From: California, USA
Counter-clockwise, is our popular representaion of our solar system.
Planets do have a magnetic north and south pole that we relate to to view a north and south for our solar system. According to that perspective then our planets move counter-clockwise. Some stellar objects, like some individual comets, but not all, in our system orbit counter to our planets.
I'm not sure how the orientation of other solar systems in our galaxy is in relation to ours; like if they all have their planets' magnetic norths, and thus their solar systems, facing the same as ours. Probably the solar systems are not all oriented the same. Other galaxies are not oriented the same. Galaxies are flipped all sorts of ways in the Hubble 'Deep Field' pictures and other pictures.
It's all a matter of perspective. In space, in the universe zoom, there is no up or down.
We do have a galactic plane that we use an up and down idea to help us view positions of stellar objects. In our system, a ship could flip around to look in all directions and it would still seem level to people inside. A planet would seem to turn upside down but the people's orientation would shortly readjust.
"The planets, most of the satellites of the planets and the asteroids revolve around the Sun in the same direction, in nearly circular orbits. When looking down from above the Sun's north pole, the planets orbit in a counter-clockwise direction. The planets orbit the Sun in or near the same plane, called the ecliptic. Pluto is a special case in that its orbit is the most highly inclined (18 degrees) and the most highly elliptical of all the planets. Because of this, for part of its orbit, Pluto is closer to the Sun than is Neptune. The axis of rotation for most of the planets is nearly perpendicular to the ecliptic. The exceptions are Uranus and Pluto, which are tipped on their sides."
"Formation of celestial systems
When a galaxy or a planetary system forms, its material takes the shape of a disk. Most of the material orbits and rotates in one direction. This uniformity of motion is due to the collapse of a gas cloud. The nature of the collapse is explained by the principle called conservation of angular momentum."
So, if Distant Worlds is set in our Milky Way galaxy then the system view is looking up from the galactic south. If Distant Worlds is set in another galaxy then the system view can be considered to be looking down from the galactic north.
I like to consider Distant Worlds set in another galaxy. If there is no Sol/Earth system set in game then it can be a different galaxy. There would obviously be some history involved to explain Humans in that galaxy also... unless the Humans are a seperate humanoid evolved in that other galaxy.
< Message edited by Wade1000 -- 3/28/2010 4:14:48 AM >
Wish list:population centers beyond planetary(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture):Ships,Ring Orbitals,Sphere Orbitals,Ringworlds,Sphereworlds;ability to create & destroy planets,population centers,stars;AI competently using all advances & features.