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Distant Worlds – Welcome to Beagle Point

Duration: 70 Days, Distance: 65K LY from Sol, Hull Integrity: 87%

It’s been a while. Last time I discussed Distant Worlds I was at the core, looking upon the black hole at the centre of the galaxy, some 29K LY from Sol and 30 days into the expedition. I’m now actually at Beagle Point having arrived on 21st March 2016 at around 2200 hours.

On arrival at Beagle Point I was two weeks ahead of the fleet missing out waypoint 22 having travelled the 15K or so in one long haul. I needed to just log the light years as I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be available for the expedition.

It’s a bit weird now it’s over.

Sights North of the Core

One of the first things I did after reach Sag A* was to travel upwards to get to a very distant point from the galactic plane. I have done this before, but this was a much better trip. As you can see above, it was very atmospheric at the top of the galaxy, being able to look down upon the dust cloud of the galaxy from above.

We then hit a run of very picturesque way points. The first one was Dryao Chrea Stellar Remnant, which was a very atmospheric blue. This included one of the more interesting black holes I’ve seen due to it being in the nebula itself, so you could view its distortions within the nebula rather than just against the blackness of space.

The Rose Nebula was slightly crazy with its mixtures of red and green. It works particularly well with the number of stars in the sky that you get in the core. It’s weird looking back at these images now as I’ve spent a good bit of time without any stars in the sky since taking these images.

What’s interesting about these spread of nebula is the degree to which they dominate the sky. I’ve landed on planets in nebula before, but I don’t remember them being so dominating. They cover the whole sky and reflect their colour across the planets surface. The Green Crystal Nebula was no exception, at least during the ‘day’.

Out In The Black

Once the core started to dissipate, the stars started to vanish and I truly entered the black. This kicked in at the last spiral arm before the outer most arm started to fade away. The result was a shockingly stark contract from the core.

As you can see in the above images, space is totally black. Completely black. The myriad of stars from the core being a distant memory. As I progressed it not only stayed black but the number of stars became shockingly few as I made my journey. I even had to experiment with a few routes to successfully cross the emptiness between the spiral arms and there was the obligatory star by star plotting in the 10K hike from the final way point to Beagle Point.

I crossed a spiral arm in my first 4K expedition and I didn’t remember it being this much of a void.

The End of the Expedition

The expedition isn’t truly over, as there is some concept of a week of events when the fleet is at Beagle Point. I’m at Beagle Point though, the journey itself is over. I don’t think I was really prepared for what this would mean. While the expedition hasn’t consumed all my time, far from it, it has been something that’s been part of what I do in my spare time for three months. Doing the light years, exploring and seeing new things and meeting up with the fleet at the way points and chatting.

It’s been great.

I’m already missing it and it’s only been four days. One of the major impacts it’s having is I’m not rush to set off back to known space. I think I will at some point, as I’m not sure I’d see the whole thing as complete until I got back. I’m just not going to do it straight away.

It’s got me thinking about what this means for Elite. It’s been such a big event, such a social occasion, it’s going to be hard to go back to what Elite normally constitutes, which is something pretty lonely.

For now, I’ll look forward to when the rest of the fleet arrives.

About Ian O'Rourke

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