|ALIOTH: TRAVELLER'S INFORMATION|
Astronomically, Alioth has an interesting history. It has been known to humankind for millennia, and was even used to help sailors navigate in the pre-technological era of Earth. Also known as Epsilon Ursa Majoris, Alioth forms part of the constellation Ursa Major, also known as "The Big Dipper" or "The Plough". From Earth, this group of stars acts as pointer stars to Polaris, which was a very important star for early navigators since it always pointed the way to the North Pole of Earth. The group of stars that form this part of Ursa Major (the Great Bear) have been recognised in early pre-technological human history, found in literature dating back before the ancient Greek civilization. The earliest use of the name Alioth dates back to the Alfonsine Tables, published in the Earth nation state of Spain in 1252. It is thought that the name may have originated with the word Alyat meaning "The Fat Tail of the Eastern Sheep", although many historians now feel this is unlikely. The star's name was often spelled "Aliath".
The most important stars in the Ursa Major constellation from the Earth point of view is Dubhe, Merak, Phekda, Alioth, Mizar and Alcor. From Earth, Alioth is the brightest of this group.
The star itself is a main sequence, variable bright giant star, which as has been noted is a good source for producing military fuel (although not as potent as bright white stars). The luminosity of this star means that life supporting planets are a great distance away to remain viable.
|HISTORY AND NOTABLE FEATURES|
Alioth is of course famous as the birthplace of the Alliance of Independent Systems and the home of New Rossyth Shipyards. The history of Alioth is one of trouble and strife. Originally colonised in the 29th century, it was an independent frontier system. Neither the Federation or rapidly forming Empire paid it much attention, until both almost simultaneously discovered the rich source of energy from the star. The colonies had already set up factories, and were doing a brisk trade in fuel. The Federation, being relatively close by, tried to coerce the local population into having the system join the Federation. However, the population wanted to remain independent. The Empire on the other hand was less subtle, and thought they could take the local population by force. However, the Federation had also decided to invade. Inevitably, both battle fleets ended up converging on Alioth at the same time. As the year 2900 dawned, both forces were to play cat-and-mouse with each other, and an uneasy truce was declared. The Empire controlled part of the system, and the Federation another. The locals were not at all happy with this state of affairs.
It wasn't a really big surprise when during a more tense moment in Empire/Federation relations, fighting broke out once again with the hapless locals caught in the crossfire. The year 3228 marked the lowest point of relations between the two powers for over a century. Finally, the patience of the seven billion inhabitants collectively snapped, and aided by fighter pilots from neighbouring systems, a savage and concerted effort began to repel both sets of invaders. After 18 months of intense fighting in what became a three-way free for all as all three forces fought each other, the Empire's supply lines became overstretched, and the Empire was forced to withdraw. The Federation's campaign was deeply unpopular amongst its own citizens, and with the rebels now being able to focus all their energy on the remaining invader, the Federation were also forced to withdraw.
Many nearby independent systems had watched the action in awe. Most of the fighter pilots had actually come from neigbouring systems, and in light of this, the new Alioth Government called for the creation of an alliance to ensure the security of the region. Each Alliance system has a basic code of freedom and human rights that Imperial and Federation citizens can only dream about.
Technologically, Alioth has flourished since the Alliance was created in 3230. New Rossyth Shipyards has brought an enormous amount of prestige to Alioth, with the legendary Mic Turner designs that are popular amongst many pilots. During the 3250's, the new Quest class ship built by AAAI at New Rossyth departed on a groundbreaking mission from Alioth. Peaceful contact was at last made with the Thargoids - an event that has been of enormous benefit to all of humanity, and in particular, the Alliance. Due to the leading-edge technological base, and the raw materials that are exported from the system, Alioth's wealth now rivals that of Sol. The standard of living is very high.
Arriving traders are advised that Alioth Customs are very strict when it comes to illegal goods. You will be caught if you try and smuggle contraband. The following goods are prohibited in the Alioth system: