California Nebula

The California Nebula is a nebula approximately 1,000 ly away from Sol. It is lit by Menkib, a Class O star 1,244 ly away from Sol and 200 ly outside the nebula. The nebula itself is approximately 100 ly in diameter, and another nebula, NGC 1333, can be found below it.

HIP 12424, a small Imperial mining system on the fringe of the Core Systems, was once the closest human colony to the California Nebula at 950 ly away. Since late 3302, the Alliance has made a considerable infrastructure investment in the California Nebula, establishing numerous scientific facilities there along with outposts to link the region to the Core Systems.


The California Nebula first became of interest to the galactic community in June 3302 with the discovery of a Thargoid Barnacle site on planet C 6 in the California Sector DL-Y d4 system by CMDR Wooblytickle.[1] Additional sites were subsequently found elsewhere in the system, as well as in California Sector BA-A e6 and California Sector LC-V c2-10.

In October 3302, the Alliance deployed a flotilla to the California Nebula to study the Barnacles as well as a number of fungal structures called Bark Mounds that were discovered on the fourth planet of California Sector BA-A e6. On October 13, in a controversial move, the Alliance announced plans to build a research outpost there to continue studying the structures. The campaign was successful, and Mic Turner Base became the first colony in the California Nebula.[2][3]

The Alliance began expanding its presence in the California Nebula on December 22, with a second campaign personally overseen by Alliance Prime Minister Edmund Mahon. This resulted in the construction of Mahon Research Base in HIP 18077, intended to serve as a center for xenobiological and astronomical research.[4][5]

On April 11, 3303, the Asteroid Base Darwin Research Facility was quietly opened in the California Sector BV-Y c7 system.[6]

A third Alliance planetary outpost, Redmarch Laboratory, was opened in the California Sector JH-V c2-12 system on April 22, 3303. This prompted speculation that the Federation and Empire might eventually be drawn to the region to contest the Alliance's claim.[7]

The Alliance announced another outpost campaign on May 5, 3303, this time focusing on the California Sector HR-W d1-28 system, resulting in the construction of Ford Research Laboratory.[8][9]

With the number of colonies in the California Nebula continuing to grow, it became necessary to establish a stronger supply line to support the outposts. On November 10, 3303, the Spinward Marches Alliance Concern launched a successful campaign to build an agricultural facility in the Synuefai LX-R d5-28 system, midway between the Nebula and the Core Systems.[10][11]

Despite the exclusively scientific focus of the Alliance colonies, however, the California Nebula was nearly overwhelmed by a sudden wave of crime in the final weeks of 3303. Five megaships traveling in the vicinity of the California Nebula were raided and left adrift by pirates and terrorists: Aquarius Class Tanker WKS-559 in California Sector BA-A e6, Dionysus Class Agricultural Vessel FGK-342 in Synuefai LX-R d5-28, Gordon Class Bulk Cargo Ship FPR-42 in HIP 18077, Samson Class Bulk Cargo Ship AK-302 in California Sector BV-Y c7, and Thomas Class Bulk Cargo Ship KS-92 in California Sector JH-V c2-12. With the Nebula on the verge of being completely cut off, the Alliance launched a massive rescue effort to eliminate the criminals and retrieve victims' escape pods on December 29. While the operation succeeded, Alliance believed a larger threat loomed on the horizon. It was unknown where the criminals had originated from, but Alliance intelligence surmised that they had been driven out of their home systems by an unidentified second faction of agitators.[12][13]

In the wake of the conflict, the Alliance drew up plans to install a new station along the route to the California Nebula to further bridge the gap between it and the Core Systems.[14][15] The resulting Orbis station, California Gateway, was opened in the Synuefai EB-R c7-5 system on February 27, 3304.

A campaign to construct another connecting outpost was launched on July 26, 3304 and overseen by the Turner Research Group. MEL 22 Sector GM-V c2-8 was chosen as the future site of the station.[16] The campaign successfully concluded on August 2, 3304,[17] and Viridian Orbital commenced operations on September 13, 3304.

List of Inhabited Systems

California Nebula Colonies

System Allegiance Stations and Surface Ports
California Sector BA-A e6 Alliance Mic Turner Base
California Sector BV-Y c7 Alliance Darwin Research Facility
California Sector CQ-Y c5 Independent The Quarry
California Sector HR-W d1-28 Alliance Ford Research Laboratory
California Sector JH-V c2-12 Alliance Redmarch Laboratory
HIP 18077 Alliance Mahon Research Base

Connecting Outposts

System Allegiance Stations and Surface Ports
MEL 22 Sector GM-V c2-8 Alliance Viridian Orbital
Synuefai EB-R c7-5 Alliance California Gateway
Synuefai LX-R d5-28 Alliance New Beaumont Dock
Perseus Hold



  1. GalNet: Freelance Report: Fresh Fruit Meets Bitter Harvest
  2. Community Goal: Alliance Outpost in the California Nebula
  3. Galactic News: Alliance Campaign Concludes
  4. Community Goals: Alliance to Build New Outpost
  5. Galactic News: Alliance Campaign Concludes
  6. Elite Dangerous: Horizons - 2.3: The Commanders
  7. Galactic News: Alliance Continues California Nebula Expansion
  8. Community Goal: Alliance Outpost Campaign
  9. Galactic News: Alliance Campaign Concludes
  10. Community Goal: Feeding California
  11. Galactic News: California Campaign Concludes
  12. Community Goal: Rescue Operation in the California Nebula
  13. Galactic News: Alliance Campaign Concludes
  14. GalNet: Alliance Initiative
  15. GalNet: Alliance Campaign Comes to an End
  16. GalNet: Alliance Initiative (July 26, 2018)
  17. GalNet: Alliance Initiative Concludes
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