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Mutter's Spiral is the Time Lord designation for the galaxy in which the Sol system is located. (NA: Human Nature, EDA: Alien Bodies) Humans know Mutter's Spiral as the Milky Way or as Adric referred to it, Galaxia Kyklos. By the time of Sabalom Glitz it also went by the name of the Stellian Galaxy. (DW: The Mysterious Planet)
Mutter's Spiral is approximately 100,000 light-years in diameter. Its nearest neighbor is the Andromeda Galaxy.
The following planets and star systems are either definitely located within Mutter's Spiral, or may be reasonably inferred to be:
The Milky Way is a spiral Galaxy in which most of recorded history takes place. The name "The Milky Way" comes from Earth; the galaxy is also known as the "home galaxy." (TNG video game: Echoes from the Past)
The Milky Way is approximately thirteen billion years old and 100,000 light-years across, 15,000 light-years deep at the galactic core and contains approximately 200 billion stars which orbit the galactic core over a period of around 220 million years. Somewhat unusually the Galaxy is enveloped in an energy field known as the galactic barrier. A similar field, the Great Barrier encloses much of the Galactic Core. Both fields were created by the Q Continuum to protect the Galaxy from a gang of powerful malicious beings (TNG Miniseries: The Q Continuum). These fields had the effect of making the Milky Way a safe haven from both natural phenomenon and any malicious entities, such as the beings described above. Several races, such as the Caeliar, were unwilling to leave the Milky Way, as they would then lose the protection offered by the Great and Galactic Barriers.
In addition to the main body of the Milky Way the Galaxy has a number of smaller companion bodies most notably the smaller and larger Magellanic Clouds. The Galaxy is also in the process of absorbing a dwarf Galaxy SagDEG. The Milky Ways' nearest neighbour is the Andromeda Galaxy some 2.2 million light years away.
The Galaxy is naturally subdivided into a number of arms, with the Federation and its neighbours mostly occupying the Orion Arm. However for the sake of standardised navigation the Federation and most other galactic powers divide the Galaxy into four equal segments; the Quadrants.
Given the huge size of the Galaxy and the limited velocities available at Warp speed a number of races use networks subspace pathways to navigate the galaxy. Some are natural such as those formally controlled by the Vaadwaur where as others are artificial constructs such as the Borg Transwarp, Iconian Gateway and the Caeliar Subspace Tunnel networks or the Bajoran wormhole. (ST reference: Star Charts)
(radiating from the center clockwise)
|There is more information available on this subject at Milky Way Galaxy on the English-language Wikipedia.|
The Milky Way is the galaxy where the humans and the Covenant reside, and is approximately 100,000 light years in diameter. It is a barred spiral galaxy that lies within the local group of galaxies neighborhood, which is just a very small portion of the universe. Visible from Earth as a band of light in the night sky, the Milky Way is just one of many galaxies in the observable universe, though the Milky Way has special significance to Humanity as it is the home galaxy of its planet, Earth.
The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy of either SBb or SBc classification on the Hubble Sequence. It has two major arms, each sporting several minor arms that stem off of the major arm. One of these major arms, the Carina and Sagittarius Arm, is home to the Orion Arm. Splotches of intense star birth and formation can be seen in the arms. These areas are pink/red in hue and appear as wisps or clouds situated in the galactic plane. These are easily seen on any level featuring the Milky Way in the sky (Isolation, The Ark, etc.).
The Orion Arm is the origin of humanity and their home planet Earth, with at least 800 worlds colonized by the UNSC at one point. It is also the area of origin for the various races of the Covenant, with possibly even more worlds. It is assumed to be the place of origin for the Forerunners as well, but their mysterious nature and advanced technology means that it is not known exactly where they came from, if they expanded further out through the galaxy, or even if they originated from outside of this galaxy.
The Orion Arm is the setting for the Human-Covenant War of the 26th Century and the far more ancient Forerunner-Flood War, witnessing at least two massive wars. It is also the home of at least two Halo Installations and the teleporter to the Ark or Installation 00.
The Milky Way is composed of a disk, in which all the arms and the majority of galactic matter lies, and the galactic bugle, essentially the center of a galaxy. The bulge is home to the galactic nucleus, the dead center of a galaxy and home to an extremely dense clustering of ancient stars. The nucleus is also thought to support a supermassive blackhole. Additionally, most known galaxies possess a halo of old and dying star clusters left over from the galaxy's formation. These clusters are situated up to 100,000 light years from the galactic bulge. Habitable planets may certainly lie within the halo, and some clusters may escape the range of the Halo Effect given their distance from the galactic center.
Prior to approximately the year 97,448 B.C. (human years), the previous galactic community was dominated by the Forerunners, a mysterious and now extinct species that possessed extremely advanced technology and an empire that spanned a significant portion of the galaxy. However, encounters with a parasitic sentient species, the Flood, led to the Forerunner-Flood War, with the Flood consuming or killing the great majority of the galaxy's sentient species as the Forerunners first studied them, and then tried to stop them. Eventually, the Forerunners were forced to construct the ultimate weapon, the Halo Array, in order to stop them - at the same time, killing its builders. The Forerunners built safe havens, including the Shield Worlds and the Ark, to save the remaining sentient species, before activating it, scouring the galaxy of all sentient life forms and killing the Flood except for samples kept on the Halos, then releasing the saved species from their havens to their home worlds.
Almost 100,000 years afterward, the galaxy had recovered substantially, leading to the rise of two great civilizations the UNSC, comprised of the majority of humanity and controlled from Earth, and the Covenant, a hegemony of many different species who worshiped the Forerunners as gods. Contact between the UNSC and Covenant was not peaceful, leading to the Human-Covenant War, which destroyed hundreds of human colonies and killed billions of colonists and UNSC military personnel, since the Covenant had more advanced weaponry. The discovery of one of the Forerunners Halo installations set forth a series of events that would not only end the war, but also destroy the Covenant and begin the Covenant Civil War, or Great Schism.
Triggered by the replacement of the Elites with the Brutes, the Elites left the Covenant, in the process that consumed a significant amount of the Covenant's populace and resources, creating the Separatist faction. The Separatists, realizing that the Prophets were conducting an unjustified war against humanity and planning a misguided activation of the Halo Array, allied with the UNSC to stop them, leading to the Battle of Installation 00. The war would continue to rage until at least 2559.
The colonization of the Milky Way includes the early colonization attempts of the United Nations and the UNSC, beginning with the colonization of the Solar System during the 2100's. The first planet believed to be colonized is Mars, followed by the Jovian Moons. During 2160 - 2164, the Solar System was the site of the Interplanetary War, the most brutal conflict known to man since World War II. The war was fought between the UN naval and infantry forces, the Neo-Communist Koslovics (led by hardliner Vladimir Koslov), and the Frieden rebels (Jovian secessionists). Following the successful Marine deployments on Mars during the Argyre Planitia Campaign of 2163, the U.N. ultimately defeated both Koslovic and Frieden rebels throughout the Solar System, thus forming the United Nations Space Command.
The development of the Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine in 2291 allowed humanity to leave the confines of its home star system for the first time and explore the wider galaxy, ushering in an age of rapid colonization and expansion. The first line of colony ships were unveiled in 2310, and on January 1st, 2362, the Odyssey, the first colony ship capable of faster-than-light travel, was launched laden with troops and terraforming gear. Over the next 28 years, the UNSC began terraforming and colonizing more than 210 worlds, which would become the Inner Colonies.
Colonial expansion continued and by 2490, UNSC colonial space encompassed over 800 worlds, large and small, in the Orion Arm. The success of colonization of the Outer Colonies made the Inner Colonies the primary stronghold, both military and economic, though they relied heavily on raw materials supplied by the Outer Colonies. During this period, the planet Reach (orbiting Epsilon Eridani, right on Earth's metaphorical doorstep) became the UNSC's primary naval yard and training academy. Reach was a major producer of warships and colony vessels, as well as a training ground for covert operatives and Special Forces.
On April 20, 2525, contact with the Outer Colony, Harvest, was lost. After failing to re-establish contact with Harvest, the Colonial Military Administration sent a scout ship, the Argo, to investigate. Contact with the Argo was subsequently lost after the ship arrived in the Harvest system, plunging humanity into a deadly war with an alien race known as the "Covenant". Harvest was glassed from orbit, and marked the beginning of the war with the Covenant. The war was termed the Human-Covenant War, and was the most destructive conflict in the galaxy's history since the Forerunner-Flood War 100,000 year prior. Since the war's beginning, hundreds of human colonies have been destroyed and billions of civilian and military personnel have been killed by the Covenant.
At its peak, the UNSC encompassed a number of star systems, with hundreds of planets, moons and planetoids settled by colonists, some terraformed to greater degrees than others depending on the local conditions and presence of indigenous life. The Inner Colonies encompassed a region of space in at least a 10.5 light-year three-dimensional radius from Earth. Beyond that were the Outer Colonies. Other colonies were established even further - Onyx in the Zeta Doradus system, at 38 light-years; Coral, at 42 light-years; and Madrigal, which lay in the 23 Librae system, 83.7 light-years from Earth. In 2456, Harvest was the furthest Outer Colony, at six weeks of Slipspace travel away from Madrigal and two months from Reach. Beta Centauri, at 525 light-years from Earth, is the furthest known human-occupied star system. It is unknown how many colonies remain at the end of the war in 2553, although remarks made by Lord Hood suggested that UNSC territory has been reduced to Sol, and a mere handful of Inner Colonies.
Because the Covenant have been space-faring for at least a thousand years, and possess far superior slipstream navigation technology to humanity, they have explored a significantly larger portion of the galaxy than humanity has. Based primarily in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way, it is unknown if they maintain territories outside of the region, but there are several homeworlds and colonies located in the Orion Arm. Additionally, the Covenant have discovered and explored several Forerunner Shield Worlds, similar to one destroyed by human forces, from which they have acquired much of their advanced technology. Exactly how many of these worlds they have found, and their status, is unknown.
The Human-Covenant War has devastated numerous human worlds, but at least one Covenant world, Joyous Exultation, was devastated by Admiral Whitcomb's NOVA Bomb in retribution for the destruction of Reach. It is unknown if the Separatists and Loyalists destroyed worlds under the control of the other faction, but both Te and Balaho, the Lekgolo and Unggoy homeworlds respectively, were almost glassed during the Covenant's history.
The Milky Way, and the Orion Arm in particular, has a large number of inhabited or, at least, habitable, planets within it, with the United Earth Government and the Covenant Empire both maintaining distinct territories of their own. Other planets and systems were once home to the now-extinct Forerunners, whose interstellar empire spanned the galaxy until their disappearance.
Colonies From Unknown Systems
Colonies in Unknown Systems
The Milky Way Galaxy (translated from Latin Via Lactea, derived from the Greek Γαλαξίας (Galaxias), often referred to as simply "the galaxy", is a large barred spiral galaxy in the Local Group.
Approximately 13.6 billion years old (nearly as old as the universe itself), the Milky Way is roughly 100,000 light years in diameter, 250-300 thousand light years in circumference, and about 1,000 light years thick outside the galactic core. Between 200 and 400 billion stars comprise the galaxy. Although only one of billions of galaxies in the universe, the Milky Way has special significance to humanity as the home of the Sol system.
The galaxy is comprised of three major parts: the core, which contains a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A; the disc, the ring of stars and interstellar dust that gives the galaxy its spiral shape; and the halo, which includes many older stars orbiting the core. Outside the disc, most stars are concentrated in massive globular clusters.
The Milky Way's disc is surrounded by a massive barrier of unknown origin, which can interfere with travel in and out of the galaxy. A similar force field called the Great Barrier surrounds the core, which is extremely difficult to penetrate. The Q Continuum created these fields in order to protect the galaxy from a gang of powerful malicious beings.
The galaxy is naturally subdivided into several arms, with the Federation and its neighbors occupying the Orion Arm. For the sake of standardized navigation, the Federation and other galactic powers recognize the galaxy as being partitioned into four equal segments, or quadrants: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta, each comprising one-quarter of the galaxy.
By 2365, the Federation had charted only nineteen percent of the galaxy. Due to its immense span and the limited velocities available at warp drive, a number of races use subspace pathways to navigate the galaxy. Some are natural, such as those formerly controlled by the Vaadwaur, while others are artificial constructs, including Borg transwarp conduits, Iconian gateways and the Bajoran wormhole.
The development of quantum slipstream drive and the artificial wormhole network opened the galaxy to widespread exploration beginning in 2378. Combined with extragalactic probes, this led to the popularization of the term Galaxy Alpha, applied to the Milky Way by the mid-2380s. (Star Trek: Arcadia)
(Radiating clockwise from the center)
Thousands of races have existed and continue to exist in the Milky Way. According to Dr. Leonard McCoy, there is a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type (Class M) planets in the galaxy. (TOS: "Balance of Terror") An average of only one in every 43,000 planets in the galaxy supports intelligent lifeforms. Influential races and nations of the galaxy include the Federation, Klingons, Romulans, the Dominion and the Borg. Long ago, the Tkon Empire and the Iconians reputedly ruled large portions of the galaxy. For a complete list of races see races and cultures.
Many species have tried to destroy inhabitants of the Milky Way, including extragalactic parasites, Species 8472 and the Sphere Builders. A Kelvan expedition from the radiation-imperiled Andromeda Galaxy scouted the Milky Way for possible invasion in 2268.
Sargon's people may have been extragalactic, since he stated that his people colonized the galaxy some six million years ago. (TOS: "Return to Tomorrow")
Cybertron originally orbited the sun known as Alpha Centauri, located in the Milky Way. However, millennia of fighting dislodged it from the star's orbit.
Cybertron's original location is unknown, although Starscream and Skyfire seemingly flew from there to Earth under their own power millions of years ago. In the 1980s, Omega Supreme and other Transformers often flew between the worlds without the aid of large ships or space bridges. This strongly implies that Cybertron is located in the Milky Way, or at the very least in one of its small satellite galaxies.
As in the Marvel comics, Cybertron orbits Alpha Centuari.
Cybertron is located in the Milky Way galaxy, somewhere in the direction of the constellation Scorpius.
According to Bumblebee, he arrived in the Milky Way galaxy shortly before arriving on Earth, thus implying that Cybertron is located outside the Milky Way galaxy.