3,085,456,069km (20.625 AUs)
93.67 years/ 34,212 days
|Cities and towns|
- "Ariel's quite nice, actually. They have some beautiful museums, not to mention some of the finest restaurants in the Core."
- ―Inara Serra
Ariel was the eleventh planet of the White Sun system in the Verse. Originally designated as P/2027(White Sun)07 when it was discovered in 2027 by astronomers, the planet was terraformed by robot terraformers to allow humans to colonize the world after the mass evacuation of Earth-That-Was. Terraforming was completed in 2266, and the planet became one of the Central planets of the Verse. By 2518, Ariel was a metropolitan world located on the New Canaan Run trade route, and was covered with glass and steel cities. It citizens had access to some of the finest examples of technology, and the planet was reputed for its medical facilities and dining establishments.
Ariel (original designation P/2027(White Sun)07) was the eleventh planet in the White Sun system. Measuring 13,016 kilometers in diameter, Ariel orbited the star White Sun at a distance of 3,085,456,069 kilometers, which was equivalent to 20.625 AUs. Ariel had a surface gravity of 1.0140, and a mass of 6.323x1021 tonnes. The planet took 93.67 years to orbit around Bai Hu, which equated to 34,212 days. Three moons; Ariopolis, Shiva, and Poseidon; orbited the planet. All three were terraformed at the same time as Ariel. By 2518, Ariel boasted a population of some 3,615,995,500 inhabitants.
The planet was divided into several landmasses, many of which were connected to others via strips of land. Ariel had large polar regions, and a large amount of surface water. Islands and archipelagos dotted the surface of the planet. Urban areas were spread across the planet, and the capital was Ariel City, located in the southern hemisphere. Located on the New Canaan Run, Ariel was a hub of commercial trade activity; official Union of Allied Planets and Blue Sun cargo was transited through Ariel's docks, although the carrying of such cargo was classified and could only be carried by registered traders. Given the planet's extensive network of medical-related industries and institutions, medical supplies and the raw materials to make them were in great demand, and were both imported and exported on a regular basis. General stock, food and grain were constantly imported to keep the population fed, while the export of textiles was kept at a modest level.
Ariel, originally known as P/2027(White Sun)07, was discovered in 2027 by astronomers on Earth-That-Was in the star cluster designated 34Tauri2020. It was believed to be within acceptable limits for terraforming. With the realization that Earth-That-Was would no longer be able to sustain her population, the Global Exodus Alliance was formed to evacuate the Sol system and relocate humanity to the 34Tauri2020 star cluster. After a trip of almost one hundred and twenty years, robot terraformers began to terraform Ariel in 2220. Terraforming of the planet and its accompanying moons was completed in 2266, with colonization beginning in the same year.
Like the rest of the Central planets, Ariel was highly modern and civilized. High technology was prevalent on the world, and citizens had access to laser guns, holo-scanners and flying cars. The basic needs of the population; food, shelter and medical care; were looked after, allowing the residents of the planet opportunity to think beyond their basic day-to-day survival needs. Tall buildings of glass and steel littered their cities, while holographic billboards advertised many products and services. Ariel was noted for its exceptional network of medical facilities; including hospitals, schools and research facilities;  of which Saint Lucy's hospital in Ariel City was a prime example. The planet was also noted for its museums and fine restaurants, as well as for being the only Core world to have no long-term prisons. A contract with the Trader's Guild transported prisoners to off-world facilities.
Ariel was known throughout the Union of Allied Planets for the technical and cultural achievements of its citizenry; indeed, statistically, more winners of the Medal of Societal Advancement hailed from Ariel than any other world in the Alliance. The planet's institutions had a strong history of supporting the arts, with musicians, artists, craftsmen and writers taking up residence on Ariel. Most famous chefs either hailed from Ariel, or emigrated to the planet to ply their trade. Due to its status as a Central Planet, landing on Ariel was restricted; only ships with legitimate business were given clearance to make planetfall, and they needed dual commerce permits from both the UAP and the Trader's Guild.
In 2517, Saint Lucy's hospital was the target of a raid by a group of outlaws. Refurbishing a scrapped ambulance ship obtained from a junkyard, members of the crew of the Firefly-class transport ship Serenity managed to bypass hospital security with the intention of stealing a large amount of prescription drugs, including ivoprovalyn, propoxin, and hydrozapam. However, the raid had a secondary purpose; the fugitive doctor Simon Tam; who was crewing aboard the Serenity; needed access to a 3-D neuroimager to scan the brain of his sister, River Tam. River Tam, an exceptionally intelligent child prodigy, had been the subject of experiments conducted by Alliance doctors in an effort to create the perfect assassin. However, the experiments had left her mentally scarred, and Simon Tam sought to better understand what had been done to her so that he could attempt to reverse the damage. The raid was successful, with Doctor Tam able to complete his task, and the crew managing to secure a large amount of drugs to sell to the Rim planets.
Ariel City was one of the planet's main cities. Highly urbanized, the city was full of skyscrapers and was situated on the coast. Ariel City was the location of Saint Lucy's hospital, Shinei University, starship docks, and a large municipal junkyard.
Numerous cities were located across Ariel, including Gossamer, Codithian, North Hauer, South Hauer, Gohin, Tolli Basin, West Firebrand, Placious Caelum, Trident, Silver Fern, Bridgesbain, Nabokov Heights, Nikita, Guerenstradt, and Gorehaven. In addition to the urban centres, at least four major transport and commercial hubs; UAP Transport Hub, Matheson Docks, Piper Docks, and Mandellia Docks; served the planet. Ariel also boasted a bioluminescent lake that citizens and visitors alike were allowed to swim in.
Behind the scenesEdit
Ariel was first shown in the Firefly episode of the same name, and was the principal setting for the episode, with much of the action taking place on the surface. Ariel later received a mention in the episode The Message. Ariel's history and specific characteristics were later expanded on by various official tie-in media.
- Serenity Role Playing Game
- Complete and Official Map of the Verse
- The Verse in Numbers
- Atlas of the 'Verse: Volume 1