Jovian Chronicles Glossary

This short glossary explains some of the terms that are used in the Jovian Chronicles universe.


Agora: the seat of the Jovian Confederacy's government. It is located in the Jovian capital of Elysée.

Asteroid: small celestial body composed of either metal, rock, ice, or any combination of the above.

Asteroid Belt: the region of space extending from 2.2 to 3.3 AU from the Sun. Most of the asteroids orbit within this zone.

Astronomical Unit (AU): a unit of measure based on the distance from the Earth to the Sun. It is equal to 1,49 x 10E8 km.

CEGA: short for Central Earth Government and Administration. It is the ruling body that controls much of the Earth system.

Colony Cylinder: a huge, self-contained space station between 25 and 40 km in length, slowly rotating to generate one gee of gravity on the inside surface.

Exo-Armors: large personal armors, standing around fifteen meters high and piloted from a cockpit located in their chest area.

Exo-Suits: also known as powered armors, or powered suits, they are smaller counterparts of the exo-armors. They are worn by their pilot, and generally stand between two and three meters tall.

Floaters: secretive, giant "gas bag" creatures living in Jupiter's atmosphere. They are about as intelligent as whales and can communicate with one another through electronic impulses.

Gee: A measure of acceleration, the gee (also noted as simply g) is the pull exerted by the Earth at sea level. It is equal to 9.8 m/s^2, though the rounded 10 m/s^2 is used for most calculation.

Kinetic Kill Cannons: a class of weapons that cause damage by kinetic energy (impact). See Massdriver, Railgun.

Lagrange Points: locations in space where the gravitational forces of two large bodies are equal. The first three points, L1 to L3, are located on the axis linking the two bodies. The other two points, L4 and L5, are on the orbit of the smaller body at 60 degrees on either side of the axis and are extremely stable.

Laser: acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, a laser is a beam of coherent light, generally used to superheat and destroy a target. Lasers can also be used as a radar-style sensor device (lidar) and to transmit messages.

LEO: short for Low Earth Orbit, a 300 to 600 kilometers high, near-circular orbit with a period of about ninety minutes.

Linear Frame: the main control element of an exo-armor or exo-suit. It looks like an industrial exo-skeleton and completely supports the pilot, reproducing his every movement.

Magnetic Sail: a thin ring-like device that generates a magnetic field that can be pushed by the solar wind and the magnetic field of planets. It is a somewhat slow propulsion system, but it requires no propellant and is thus very economic. Magnetic sails have low field density but occupy a large volume of space (in excess of 60 km for the smaller ships). 



Massdriver: a weapon that uses a series of magnetic coils to fire a hail of small shells.

Missiles: self-propelled, self-guided projectiles, using sophisticated guidance computers and laser targeting technology.

Nomads: colloquial term for groups of people that live on asteroids or spaceships, outside of mainstream human society.

O'Neill Island: a type of colony cylinder which uses glass panels and mirrors to direct sunlight inside. Island Type I is a sphere with agricultural rings attached, while both Island Types II and III are large cylinders with reflective mirrors.

Particle Cannon: also known as beam cannon, is a magnetic accelerator designed to shoot ions instead of a solid slug. They cause damage through a combination of kinetic energy, heat, and induced electrical charge.

Plasma Combustion Chamber (PCC): one of the most common type of space propulsion system in use. Using an inert gas or liquid as reaction mass (most often hydrogen or water), the PCC enables spacecraft to achieve great acceleration for extended periods, reducing travel times to mere weeks and, sometimes, mere days.

Plasma Lance: a compressed-gas cylinder with an ionizer ejector system at one end. Current transforms the gas into a giant plasma flame.

Plunger: orbital transfer vehicle that uses aerobraking techniques to reduce te amount of reaction mass required to travel. Also known as Divers.

Railgun: a weapon that magnetically accelerates a single projectile via twin rails along the length of the barrel.

Screen Generator: a device that protects the vehicle or space suit on which it is mounted by either absorbing or deflecting the radiation striking it.

Skyhook: a more feasable kind of "space elevator" that allows cargo to be hoisted up into orbit. It consists of a long tether extending from a low orbit station down into the upper atmosphere and up into space. Hypersonic suborbital planes can match velocities with the lower end of the tether to hook up their cargo rather than spend the energy to go up to a full orbit.

Solar Police (SolaPol): the law-enforcement agency of the United Space Nations. Similar to Interpol, but with more power.

Solar Sail: an extremely thin, highly reflective sail that is pushed by light beams (either solar or laser-generated). It is a slow propulsion system, but it requires no propellant and is thus very economic. Solar sails are extremely fragile and occupy a large area of space (several square kilometers for even the smaller ships).

United Space Nations (USN): an advisory council, the USN is the successor of the 20th century's United Nations.

Venusian Bank: a powerful economic consortium, based on Venus.

Vivarium Colony: a type of colony cylinder which is closed and thickly protected against radiation, relying on a "sunline" running along its axis to provide illumination. Mostly used by the Jovian Confederation.