Epsilon Eridani system
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Not to be confused with the Eridanus system.
The Epsilon Eridani system (sometimes rendered ε Eridani) is a planetary system situated 10.5 light-years from Earth, is identified as a region in FLEETCOM Sector One. It was home to several habitable planets colonized by the Unified Earth Government, most notably Reach. At 10.5 light-years from its sister system, the Sol system and is one of the closest neighbors of humanity's homeworld.
In the summer of 2552, the Covenant invaded the system and attacked Epsilon Eridani's major colonies. Reach ultimately fell to the Covenant and was glassed, while Tribute was brutally assaulted and partially glassed. Following the Human-Covenant War, at least Tribute and Beta Gabriel had been resettled by humanity.
The first planetary confirmations of planet Reach in Epsilon Eridani occurred in the 21st-century.
The Epsilon Eridani system was recognized to have an improbably high number of habitable planets, a fact that was seen as serendipitous to the early colonization efforts. Initial colonization efforts in the system faced significant challenges in marshalling political and economic support. Interest in the system's colonization potential initially focused on Tribute and Circumstance, though it was Reach that would soon capture the attention of UEG planners.
Colonization and human hold
The system was originally colonized by the colony ship Odyssey with the first wave of humanity's extrasolar colonization in 2362, landing on Reach. Afterwards, Tribute was colonized on August 8, 2364 when CAA Casbah arrived and established the initial navigation and communication satellite constellation on the planet, with Circumstance following shortly after. By the late 25th century, the system had become home to many of the UNSC's strongholds and military bases, such as Reach. It was protected by the UNSC Epsilon Eridani Fleet. Before the Fall of Reach, Epsilon Eridani's superior interstellar jump point had been the most active Slipstream space transfer zone (arrivals and departures) for over thirty years, with Epsilon Eridani's inferior IJP and Sol's superior IJP regularly trading second and third place spots.
System wide assault
In 2552, the system came under attack by the Covenant. Initially, the Fleet of Valiant Prudence made landfall on Reach triggering WINTER CONTINGENCY. Soon after Teller Station of Site 17 in the system's Oort cloud was attacked by the fleet. At the same time as these events, the other colonies of Epsilon Eridani came under assault by the Covenant. By August 30, Reach was glassed. Combat continued on and around Tribute up until around November 2, when Covenant forces began attacking one another.
The Epsilon Eridani system is home to at least six planets, two asteroid belts and at least one minor planet. A massive Oort cloud is located on the outer edge of the system. At least five of the worlds that orbit Epsilon Eridani are known to be inhabited.
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