The Sea of Stars
The Cosmos are a vast, circular, rotating sea of stars, planets, nebulae, black holes, and even more exotic objects. Known space is about 80 million Astru (100,000 parsecs) in diameter and contains about a trillion stars. Of these, nearly 10% have planets capable of support known forms of life (or being suitably terraformed). A great many of these planets have native life forms and some even have intelligent (though primitive) inhabitants. However, only about 1% of potential life-supporting worlds actually have colonies. Still, this is about a billion inhabited worlds throughout known space. Most of these were settled during the Council Era, but colonization has expanded once again in recent years. The Cosmos are divided into 4096 sectors, divided into 64 concentric rings and 64 radial division from the Core (though some sector boundaries have shifted to accommodate political boundaries).
The Core is the region near the center of the Cosmos. It has very few stars or planets, and is outside any political sphere of influence. Due to the dangers of the Nexus, most ships avoid travelling through the core and chart a course around it instead.
In the New Era, some of the most important worlds are the capitals of the new stellar empires. Because of their structure, the Confederated Nomad Tribes, Alliance of Independent Worlds, and the Anarchic Zone have no capital world.
Other Important Worlds
Some worlds are important not for political or even historical reasons, but because of the Organizations found there.