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The galaxy in the 41st Millennia is home to several rival intelligent races, each struggling to control the vast resources necessary to survive in a time of unending war.  Mankind now populates millions of worlds throughout the galaxy.  Opposing them are the enigmatic Eldar and their diabolical cousins, the Dark Eldar, who have fallen from their former galactic dominance through their own excesses and folly; the fearsome and barbaric Orks, who exist solely for war and destruction; the Powers of Chaos, who corrupt and taint everything that embraces them; the mysterious Necrontyr, ancient mechanical vestiges of a once great civilization; the insect-like Tyranids, the great devourers, who consume entire worlds as they invade the galaxy from extra-galactic space; and finally the T'au, a highly advanced technical empire in the eastern reaches of the Ultima Segmentum.

The Galaxy Map depicts the unofficial known locations of but a few of the worlds that make up the Warhammer 40,000 universe.  The history of these planets may be found in the tomes and writings of the Imperial Archives  and the ancient books of the Black Library (the rulebooks, codices, and other publications of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 hobby).  Imperial scholars are encouraged to research these works and report their findings to Dark Millennia so that the histories and locations of planets of significance may be known to all and properly documented herein.

The Milky Way Galaxy is a spiral galaxy of around 200 billion stars.  It resembles a giant, flat disc of stars forming spiral arms, 100,000 light years (LY) in diameter and 1200 LY in thickness (one light year is the distance light travels in a year, or approximately 5.878 trillion miles!).  The Earth is approximately 24,000 LY from the center of the galaxy.

The Galaxy Map is divided into 2000 X 2000 X 1200 light year "quadrants" of space.  A quadrant is further divided into six hundred 200 X 200 X 200 LY cubes of space, called "sectors."  Each sector may be sub-divided into "subsectors."  Each subsector is a cube of space ten or twenty light years per side and contains planet systems that are inhabited with a significant population of intelligent beings.  Note that at present, only the quadrants are depicted on the Galaxy Map.  If a planet system of historical significance is located within a quadrant, it will be depicted as a symbol within the quadrant on the Galaxy Map.

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