a variety of forms from cyclones larger than planets to globe girdling bands. Jovian bubblehabs are spread across dozens of different atmospheric layers ranging from the 'ancestral' 1 bar level where the first floating colonies were established all the way down to depths where the local pressure and temperature would both crush and cook an unprotected neb or Superior instantaneously. The hundreds of Jovian nations include several different Tweak clades, vecs designed for the local conditions, and a large population of uploads, ais and a-lifes living in floating computronium banks, usually at the deeper levels. Three different vec clades have moved from living on bubblehabs to converting themselves into floating forms themselves, each with a different mix of internal capacities and a customized supporting mechosystem allowing them to live naturally within Jupiter's atmosphere. In addition, the Free Bubblehabs - a distributed and diverse nation of sophont structures that have chosen to operate as lone individuals without inhabitants - can be found at various locations and altitudes around the planet.

At least four different floating bio-ecologies (each radically different from the others) have also been established at widely separated locations on the planet and it is anticipated that all seven different life systems will begin to encounter each other and interact some time within the next five thousand years, likely with results that will prove highly interesting for all concerned.

Orbital Space: Jupiter orbital space is one of the busiest volumes in the Solar System. At the lowest level, a planet-spanning Transys network of orbital rings and mass-streams supports several hundred skyhooks connecting the various atmospheric levels and allowing rapid point-to-point travel to destinations both on-planet and off. Despite this, the sheer size of Jupiter means that it may take an average Inworlder days or even weeks of travel to reach their nearest skyhook access point.

At the middle orbital levels, seven orbital bands, each containing thousands of habs, factories, and computronium nodes (adapted to use or shield themselves from the local radiation belts) support a busy population (mostly sophtware, but with a growing percentage of Radiation Nation tweaks that have recolonized the volume in the last several centuries) connected by comm-sats, shuttles, and Transys pods. Interstellar craft (both starships and Beamrider Network shuttles) regularly travel between the various orbitals, the Jovian moons, and the wider Solar System and galaxy beyond.

Jovian synchronous orbit is mostly occupied by a mix of habs, communication platforms, and computronium nodes. However, fully a third of the orbit is taken up by the ever-changing belt of the structure known as the Odinring. Originally conceived as a circum-Jovian topopolis habitat, the Odinring began construction in 8992AT. However, when the project was roughly one-third completed, a coalition of bubblehab nations sued to halt construction on various grounds ranging from the potential environment impact of the megastructure to religious freedom violations due to the alteration of the heavens that it would create as a side-effect. The legal battles have been ranging back and forth for over 15 centuries, with judgments, appeals, counter-suits, settlements, and petitions causing the project to start, stop, and even reverse from year to year. The Odinring, as a result, remains mostly uninhabited, although the central third of the completed portion has been sealed off, made habitable, and turned into a hedonics center where visitors can entertain themselves in a variety of ways, including gambling on the outcome of the ongoing court battles.

At least one urban legend contends that the entire affair is a confidence game to bring in extra revenue to the Solsys Organization and the Conclave via the lucrative surcharges they each gather from the ongoing gambling bets (both locally and across the Known Net) that are made each year over what legal maneuvers each side will engage in next. There are also rumors of various Hider groups squatting in the ring at widely separated locations, but these remain unconfirmed.

The Io-Jovian flux tube and plasma torus remain in place. While they were a navigational hazard for unprepared ships and satellites in the early days of Jovian colonization, modern shielding and medical technology make their associated radiation and EM effects virtually irrelevant.

Jovian League
Image from Steve Bowers

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 25 November 2001.