Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Come hither to and wander our glorious Galaxy.

It is day 45, and over this last session, I have travelled quite a distance, having spent more time in the game than usual. I have "touched", or been through 7 star fields getting back onto my original track along the galactic spiral arm. I seem to be making a lot of progress now, and still enjoying the trip immensely. The systems that had previously been discovered, were in the Crescent Nebula, although I am wondering if I will now come across a system with a Cmdr's name on it.

Distance covered4062.3 Ly
Number of jumps148
Systems surveyed100
Systems undiscovered145

I suppose one could say that I have reached a mini milestone. I have now jumped over 10k Ly. It may not sound much, especially when you consider it alongside of the great explorers out there, but for me, it feels great!

One of the great things about using a spread sheet, is the fact that with a little bit of programming, it is easy to start generating some interesting facts about this exploration trip. The table below shows a summary for the trip so far.

Distance covered11,226.4 Ly
Number of jumps407
Total Star Fields10
Largest Star Field65 Jumps
Shortest Star Field7 Jumps
Total Scoop-able Suns382
Total UN-Scoop-able Suns25

This part of the journey has been much faster as I have skipped surveying on the systems that just have a sun and a few icy bodies, especially when these bodies are really spread out. It simply is not worth the time to jaunt all over the system and waiting for each body to scan for 500 credits per body. I have however been scanning the major sun after scooping as I am usually no more than a few hundred Ls away and they scan pretty fast.

I have made a good observation on myself. When taking the pain killers called Tramadol, (which I have mentioned in a previous post), the side effects really do come into play. I have noticed my hand-eye coordination reduced considerably, and often, I have nearly crashed into a planet on the approach for scanning. It is true what they say, don't drive when taking these tablets. Lesson learnt!


It is now becoming a job to find some really worth while pictures to post, as many planets look quite similar, however there are some exceptions and still some jewels. I have noticed that in the systems I have visited, where the planets have an atmosphere, this atmosphere appears much thicker. Case in point, are these shots below:

Water World
High Metallic World
Water World
Water World
High Metallic World with an Ice Pack
High Metallic World
The atmospheres on the water worlds were both oxygen and carbon dioxide and were candidates for transformation. Which I find strange if there were no land masses. Perhaps the terraforming process allows land mass creation too. Who knows what is possible in Elite Dangerous timeline!

Galactic Jewels

I think I perhaps spend more time trying to get into a good position to take these images. They make look boring, but I find these really interesting and try to take reference shots where I can. It seems that often, a pair of bodies that are very close to each other, that would make a superb picture, are simply not worth spending time on, as either one eclipses the other or there simply isn't enough light to make them look great. Perhaps I am too fussy, but there you go,

As mentioned above there are still many jewels to be found. I am still in awe at some of these amazing planet textures.

Such vivid colours for this twinned body. Note the great constellation in the distance.

Volcanic regions showing up quite well. It was a pity that this rock had an atmosphere or I would have landed and checked them out.

The Great Lakes - or should that be landlocked oceans!

Spotty Dick - or if you are into cheese, "Mayfield".

There are quite a few yellow bodies like this, but the first so far with obvious lakes.

The Planet of Gold. Simply stunning!

A Class Y Dwarf  with a massive ring system.

Saved for a desktop picture.

Well.... I hope you have enjoyed these images and this post in my blog. I haven't really said that much, as I would prefer to let the images do the talking. If you have read down to here, thank you. But most of all, thank you too all of my visitors across the world. I didn't realise that Elite Dangerous had such a wide audience. There are still many aspects of this game that leave me speechless.

Those of you that have visited before, you may notice that there is now an animation on the side bar. If you find that this slows done the loading of the page considerably, or notice any other strange anomalies, please let me know via a comment, Twitter, or in the forums,


Monday, 14 March 2016

Day 37 - Detour to a Nebula

Although the title says Day 37, this post covers the last few days or so. I have spent many hours travelling along the spiral arm, and discovered to my delight, that a Nebula was getting reasonably close and well worth taking a look at, even though it meant my traversal with respect to distance from SOL wouldn't change much.

But first a few details:

Distance covered2,7102 Ly
Number of jumps98
Systems surveyed70
Systems undiscovered95

Surveying 70 systems is quite time consuming, so this should give a good indication at hour many hours I have spent doing this! The only systems out here that had already been discovered were around the nebula; quite a small amount in reality, but certainly expected. In this particular session I traversed across 3 star fields and was quite nice to see different systems in my spreadsheet which I have to admit, was looking rather repetitive.

Considering how far I have travelled so far, which is around 5000 Ly, it makes me wonder about the kind of players that will be embarking on the 2nd Annual Voyager Challenge, which is 60,000 Ly in 40 hours. I think these folks have to be exceptionally dedicated or bordering on the verge of madness!

The Core

How often do you view the core? Does it change much in your travels? Well, as I was nearing the nebula, I noticed that the core was becoming clouded over quite significantly.

Cloudy Core

This wasn't due to the nebula I was visiting, but most probably due to the density of Red Dwarf Stars in the line of sight. The image below demonstrates my reasoning. Of course I may be wrong, but seems to make sense to me. At a distance these darker stars would appear to be cloud like.

A very dense star field

Binary Bodies

Often, when exploring systems you come across 2 bodies which orbit each other. I have begun to start looking at them, not only because they can make some excellent screen shots, but also to see if whether the bodies are very similar or very different. As expected there are both. Sometimes they are in such a great position that the lighting is just perfect, but others the are in deep shadow and very difficult to get some decent pictures of them.

Almost twins.

These next 2 images, sadly were not in the right orbit to take a single picture of them, but both of these were within a couple of Ls between each other, and were very similar.

"Why have got so many pictures of twinned bodies?" I hear you ask... Well, these make great desktop images and my screen saver is set up to cycle between all of my favourites. I am slowly running out of drive space, so I need to start to be more picky... (or get another SSD drive!).

Another pair of similar twins

Similar twins

Often finding twinned bodies orbiting a Gas Giant.

Then there are those that different.

More diverse, but still twinned.

Then there is the very diverse. A water world twinned with a rocky body.

Fruity Bodies

A rather bruised orange.

A rather bruised lemon.

Almost an apple

A pear?

Nebula Detour

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I have made a detour to a nebula. Now this is not the most exciting nebula in the galaxy, but having a peek at. This is the Crescent Nebula and you can locate it on the galaxy map by typing in Crescent. It was about 800 Ly from the way-point I had reached, so it was a good time to have a change in direction.

The Crescent Nebula as from a few hundred Ly away.

The nebula looks much better and defined when further away, so as you approach jump by jump, it seems to dissipate. The central star, and one you can use as a way-point is CRESCENT SECTOR DL-Y E6, and this is the one with the neutron star. Be careful once you jump into the system as you will be very close to this body, so turn your ship around and get away from it. It is very surprising at how close you need to get to actually see this Neutron Star as something bigger than a dot. I had to admit, I didn't get too close I I had no wish to crash and loose all of my exploration data. There is a great picture of it here using the Hubble palette, together with a brief informative description.

The neutron star is the bottom left star of the triangle.

So.... what other bodies were in this system? They were certainly NOT ordinary and made this detour quite memorable,

Definitely noteworthy

Not much light in this nebula to show these dark bodies with a lot of detail.

This central system to the Crescent Nebula was quite a dark and foreboding place. Needless to say it left me a little apprehensive about parking the for the night, so after taking a few pictures, I decided to retire in a nearby system where I felt safer. It seems strange, that a game can affect one so much; this is most definitely an atmospheric system, filled with darkness and radiation. I have to admit I am glad to have seen such a system, but also glad to be off again into the wonders of the galaxy.

Would I recommend anyone to visit this nebula? I am not sure. It is most certainly one of the smaller nebulae, and perhaps graphically, a little disappointing, but if you are within say 500 Ly of here, then yes, pay a visit and grab yourself an extra 43 - 46k credits.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

My Gut Instincts were Correct

After 4 jumps and coming across what can only be described as what at first seemed to be an ordinary system, I decided that after surveying all of it, that I may as well do a little more prospecting for this elusive Polonium. I wondered whether the fact that the main star was a G type star would make any difference. All of the bodies that orbited this star were "High Metallic Content" with over 30% of metal, so it had to be worth a look.

The first body, which was closest to the system was tough work as the surface was very lumpy, with many hills, potholes, and a conglomeration of speed bumps and small ridges. I persevered a little bit, but gave up when I found some Molybdenum in an Outcrop. To this day, I have never found both Polonium and Molybdenum on the same planet, so time to move on.

The second body appeared to be a good candidate as after dismissing my ship, and to my great surprise, there were lots of signals on the wave scanner, including what could have been a Metallic Meteorite. As usual I drove around removing all of those signals to try uncover the one I was after. Often you can get signals overlaying others which can make looking for one kind of signal more difficult. After clearing the area, I found what I was looking for, and hey presto... Polonium!

This body really does have a lot of useful materials, and perhaps most diverse range so far. Hare are just a few. Some you would expect, yes.
So a most useful planet to drive around.

Now I am in business

As you can see from the list above I have enough Yttrium and Polonium for 10 of the 100% boosted jumps. 10 is a good number in case I want to make the leap into the dark, but more importantly, get back again.

As I mentioned earlier, this seemed to be an ordinary system, but check these out below. Kinda normal in their own right but all together in the same system, and Polonium to boot, this is kinda special. These planetary bodies were orbiting a secondary star.

Many Water worlds and most of them different in some way.

So pretty...

This is a planet I would love to land on and explore.

From 2 jumps previous to this stop off, I just had to include the next three images, including my first Earth Like World on the trip so far:

First Earth like world on this trip.

A Mars type world with an atmosphere.

Another Water world.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Day 30 - has it really been that long ?

I feel as if I have been zapped into the future. From the restart, which seems like only a couple of days ago, I think I am now on day 30, which is pretty much a month taken on this crusade. But no worries, I have made some progress on this session.

This session started in the Swoiwns star field followed by the complete traversal of the Prooe Drye star field and I am now moving across the Prae Drye star field. Some weird names there and I am sure there will be more.

Distance covered2,777 Ly
Number of jumps102
Systems surveyed83
Systems undiscovered90

As you can see I haven't surveyed every system I have come across. Feeling the need to make progress along the spiral arm, I have skipped a few. Those systems were what I would consider to be way too spread out with only a few ice planets. Ice planets don't really help the credit gains that come from exploration, even though they are the "bread and butter" planets.

Even though these ice planets could be considered to be boring, some of them have some great surfaces. One of them, shown below, was in the one of the Swoiwns's systems and had it not had an atmosphere, I would have landed and got some shots of the mountainous regions.

Ice body found in the Swoiwns 

Still in the Swoiwns system, uncommon ring patterns.
This is another ice body, but has an unusual ring pattern with distinct gaps.

When I look at my screen dump directory I see that I have made just over 60. I clear this out after each post as I don't really have the disc space to clog up with images, so these are all new images from this session.

I have discovered, that I have this "thang" for Blue Gas Giants, as there are quite a few of them in there. I don't know why this is, but I find them relaxing to look at, and find that these make a good backdrop for my desktop background. I appear to have a small collection of these now and no doubt I will have many more before this long excursion ends.

This planet below is of the type that will gain you between 36 - 54k credits being one of these candidates for terraforming. This body has an atmosphere of Carbon Dioxide, and a make up of 66.8% rock and 33.2% metal with a gravity of 0.51G. It would make living there fun to say the least if it were to be used for habitation. If we did move there, I doubt the beautiful ice caps would last for long, as seem to have a habit of warming things up too much.

Candidate for terraforming.

This next picture is one I have saved for a desktop background. As you can see there is this blue gas giant in the background. Notice the lack of stars. The further I go out, the less dense the star field in some directions.

Rocky body in a close orbit with a gas giant.

Still in the Swoiwns system

I nearly landed on this planet, shown above, but around 90% rock, I knew there wouldn't be many materials that I am currently looking for. Shame really as the views might have been stunning.

Almost twins

There are quite a few binary bodies in many of the systems, and sometimes you are rewarded with a pair in close proximity of a gas giant, which are very common on most systems.

The shot above, is perhaps I think the best one of this session. The large ice rings looked different from a distance and getting closer was rewarded by this image of seemingly cloud like ice particles. The gas giant also has a fantastic texture with a typical storm in the upper atmosphere, with a lovely wake pattern.

Prooe Dyre Star Field

3 candidates for terraforming
A few jumps into the Prooe Dyre star field, I came across a system that had 3 candidates for terraforming, which was a great surprise. Normally there is just the one, but 3 at once was simply great. I doubt this is a record, but certainly noteworthy.

The further out I get, the more I find interesting systems. If this is the case for the future, then I cant wait to see what comes up next.

The image below shows the largest system I discovered so far. It took around 20 seconds for the system map to appear, and I thought I had lost connection to the servers, but was probably due to the amount of data that was transferred together with the rendering process. Yes... I did survey each and every body. Well worth the time taken and look... lots of blue gas giants for my collection!

With asteroid belts, 81 objects in this system.

One of these moons had Silicate Vapour Geysers, so it was worth landing on to see if I could locate any Polonium. Sadly I didn't find any, just the usual very common materials, and a little Molybdenum. I currently have enough materials for 6 of the largest jumps, but would like some more if possible.

This planet looks like it has mould growths.

Noticeable lack of craters. Perhaps there was not a lot of asteroid activity, or perhaps lucky?

A rather bruised Orange perhaps.

Prae Dyre Star Field

Moving into the Prae Dyre star field made a nice change as it defined another point in the expedition. This my 4th star field so far and I am sure there will be plenty more. Again there are some interesting bodies to be found.

I discovered another system with Silicate Vapour Geysers so, it was time to have another gander for Polonuim. I was exceedingly lucky as I just happened to land 450m away from a Metallic Meteorite, but to my dismay this is what was produced:

Selenuim x 1
Molybdenum x 2
Yttrium x 3

It was an amazing haul from one meteorite, but I only have enough space left for a few Polonium, so I left it there. I managed to find quite a bit of Yttrium whilst preparing for this long trip, so I already have more than enough.

The planet next door, which was quite close, was worth a peek too, so I took some more time out for polo-hunting, (a new term for this blog).

What I did find, more luck than judgement, was a deep cliff, that spanned as far as they eye could see, It was great to see such a feature, but a real shame that the side of the cliff had not been textured at all and just followed the shades that were defined in the texture above.

No polonium of course. This really does seem to be most rare. Perhaps I may get lucky on another planet.

I am 18 jumps into the Prae Dyre star field, and I suspect there may be another 30 odd before I find myself in the next. As you know I have been keeping track of things using a spreadsheet, so I will be able to provide some basic statistics and analysis at some point in the near future. So watch this space.

Congrats if you have made it to the end of this post. I hope it hasnt been boring to you, and that some of the images you will find unusual or to your liking. As they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

And finally... A hires screenshot of my asp.

My Asp sporting the default colour scheme.