Named for Tiān Gōng, the Jade Emperor, the Taoist ruler of Heaven and all realms of existence below including that of Man and Hell, one of the most important gods of the Chinese traditional religion pantheon. The name was chosen in honor of Tiangong 1, the first Chinese Space Station over earth in the early 21st century.
Tiengong is slightly smaller than Terra, giving a gravity of 0.87 Terran. It orbits Rigil Kentaurus at over 9 times the distance of Terra from Sol. This means that one full Tiengong year is 26 terran years, giving the inhabitants of the world a much different conception of time than Terrans. The planet spins more slowly, as well – one entire rotation takes 170 Terran hours (almost equivalent to 1 Terran week). Inhabitants of Tiengong divide the day into several work/rest periods. One Tiengong year is approximately 309 Tiengong days in length.
The world is much more temperate than Terra, so the coldest seasons, as well as the hottest, are less extreme than on Terra. The hottest temperature recorded on Tiengong was 89 degrees Fahrenheit, the coldest at -2 degrees Fahrenheit. The planet moves through the warm/cold seasons in a 13 Terran year (T-year) cycle – for 13 T-years the temperature climbs steadily until it peaks, after which it drops for around 13 years, and then troughs before the climb upwards.
Flora and fauna are adapted to this extended cycling – plants grow and thrive during warmup and cool-off period, and then spend a 2-3 t-year period in hibernation during the coldest portion of the planetary cycle.
The axial tilt of Tiengong is larger than that of Terra, at 36 degrees (Terra is at about 24 degrees), giving it slightly larger polar climate regions. Because of the length of the seasons, the seas of the planet can vary in depth – as the entire ice content of one pole evaporates and the other freezes. Colonists learned quickly to build cities on hills well above the tide lines.
Total planetary population: approx 920,000