Poster-sized map of BSG/Caprica 12 colonies

500x_map_of_the_colonies_1.jpg Given the recent mournful Caprica love here, this should gladden a few toaster-loving hearts: former showrunner Jane Espenson and science advisor Kevin Grazier (a JPL astronomer who works on the Cassini mission) have teamed up to release a spiffy annotated diagram of how twelve inhabited planets could hypothetically exist in one star system.

The map also includes short histories of all twelve colonies drawn in part from my own tiny contribution to BSG/Caprica lore. (The word "tiny" is not false modesty. It's really tiny.)


  1. Lovely poster. I wish the TV shows (and RPGames) of my youth had ephemera of this production quality and care of conception.

    Why is it necessary for all of the colony planets to be in one system? I can see the original series establishing that, out of ignorance, but with the ships clearly shown as having FTL travel, why not in the new series say they were spread out more reasonably?

  2. I’ve always liked to think that the BSG star system is actually the far future version of the Firefly star system. Lots of planets and moons, so lots of action and politics without having to travel *too* far.

    If you look closely at the aerial traffic around Caprica in the opening shots of the BSG miniseries, you’ll notice a Firefly-class ship in the mix. Some say it’s just because Zoic did the effects for both shows, but maybe there’s something more to it?

  3. In case anyone hasn’t seen it already, the same company that produced this map (QMx) also offers a very similar map of the Firefly/Serenity “Verse”:

    They also offer a free, downloadable .pdf book, based on this map, providing even more detail about the worlds of the Firefly/Serenity “Verse”:

  4. Mmmh, so these are supposed to be stable orbits for the planetary systems, and then stable orbits of the suns, not interfering with the planetary systems, and all in habitable zone? Did they do the math?

  5. WELL THEN… by the human real life definition of “planet” this makes Caprica and Gemenon NOT PLANETS.

    The current definition of “Planet”:
    A celestial body that is (a) in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

    Since it appears that Caprica and Gemenon are a binary planet pair of sorts, neither of them have cleared the neighbourhood around their orbit (each other) and therefore part C of the definition is not satisfied!

    1. If that were the case, then our solar system would have only two “planets”: Mercury and Venus – the only two planets in our solar system that don’t have moons and/or rings.

      Clearly the third criterion you mention – “has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit” – was not intended to mean that a “planet” can’t have moons or rings. So, by the same token, this criterion was probably not intended to be interpreted as excluding the possibility of binary planets. As far as I know, the only real difference between a planet with a large moon (like Earth) and a binary planetary system is the location of the barycenter. If the barycenter is located inside one of the two planetary objects, then it is a planet, and the other object is its moon (e.g. the Earth-Moon barycenter is located roughly 1700km beneath the surface of the Earth). But if the barycenter is located at some point in space between the two planetary bodies, they are binary planets. (I believe this is correct; though you may want to consult with a professional astronomer to be sure.) Since this is the only difference between the two, it wouldn’t make sense to say that the third criterion of the official definition of a “planet” allows a planet to have a moon but does not allow for binary planets.

  6. Didn’t you watch the series finale? Nothing in BSG has to make sense. God makes any and all impossible things happen for no reason whatsoever. Just ask the sex angel.

  7. Someone messed up the poster text — there’s an error under Picon. “Caprica’s capital” -should read Picon. oops.

    But I love the “Travel guide” to the Colonies! It’s such a cute book.

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