New Chicago is 65 light-years (20 parsecs) from New Caledonia system and in the Beta Hortensis system. The atmosphere is very nearly Earth-normal and breathable without aids or filters. Gravity is 1.08 standard. The planetary radius is 1.05, and mass is 1.21 Earth-standard, indicating a planet of greater than normal density.
New Chicago is inclined at 41 degrees with a semi-major axis of 1.06 AU, moderately eccentric. The resulting variations in seasonal temperatures have confined the inhabited areas to a relatively narrow band in the south temperate zone. There is one moon at normal distance, commonly called Evanston. The origin of the name is obscure.
New Chicago is 70 percent seas. Land area is mostly mountainous with continuing volcanic activity. The extensive metal industries of the First Empire period were nearly all destroyed in the Secession Wars; reconstruction of an industrial base has proceded satisfactorily since New Chicago was admitted to the Second Empire in A.D. 2940.