- For information on 1980's Earth depicted in the Dynamite Entertainment comics, see: Earth (1980 alternate).
Much to the dismay of Adama and his Galactica crew, their brother tribe on Earth was underdeveloped technologically in comparison to the destroyed worlds of the Twelve Colonies of Man and would not be able to defend themselves from any Cylon encounters. At the time of their arrival, the year is 1980 A.D.
Earth's composition is very much astonishing to the Colonials. According to Adama, Earth's "proximity to the sun provides the only climate in the galaxy comfortably able to support life as we know it." Furthermore, he explains that seven-tenths of the Earth is ocean, which astonishes the council members and the Warriors present, but assures them that there's "plenty of room for all our people."
He further notes that the seven principal landmasses, two of which (Antartica and the North Pole) are polar ice caps, could be "easily reclaimed" by their technology (1980: "Galactica Discovers Earth, Part I" ).
At the time of 1980, nuclear power is a major concern on Earth, particularly due to the waste it generates. One of Earth's prominent nuclear physicists, Dr. Donald Mortinson, has been working on a theory to dissolve nuclear wastes (i.e. nuclear degeneration, a theory that Colonials are taught, though most apparently understand) for three years prior to the Galacticans arrival.
- Most of the Earth scenes in Galactica 1980 took place in Southern California, with the main exception of the time travel sequence to Nazi Germany (which still looked a lot like Southern California) and the trip that Troy and Dillon take to New York City.
- The memorable attack simulation by the Cylons, created by Doctor Zee, focuses particularly on Hollywood, as noted with the destruction of the Capitol Records Building. These scenes were recycled from the 1974 movie Earthquake, itself starring Lorne Greene (Adama).
- There were hints in the Original Series that Earth may be technologically advanced (e.g. Terra, the Silent One's drawing on Proteus). However, perhaps due to budgetary constraints in the sequel series, Earth was ultimately revealed to be the contemporary one.
- In the Galactica Discovers Earth novelization, Zee posits that, even with Galactican assistance, it will take 8 to 9 centuries before Earth could develop technology to withstand the Cylons.