Circinus is a Seyfert galaxy located roughly nine million light-years from the Milky Way an was discovered by humanity in 1977. It is the nearest major galaxy with the exception of Andromeda, Triangulum and Centaurus A. Circinus was a major focus of Confederate intergalactic exploration and colonization during the mid-13100s but has since become a largely self-governed entity.
Circinus is a relatively small barred spiral galaxy, only 37 thousand light-years in diameter. It also possesses a slightly larger galactic core than what would be expected of a galaxy this size, roughly 9000 light-years wide. Its spirals, which extend approximately 12 thousand light-years from the main stellar disk, are also large very wide in comparison to the rest of its shape.
When viewed from Sol, Circinus has an apparent size of 0°13'55"12. It is also partially blocked by the gas and dust of nearby interstellar space, which caused the galaxy to go unnoticed by human astronomers for decades after the Space Age began.
Circinus has only 143 globular clusters. The largest of these is the central galactic cluster, which contains tens of thousands of stars within a radius of 20 light-years.
Circinus has merely 293 nebulae. They average between 10 and 20 light-years in diameter. This number is believed also to be the product of a small galaxy size as well as its age, which has caused most interstellar gas and dust to be used by preexisting stars.
There are four definitive arms of Ciricinus; however messy transitions between one arm and another has led to some interpretations claiming the galaxy has anywhere between three and seven. The two largest arms, Lacaille and Delporte, extend 12 thousand light-years from the main stellar disk.
Galactic Core and Black Holes
Circinus's galactic core reaches 4500 light-years from the center at its further point. It is highly energetic due to the colliding accretion disks of the three supermassive black holes that reside in its center. This phenomenon produces a wealth of radiation and is extremely toxic to most known life, though in rare cases alien species have survived on nearby worlds.
Visible Stellar Halo
Surrounding the galaxy is a cloud of giant and supergiant stars that reaches up to 10 thousand light-years from the galactic core, which can be seen even from intergalactic space. Most were once part of the central global cluster but were ejected by shifting gravitational forces between the black holes and neighboring stars.
Circinus formed roughly 1.1 billion years after the Big Bang. This makes it one of the oldest known Seyfert galaxies, since most of its type formed several billion years later. Circinus's abnormally energetic nucleus can be attributed to its central supermassive black holes, of which it contains three. These black holes have been slowly falling towards each other, and their colliding accretion disks have emitted spectacularly bright infrared light.
Some time around two billion BCE, an alien civilization of an unknown name spread itself across the entire galaxy. However, unlike the Confederacy of Humanity, it is unlikely this civilization developed a strong central government to govern its colonies, and thus was divided by countless independent factions and kingdoms. Based on recovered texts and artifacts, this alien civilization perished not long after reaching Type-III status. In the time since, no civilization other than humanity has taken their place.
Confederate explorers first entered Circinus in 13153 through the Kipper-Circini wormhole in hopes of establishing a stronghold of military personnel and weapons during the first decades of the First Intergalactic War. In 13144 the first Circinian colony on the planet Ketan, a small collection of warehouses and bunkers, was established in the Circini system. Months following saw larger colonies and stations appear across Circini and nearby systems.
The result of the war left many unsatisfied with the Confederacy, and a movement began on many worlds to gain access to Circinus. Fearing an all-military presence in a distant galaxy could result in bad relations with any alien civilization they encountered there, the Confederacy private granted migration rights. Millions of citizens from across the Milky Way and its neighbors flooded the colonies, and within weeks simple governments were put in place. Over the course of a few years these initial governments would merge into a single entity spanning all the Ciricnian colonies, which operated independently but still declared itself part of the Confederacy.
In 14446, a dispute between demographics on the Circinian colony Maachathi led to an interplanetary conflict. This grew quickly and gained sympathizers for both sides in nearby systems. Named the Cullodinian Dispute, this short but relatively deadly war resulted in trade sanctions on colonies that aided the war from outside governments such as the Confederacy, as well as strict limitations on their militaristic and economic capabilities. These sanctions and regulations proved crippling for the colonies. Angered, many Circinian populations revolted and broke free of the Confederacy, forming the Colonies of Far Circinus. Since the Confederacy at the time was uninterested in involving itself so far from the Milky Way, the new government grew in power rapidly.
This lack of Confederate influence would become a beloved freedom among many Circinians. Nationalistic ideas that made many Circinians believe they were equal or superior to the rest of humanity became widespread and accepted in Circinian society. Trade and civilian travel between Circinus and other human-inhabited galaxies plummeted. Over millennia there were many occurrences of Circinians and "Milkies," a popular derogatory term used to refer to all humans in the Milky Way and its galactic neighbors, coming into conflict with each other, some requiring military intervention, like the West Point Massacre. Circinus was also growing unfavorable with many other intergalactic civilizations, due to Circinus' aggressive colonization approach and unhinged xenophobia.
This culminated on May 17, 19804, when the Xcathli declared war on the Circinus Republic.