From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide

NOTE: This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title If an article link referred you here, you might want to go back and fix it to point directly to the intended page.

BSG WIKI disambig.png This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title.
If an article link referred you here, you might want to go back and fix it to point directly to the intended page. Also, if you wanted to search for the term "Algae", click here.


The Fleet above the algae planet.
Colonial base camp on the surface.

The algae planet is an unnamed, habitable world possessing a debris ring, and oceans and seas on its surface. It orbits an unstable sun, and is located in close proximity to an intense, blinding, and highly radioactive star cluster.

After the fleet of surviving Colonial ships discovers its food stores are contaminated and sends out scouts to search for a new food source, Sharon Agathon returns from her recon of the planet and confirms that edible, protein-rich algae grows there. The fleet makes the dangerous crossing of the star cluster, and sets up stations on the planet to harvest and process the algae (TRS: "The Passage").

Two weeks later, as harvesting is wrapping up, Galen Tyrol is inexplicably drawn to a mysterious structure, the Temple of Five, which was built by the Thirteenth Tribe approximately four thousand years before. The Sacred Scrolls describe this as the location of the Eye of Jupiter, an artifact that can potentially point the way to the Thirteenth Tribe's destination, Earth. Shortly afterwards, a Cylon fleet appears over the planet, also seeking the Eye, leading to the Battle of the Algae Planet (TRS: "The Eye of Jupiter").

As predicted by Felix Gaeta, the planet's unstable sun eventually goes nova. Before escaping the planet's surface, Tyrol realizes that the nova itself is the clue, leading the fleet to the location of a similar nova millennia earlier. Both fleets jump away just as the nova's shockwave consumes and obliterates the planet (TRS: "Rapture").

After the battle, John Cavil questions Ellen Tigh about the events on the planet. Ellen confirms that the Final Five visited the planet on the way to the Twelve Colonies but they had nothing to do with the vision D'Anna Biers had of them while in the Temple of Five (TRS: "Rapture").


  • Algae are simple aquatic organisms. Many are actually processed on the real-world Earth for use, among other things, as nutritional additives or foods.
  • The algae planet parallels New Caprica as an intermediate home on the journey to Earth and appears to be a much more hospitable environment for human life. Its suitability as a permanent home, though, is rendered moot by the status of its sun, coupled with the fact that, like Kobol, it offers no protection from the Cylons.
  • While there is no explanation outright given for Tyrol's ability to sense the Temple of Five while on the planet, its likely he was subconsciously guided there by his buried memories as he and the Final Five had visited the planet on their way to the Colonies.

See also[edit]

Battle of the Algae Planet
Cylons and Colonials converge on a planet where the Eye of Jupiter is located
Cylons and Colonials converge on a planet where the Eye of Jupiter is located
Conflict: Second Cylon War
Date: Fourteen days into algae harvesting
Related Episode(s):
Place: Algae planet
Result: Withdrawal of both sides
Colonials gain Earth waypoint
Hera Agathon retrieved
Capture of Gaius Baltar and Caprica-Six
Boxing of all Number Three units
Remnants of the Colonial Fleet Cylons
Admiral William Adama
Major Lee Adama
Basestar command
In orbit:Galactica, Vipers, Raptors

On surface:
1 Raptor,
approx. 12 Marines,
Unknown number of drafted civilians
In orbit:Four Basestars, 1 Resurrection Ship, associated Raiders, Heavy Raiders

On surface:
2 Heavy Raiders,
at least six Centurions,
One Cavil and one Number Three
Materiel Losses
1 Raptor damaged,
supplies left on planet
2 Heavy Raiders,
Approximately 15 Centurions
Omar Fischer, Hillard and a Marine All Number Three units deactivated
One Number One (temporarily)
Battle Chronology
Previous Next
Battle of NCD2539 Battle of the Algae Planet Battle of the Ionian Nebula

The Battle of the Algae Planet occurs when the discovery of a mysterious religious artifact leads to a standoff between Galactica and Cylon forces.

Shortly after the Temple of Five is discovered during day 14 of the Fleet's food-collection operations on the algae planet, four Cylon basestars jump into orbit. Admiral William Adama orders all civilian ships to escape to emergency jump coordinates (keeping Galactica behind to support the ground team) as the Cylons discreetly deploy one Heavy Raider to the planet's surface.

Uncharacteristically, the Cylons do not attack, but seek a parley with the Colonials. After a wireless transmission from the basestars to Galactica, Gaius Baltar, a Number Three, a Cavil, and Boomer of the basestars' command group come to Galactica in order to negotiate for control of the Eye of Jupiter, reported to be in the temple. The Cylons claim that if they gain possession, they will leave the Fleet alone and turn over Baltar. Admiral Adama delivers an ultimatum: attempt to land on the planet and Galactica will destroy the temple with a nuclear strike. The meeting ends in a stalemate. Also, Boomer informs Athena of Hera's survival which she doesn't believe, but learns its true after Adama confronts Roslin about it later.

The Cylons soon jam all Colonial wireless frequencies, but not before Colonial command manages to relay most of the situation. On the surface, Major Adama plans a defense for the temple, placing Samuel Anders in command of all civilians present, and using Captain Thrace's Raptor, the only one on the surface, for reconnaissance. Chief Galen Tyrol and his team place G-4 packs around the Temple's central spire to destroy the Temple in the event of its compromise.

Meanwhile, Cylon Centurions from the first Heavy Raider build a surface-to-air missile battery. As Starbuck conducts her reconnaissance, she encounters the battery. Evasive maneuvers by Starbuck avoid a direct hit, but her Raptor is disabled and crash-lands.

Six Heavy Raiders are deployed from the basestars toward the planet as part of the Cylons' plan to both defend Baltar and a Three, D'Anna Biers, who are heading to the temple and to call Admiral Adama's bluff.

Admiral Adama counters by preparing Galactica's nuclear arsenal, arming seven missiles at the surface (missile tubes 4 through 10) to obliterate the temple (TRS: "The Eye of Jupiter").

The Cylons realize that Adama's threat must be taken seriously, and order recall all but one of the Heavy Raiders (an internal dispute with their Number Three units and the other Cylons prevent the last recall). Admiral Adama reconsiders the risk and rescinds the missile launch.

On the planet, both Starbuck and her Raptor are generally intact after the crash, but the Raptor's fly-by-wire system is damaged and the pilot has serious burns to her hands, making it impossible to fly.

Lieutenant Anastasia Dualla is assigned SAR detail with Sergeant Fischer, who is killed in a sniper attack. Dualla manages to reach the Raptor, and, after repairing the damaged avionics, return Starbuck to Galactica, despite her lack of flight training.

Sharon Agathon, having learned of her daughter's survival, decides to rescue her from the Cylons. In a desperate move, she has Helo shoot and kill her allowing her to download into a new body on the Cylon Resurrection Ship nearby. Sharon gets lucky and is greeted at her resurrection by Caprica-Six who is sympathetic enough to take her to her daughter who is being cared for by Boomer. Hera instantly recignizes her mother and calms down, and Sharon determines that Hera likely has a blocked intestine and her only chance is to go back to Galactica and have Doctor Cottle treat her. Boomer threatens to kill Hera, but Sharon convinces Caprica-Six to help and she kills Boomer and helps Sharon and Hera escape on a Raptor to Galactica where Caprica-Six is taken prisoner and Hera is taken to Doctor Cottle for treatment.

Major Adama's team place tylium bombs within a narrow trail where the terrain would require any enemy forces to walk through. Three Cylons enter the kill zone, but detect the bomb before all of them are inside the zone. The Colonial's detonation mostly disables one Centurion, and two retreat, but Hillard is killed. After a later offensive by the two remaining Cylons, Major Adama calls for a withdrawal of Colonial forces and the destruction of the Temple. Chief Tyrol refuses Major Adama's order and this delays the detonation.

When the Colonials activate the detonator, nothing happens. A small Cylon team, including deposed president Gaius Baltar, had entered the Temple moments before and removed the G-4's detonator caps.

The Cylons' official intention, to retrieve information on the whereabouts of Earth, are ignored by D'Anna Biers in the Temple. A Cavil model assigned with the group attempts to kill the Three, but Baltar kills the Cavil unit. The Three then uses the temple's vision mechanism to see the faces of the Final Five but it kills her afterwards before she can tell Baltar who any of the Five are.

The Colonials witness the star's nova event. Not wishing to be caught in the shockwave, all Cylon forces jump away. The star's appearance tells the Colonials that the star itself, not anything within, is the Eye of Jupiter marker. The Colonials quickly investigate the Temple to find Baltar, who is rendered unconscious and captured.

All Colonials are quickly retrieved by Raptor back to Galactica, which escapes as the nova shockwave tears through the star system and destroys the planet.

Lieutenant Gaeta is able to use the information about the nova to discern the next waypoint: the Ionian nebula.

The Cylons, failing to obtain information from the Temple due to the unauthorized actions of the Number Three models to seek the forbidden identities of the missing five humanoid Cylons, intentionally deactivate all Number Three models throughout the Cylon race (TRS: "Rapture").

Through various means of tracking one of the Colonial's fuel ships, the Cylons continue their pursuit of the Fleet (TRS: "The Son Also Rises", "Crossroads, Part I").

Aftermath and Impact[edit]

This battle sets some of the seeds of the Cylon Civil War. D'Anna learns the identities of the Final Five and as such her entire line is boxed by Cavil to keep the secret safe. When the Sixs, Eights and Twos figure out that the Final Five are in the human fleet, their demad for D'Anna's unboxing is one of the things that leads to the Civil War. The need to unbox D'Anna leads to the alliance between human and rebel Cylon and the Battle of the Resurrection Hub which results in D'Anna's unboxing and the destruction of Cylon resurrection forever. Using the knowledge gained here, she exposes four of the Final Five but doesn't reveal the fifth as she belives that Cylon is dead (she was but she downloaded into a new body and became Cavil's prisoner). Also during the battle Gaius Baltar is captured and removed from Cylon hands, taking away their main source of knowledge about how to find Earth. Hera Agathon is resuced by her mother and Caprica-Six also giving the Colonials a valuable Cylon prisoner and taking away the hybrid child the Cylons so desperatly wanted.


  • Galactica departs Ragnar Anchorage with five nuclear warheads. One warhead is cannibalized to create Gaius Baltar's Cylon detector (Bastille Day) and ultimately detonated by Gina Inviere on Cloud 9 (Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II). A second warhead is used to destroy a Cylon basestar above Kobol in "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II", leaving Galactica with three. Galactica probably obtained additional warheads from Pegasus at some point prior to her destruction in "Exodus, Part II".
  • In "The Eye of Jupiter," it is said and shown that four basestars arrive for the battle, but in "Rapture" only three are shown in shots of the Cylon fleet and jumping away at the end. There's no explanation for the disappearence of the fourth basestar. Also, initaly there's no sign or mention of a Resurrection Ship, but one appears when Athena downloads.
  • Ironically, while D'Anna Biers is searching for the identities of the Final Five, three and possibly four of them are in the vicinity of the algae planet when she sees their faces: Saul Tigh is aboard Galactica, and Samuel Anders and Galen Tyrol are on the planet itself. Ellen Tigh is Cavil's secret prisoner aboard a basestar, but it is unclear if that basestar is part of the Cylon task force at the planet. Tory Foster is with the rest of the fleet, having jumped away at the start of the battle.
An article from

The various chemicals, elements and other substances found in the Re-imagined Series vary from the familiar to the outright strange.

The Fleet's Eats[edit]

Colonial technology is sufficiently advanced to allow battlestars to work almost autonomously for years, but for the motley of stranded civilian ships that form Galactica's charge, the matter of food and drink for nearly 50,000 humans while migrating through interstellar space is a very serious matter.

It was through a matter of good fortune that the Fleet comprises of many ships that provide the raw materials needed for generating food products. Most of these ships were freighters that were making their routine commercial runs between Colonial ports-of-call, much like America's interstate trucking system delivers goods between cities. Some ships, such as the Kimba Huta, carried actual foodstuffs such as meat. Others, such as Galactica and the Celestra were built for long-term spacefaring. Most of the other ships of the Fleet, like the Virgon Express, were never designed for long-term flight and are missing the basics needed for extended flight. In particular, food and drink must be provided for through other means.

In "Water", Dr. Gaius Baltar notes the amount of consumables he estimates that the Fleet's citizens require each week:

"The current civilian population of 45,265 will require, at minimum, 82 tons of grain, 85 tons of meat, 119 tons of fruit, 304 tons of vegetables and ... 2.5 million jps of water."


As stated in the episode "Water", Galactica has the ability to recycle almost all of its water supply. However, it must tank off water to ships which cannot recycle as efficiently.

Dr. Baltar uses the term "JP" as a unit of liquid volume for water [1]. However, this unit of measure is not further defined. If Baltar's estimation of water units per week is divided by the population count, the result is:

2500000/45265 = 55.2303

This is the number of JPs needed at minimum per survivor per week. Dividing this number by 7 (assuming that the Colonial week has seven days as it does on Earth, given no other official reference that can be used):

55.2303/7 = 7.9 JPs per colonist per day

A minimum average of 1 gallon, or approximately 4 liters or 8 pints, is needed for a typical human. As water is also used for personal hygiene, cleaning, and shipboard functions related to cooling or heating a spacecraft per person, the unit of JPs, if approximated as pints, means that Dr. Baltar's numbers are realistic: Each Colonial requires 8 or so pints of water per day.

The matter of water consumption for ships that cannot recycle is still a question not answered in the series. Galactica is fortunate to find a planet containing water to refill its stores, and it is logical that the Fleet takes in as much water as it can reasonably carry to all ships. However, waste will still occur. The only way that the Fleet can manage to stay space-borne is to "close the loop," or recycle the water that cannot normally be recycled. When Pegasus was in the Fleet, this process might have been easier if other Fleet ships are able to tank off their waste water to either of the two battlestars, then tank up with potable water as the battlestar's recycling abilities refreshed the waste water.


Dr. Baltar uses "tons" to measure out the amount of food required per colonist.

As noted in "The Farm", the Fleet has ships that carry frozen food that was intended for export to other cities or colonies.

In the episode "The Passage" more information is given on how the Fleet feeds itself. The Colonials suffer another supply shortage. The Fleet's raw food storage has been contaminated in some way. Based on dialogue, there is a primary "good food" storage and a recycled storage where it is reprocessed for use. The episode's writer, Jane Espenson, notes that, in an draft of the script, the Fleet's meat was generated from cloning[2].

Food is measured in energy by calories (technically, kilocalories) on the real-world Earth. Battlestar Galactica has not provided any counterpart to this unit of measure, nor is there any indication as to the type of foodstuffs generated by the Fleet's food system--that is, the "nutrition facts" for the food in carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vitamins. For now, it is impossible to determine how effective the Fleet's food system is in keeping everyone sufficiently fed.


The algae protein bar.

After a harrowing trek through a dangerous star cluster, the Fleet finds a planet containing algae that can be reconstituted into food. Dr. Cottle noted that the algae, while tough to digest, was also almost pure protein. For the most part, this should satisfy the nutritional needs, as the human body can also convert most proteins into the body's fuel, carbohydrates, thanks to other organs in the body. This same process is also what happens when your body has too little energy: in a starvation state, the body will break down its own muscle tissue into fuel.

One possible natural algae that could have been found on the algae planet is spirulina, which is rich in protein.

After obtaining enough algae from the planet, the Fleet is able to turn it into various foodstuffs: algae mash, algae crackers, and algae protein bars. However, some in the Fleet, like Nicholas Tyrol, are allergic to the mash and an alternate food source is alluded to (TRS: "The Ties That Bind").

The Tylium Question[edit]

Tylium is a curious substance in the universe where the Twelve Colonies resides. Used by both Colonials and their foes, tylium has the properties of a mineral or fossil fuel in as that the substance is mined and refined. Like some fossil fuels, tylium isn't useable until refined. While the ore can't be detonated, its precursor (similar to refined crude oil before its refinement into gasoline and other products) is very explosive. The fuel itself isn't as explosive as precursor, however.

So, is tylium a made-up substance or would it have a counterpart or comparative substance to the elements we know of here on the real-world Earth?

One speculation is that tylium can possibly be similar to Helium-3 [3]. Helium-3 is a primordial component in the Earth's crust, is deposited via solar wind on moons and asteroids. But, while helium-3 has potential as an energy source, the amount of energy needed to ignite it (fusion) would be more than the energy it would expel for use as an energy by-product.

There is a problem with this speculation in that helium-3 is a gas, not a mineral or solid element. A tylium counterpart should be a solid, non-radioactive, and likely non-organic substance. Coal would fit the tylium concept were it not a fossil fuel, which would suggest that life forms existed and died on the celestial bodies where the substance is mined. Perhaps another element from the Periodic Table could be a counterpart of tylium.

Tylium could be an exotic primordial compound. Research by astronomers, spectrographic analysis among them, has found compounds which do not normally form on Earth, but are formed and stabilized within the unique conditions of space. Tylium could be one such compound, which would in part explain why the Colonial scouts were looking at asteroid belts rather then planets to find it. Tylium could be a primordial compound that is destabilized on contact with other elements, such as oxygen, that are commonly found on terrestrial worlds.

Tylium is seen as a petroleum-like fuel and as refined ore in the episode "Dirty Hands".

Familiar Elements and Chemicals[edit]

Plutonium is a man-made element used primarily in the cores of nuclear weapons[4]. Gaius Baltar asks for the plutonium from one of the ship's nuclear warheads from Commander Adama to build his Cylon detector (TRS: "Bastille Day"). Baltar also mentions the use of tetrahydrocycline for the detector (TRS: "Water").

The Red Moon's atmosphere is composed mostly of carbon dioxide, methane and argon (TRS: "You Can't Go Home Again"). Oxygen is mentioned several times throughout the series.

Chief Tyrol asks for copper tubing when some his deckhands fail to build a proper distiller (TRS: "Litmus").

On Galactica, perishable goods are kept in titanium lockers (TRS: "Final Cut").

Chromium is known to the Colonials by this name, since "chrome job" is a slang term for Cylon Centurions (TRS: "Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance").


Doloxan is used in chemotherapy for cancer patients. Laura Roslin chooses to take chamalla extract instead, which does little for her cancer, but grants her remarkable side-effects.

Other drugs such as Vinagro, morpha, stims, and serisone have a logical counterpart to real-world drugs such as Viagra, morphine, stimulants such as amphetamines, or fluid-reduction treatments.

An unnamed drug is administered to Gaius Baltar in order to provoke an intense state of hallucinatory anxiety. This drug had been the property of the Colonial military prior to the fall of the Twelve Colonies (Taking A Break From All Your Worries).


  1. In the Season 3 episode "Dirty Hands", Baltar describes the culture of Aerilon as "going down to the pub for a pint", suggesting that Colonials also use the unit "pint." The term may also be intended to reflect Aerelon's culture as comparable to that of working-class Ireland, Scotland or Northern England.
  2. "Jane Espenson on post-The Passage questions," TV Squad, weblog, December 11, 2006.
  3. See Wikipedia's article on Helium-3 and this article by a private firm on the concept.
  4. The existence of this synthetic element means that the natural element it is derived from, uranium, exists in the world of the Re-imagined Series. (Etymological purists on the origins of the names of the Lords of Kobol may be annoyed that the Greek pantheon parallelism to the Lords of Kobol is disturbed again, for plutonium is named for Pluto, the Roman counterpart of the Greek god Hades).

For direct navigation sans the tabbed navigational aid above, please select one of the following article links: