Commander Taygeta

Ship: Diamondback Explorer ''''(MIL-24), Mihka V

January, 3304

My third exploration mission started near Lave, headed above galactic plane to Spica, then proceeded eastwards, while planning my course. So far in my journey, I have found several POI's on the surface on planets, and rescued some escape pods.

As my next mission objective, I chose the Vela Pulsar, which is around a 1000 ly away from my position above the galactic plane. That course would take me way below the plane (towards NGQ4), but seeing my first pulsar should be worth it. So I scooped some fuel for the long journey, and proceeded with my jump.

The trip went pretty easily, but closer I got to my destination, less there were scoopable stars, most being brown dwarfs. After a quick scoop away from my planned course, I finally arrvived at my destination:

The Veil pulsar

PSR J0835-4510

You can only feel humble near the Vela Pulsar (PSR J0835-4510), because although we have conquered space and invented all kind of strange technologies, rotating neutron stars, like Vela, is a whole another story.

We are talking about an object (a collapsed core of a large star), that is rotating 11 times a second. An object which is 10-30 km in diameter, and is composed of extremely compact material: [Neutronium]. A spoonful of that material would weight many million tons.

An extreme object in terms of mass density, magnetic fields (over one million times Earth magnetic field) and gravity.

But many pulsars are even faster than that..

There were no planets around the Vela Pulsar, only a spectral type B star. So after spending some time there, I proceeed ahead in my journey.

And what there is? A quick peek through the galactic map provided my answer: Zeta Puppis.

After few hundred light years and many jumps, my destination got closer..


Zeta Puppis (Naos)

Zeta Puppis, aka "Naos" is a spectral type O blue supergiant, one of the most luminous and rarest type of stars in our galaxy. Naos is the closest O-type star to Earth, and there are only around 20,000 of these in our own galaxy, with very short life spans, because of their high energy consumption.

This star has a luminosity, or brightness, 500,000-800,000 times of our Sun, and has a surface temperature of around 40,000 K, so most of the radiation is in the ultraviolet. Galactic map seems to have few errors, because it gives this star a radius of only 2.4 X Sun, when in reality it is closer to 20 X Sun. This is a supergiant, not some major dwarf!

Unlike the star that created the Vela Pulsar, this star is most likely to create a black hole in the end (after the supernova), because of it's high mass.

Zeta Puppis Stars

Zeta Puppis stars, with Naos being near the center.

Zeta Puppis seems to be a multiple star system, so there were several other stars in the neighbourhood... But only one (unlandable) planet.

There was not point of studying this system any further, so I proceeded to explore the systems near Zeta Puppis. Starting from spectral type G, and then K and M.

Soon I found what I was looking for (from system COL 173 SECTOR LY-Q d5-50), and with a joy. A massive metal rich planet, with a ring system. You don't see that every day:

High G planet with rings-DBX

Diamondback Explorer on a Col 173 Sector LY-Q d5-50 1

This is a great place to stay for a while. Even in high G's (2.3G)

You really need to be careful when landing, because that high gravity will pull the ship down violently, if you are applying too much vertical thrust while descending. And of course, every major bump to rocks with the SRV, is going to hurt X2.

Of course, I would forget this advice (my own advice!) very soon, after I reached my next destination..

What is that dustball on the map? Looks peculiar. Let's go and find out (after 500ly)..


Binary ring planets of HIP 38064

I was wrong. COL 173 SECTOR-whatever was nothing. What I found was HIP 38064 (also known as Collinder 140). The system contains multiple stars, a binary planet with rings, *very* close to the main star, which is also spectral type O.

Beauty and the beast: Beauty is the colors, the rings and the main star, but the beast is temperature and high gravity. I only did one mistake in landing, and that caused my ship to plummet straight to the ground.

And it did some damage. For hull damage, some hull repair systems would be in order. Too bad I was not equipped with them.

But I would need my module repair set, because it seems that the normal landing from the first planet was not just possible. The temperature would get so high, that it was starting to fry my systems.

Luckily, I got away. And landed to a bit safer location.

But - WHAT A VIEW. But it seems that not everyone got out of that place in one piece:

Wreck On HIP38064 1

Wreck on the surface of HIP 38064 1

Commander Taygeta, signing off...

Two Months (around the frontier)

I have been playing Elite: Dangerous for a about two months now. After the initial learning curve with controls, everything is starting to roll pretty well, but a bit slower than, say with FE2 or FFE. But it is worth it. The game mechanics are great, factions, systems, everything works as they should, unlike in FFE during the 90's, when pirates could fire their weapons near a station with no ill-effect, but if you would fire one shot, you are attacked by police ships, right away..

I haven't been playing much open play, that might change though, but so far I have been avoiding things that could ruin my experience with my alter-ego commander. I also have been dodging some of the added features, like the Engineers etc. 

But the purest gem is *the space*. Literally. If you are space geek/scientist/enthusiast/hobbyist and "know what is our there", now Elite:Dangerous can offer you some mind blowing visuals and exploring the unknown. Not just the stars, but most planets are breathtaking and the way they create the terrain in which you can land (after Horizons add-on) is fantastic. There are some things that could have done dfferently, like pulsars, white dwarfs etc. but they are just minor things. I know Braben himself is a space geek, and he really wanted to things to be real, like our own galaxy, with 400 billion stars.

Yeah, so the Ghost of Jupiter (aka NGC 3242) did not have a white dwarf? Weird but I guess there was a reason for that. Minor thing.

From changing starscapes, (as you travel countless lightyears) to beautiful ring systems and sound design (no sound in space, but let's forget that now shall we?) - Elite:Dangerous is a gorgeous masterpiece, and I really would like to see how Star Citizen can outdo that!

-Jari Rankinen/PSR1974/CMDR Taygeta

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