Novus, Ancient for "New" is a planet in a distant galaxy where the Destiny expedition (apart from Dr. Nicholas Rush and Colonel David Telford) from an alternate timeline settled 2,000 years ago after being sent back in time when they tried dialing Earth from inside a Star. Novus was largely forested, and exhibits large areas of water.
Novus was colonized around 2,000 years prior to 2010 after the Destiny expedition arrived through the planet's Stargate. Initially unaware of what had happened, the expedition realized the planet they arrived at was unsuitable for their survival, so they scouted other worlds through the Stargate. After finding a more earthlike world, they awaited rescue by Destiny before deciding to settle in. Various names were suggested, including "Novus Mundus" which were voted on. Ultimately, "Novus" was selected with the consensus that "Mundus" was not a good name. After the vote, Eli Wallace recorded a log on the Kino he carried, announcing the name and the selected location for groundbreaking in creation of the settlement. Over the next decade, Lt. Matthew Scott and Colonel Everett Young scouted locations for an irrigation canal, with Lt. Tamara Johansen giving birth to the first child born on Novus.
Eventually, the planet became divided into two countries: Tenara and Futura. The name "Futura" was thought up by Dr. Adam Brody and the name "Tenara" means 'land of the young' or 'land of Young' in Ancient.
Each country was based on a distinct political philosophy. The Tenarans followed the teachings of a book called "The Testament", which was written by the some of the original settlers. The Futurans were formed by a splinter group that left the original settlement. They blamed Eli Wallace for their exile on Novus and believed that Dr. Nicholas Rush was still on board Destiny and would one day come and rescue them. They viewed Rush as something of a savior figure. (SGU: "Twin Destinies", "Common Descent", "Epilogue")
Several decades prior to 2010, Novus started becoming unstable, suffering severe earthquakes and volcanic eruptions caused by a rogue black hole that was approaching their solar system. These natural disasters become so severe that some thirty years prior to 2010, expeditions from Novus started scouting nearby worlds for colonization. Sometime after one particular expedition arrived on a suitable world, Novus' Stargate stopped responding to off world dialing attempts.
In 2010, Destiny arrived to Novus with the stranded colonists, only to find the planet suffering the aftermath of a presumed supervolcano eruption, which drove the planet into a state similar to nuclear winter. With Lt. Matthew Scott on an Ancient shuttle searching a city, the only signs of the previous civilization of millions were the still intact buildings; no signs of tracks were found in the snow and no smoke from fires were witnessed.
Eventually, a study of the Tenarans' archive revealed that the Stargate had been destroyed in a lava flow thirty years ago and the realization of their predicament caused the Tenarans and Futurans to set aside their differences and band together. They created Evacuation ships that lacked hyperdrives or a Faster-Than-Light engine and abandoned the planet for one of its colonies, which was ten days travel on Destiny but over two hundred years travel on the ships. After the Destiny expedition searched a fallout bunker in the Tenaran city and uploaded a third of the Tenaran database and a new substance to take the place of lime in the CO2 fliters, they abandoned the city and planet due to a massive fault line that was opening and consuming the city. (SGU: "Common Descent", "Epilogue")
- "Mundus Novus" is Latin for "The New World". "Novus" is Latin for "the new" or "new".