Offworld (planet)

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Offworld.jpg
Name: Kepler-452b
Locally known as: Offworld
Type: Class M
Moons: Two large, one small, all rocky
Originally Terraformed: Around 900-1000ad.
Size: 1.15 Earth Masses
Population: Native Born: ~12 million
Racers: Unknown.

The planet of Offworld, otherwise known as "Daicales", is the Earth like planet of Kepler-452b located in the Goldilocks zone of the Kepler star system, 1400 light years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. This is where the story of The Offworld Chronicles takes place. It has 3 moons, two large, one small. The local star is a yellow dwarf star (G V star) much like the sun at the center of Earth's solar system. Offworld is a terriformed planet, having originally been a lifeless rocky gas giant. All of its plant and animal life are transplanted from Earth and genetically modified to survive in the unique atmosphere and environment of Offworld. The planet is very sparsely populated, with a total population just over 10 million souls, all gathered on two continents along a narrow band of land about 6000 miles long that borders both sides of the racing trail.

The technological level on the planet varies, ranging from primitive, to semi-modern, depending on where on the course you are, and who or what types of people settled in a given area. Some areas are more primitive than others, and the dispersion of technology is random and disorderly. Some of the disparities in technology are created by choice, with some choosing to live more primitive than they could if they really wanted to. Others, however, are primitive due to a lack of either resources, manpower, or the right people to make newer, more advanced technology possible. Some areas have even been rendered more primitive than others due to the intervention of the controllers who are known for brutally crushing anyone who even appears to be a threat to them.

The planet itself enjoys four normal seasons, just as Earth does, but it's year is longer than that of Earth, at 372 1/2 days. Each month is made up of 31 days exactly, with a special "leap day" every other year that is not connected with any one single month of the calendar, and is instead celebrated by itself as the last day of the year, every two years, making it a special biannual holiday called jump day (a play on the term "leap year"). The planetary day is also longer than that on Earth, with each day being 24 hours and 35 minutes vs Earth, which has a day lasting 23 hours and 56 minutes. However, given that the actual observation of time is limited on the planet, with most only focusing on days, months, years and seasons. The only ones who care about, and keep track of hours and minutes are the those in the transport and shipping businesses, that have specific schedules to keep. But, they are the exception, and not the rule.

Also, seasons on Offworld are not hemispherical, like they are on Earth, meaning that you don't have one hemisphere enjoying summer while the other enjoys the winter. Both share the same season at the same time, as the planet's axis is not tipped like it is on Earth. Instead, the planet's orbit is elliptical, causing it to enjoy summer at its perigee, and winter at its apogee, with both hemispheres experiencing the same type of weather. Also, the length of day, intensity of summer and winter, and their duration depends entirely on one's latitude on the planet. The area where the race typically runs is around the 40th parallel and thus only experiences 4 actual months of winter, with temperatures below freezing and snow accumulation. Spring and fall tend to last about one month each with summer lasting around 6 months, and is typically warm, but not unbearably hot, nor excessively humid, making it easier on racers traveling through its lengths. Other areas though have longer winters, or hotter summers, depending on their location.

The planet's equatorial zone exists entirely within the central ocean of the planet, which stretches its entire circumference and contains no land whatsoever, save for a scattered handful of small, volcanic islands, and a few rare and scattered, yet small peninsulas that stretch like tiny fingers into the outer edges of the zone. Otherwise, no land exists within its borders. This creates a unique north-south dividing of continents across the planet's surface with no physical land connection between either hemisphere. Offworld also has a lot of unique foods and crops, as well as many, many animal species that are similar to many different Earth plants and animals (as they are derived from them), but which are unique to this planet.