The planet Bespin was a gas giant that was about 118,000 kilometers in diameter. It had a solid core made of rethin followed by layers of metallic gases. Most of the layers of gas were poisonous, and the pressure and temperature were far above what a Human could tolerate. But from approximately 150 to 180 kilometers down from space, there was a habitable layer known as the Bespin life zone. This layer had an oxygen atmosphere with temperature and pressure suitable for Human life. It was in this layer that Cloud City was located. Like most gas giants, Bespin had a number of moons. It had a twelve-hour day, and completed a revolution around its star about every fourteen years.
The main economy on Bespin was the mining of tibanna gas. Tibanna gas was a very important resource used by both the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the Galactic Empire for powering weapons. When supercharged, the gas could fire a bolt of energy, resulting in the blaster shot. Spinsealed tibanna gas, which occurred naturally on Bespin, had the ability to quadruple the power of blaster bolts passing through it.
Most of the settlements on Bespin were mining colonies. While most of the commercial exploitation of Bespin was done by Figg & Associates, there were also a few gas prospectors. These lone pilots would search the skies for “gas strikes” in their ramshackle vessels, where plumes of deep gas would spurt into the high atmosphere due to internal storms deep below them.
Some gas prospectors would ride extremely close to storm systems in the hope of gaining many riches from a gas strike, only to vanish without trace in the massive and unpredictable storms.
Many animals existed in the high atmosphere of Bespin, included the beldon, a huge floating creature that excreted the tibanna gas that made Bespin famous. Velkers, rawwks, and tibannucks also lived in the atmosphere,
as well as many other exotic and brightly colored animals, many of which were never properly categorized, often called floaters. Some thrantas were transported to Bespin, thus allowing them to survive the destruction of their homeworld, Alderaan.
Floating in the gas giant’s skies were many different forms of algae and plankton. One kind of algae called “pinks” were so plentiful they gave the sky of Cloud City its distinctive color. Yet another form of algae called “glowers” gave the night side of Bespin a distinct purplish glow.