Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Day 17: The seven sisters

After a bit of pondering upon how to determining where to explore first, I thought that I would start with some well known objects. One such set are the Messier Objects. As these are a mixture of nebulae, clusters and other galaxies, I can only visit those that are present within our galaxy. A list of objects, by type can be found at seds.

Some issues that immediately became clear were:
  1. Not all Messier objects (that are in our galaxy) are necessarily present in Elite. I can probably only find this out by visiting and seeing.
  2. You can search for any system in Elite by typing in its name. However, you have to be exact - spaces, dashes and such like can cause the search to fail. As most objects seem to have a multitute of names, each of these have to be typed in until the one that Elite uses is found.

    One solution to this is the list of objects in the elite dangerous explorers encyclopaedia. A useful list that I gives a number of Messier objects as well as other places of interest.

    One solution that has been given is to use the SIMBAD site as this will give alternative names for objects.
  3. The locations for astronomical objects is given in, what appears to be, spherical coordinates. For example, M45 (Pleiades or seven sisters) (SimBad Link) is given as "Right ascension", "Declination" and "Distance", whereas in Elite, objects are given coordinates in cartesian. I need to be able to convert between the two before I can successfully navigate to objects where the specific name is not present in Elite. It depends upon whether it will be quicker to figure it out myself or find a site that does it.
As a start, I selected the key stars in M45. I was rather surprised to find that there were 9 stars in the seven sisters, but that is because the parents (Atlas & Pleione) are also included. Getting there was fairly simple as each star was listed under their name, eg Electra, Atlas, etc. After visiting all of them, including the black hole in the Maia system, I went up to see if I could find any systems that hadn't been visited. Unfortunately, it was at that time I miss-timed a refuelling and overheated - destroying my nice new ship. Just as well I had the insurance.

After a quick rare goods run to ensure that I had replaced the insurance cost, I set off again, this time to a witch nebular. This led to some fantastic views, as can be seen here.

I have camped out in deep space, hoping to return home tomorrow.
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