Elite Journal: To Barnard’s Loop (and back)!

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Despite my need to covertly access the Achenar system, I decided to answer the call in Tsu for Explorers.


Beyond the borders of occupied human space, the vast mysteries of the universe are waiting to be discovered. The last thousand years of human history have been shaped by our combined ability to travel through the stars in search of a better future.

Yet what has humanity done with this precious gift? The same thing we’ve always done. We waste it.

Greed and war run rampant throughout the galaxy, and the concept of freedom has become nothing more than a buzzword spewed by people who have never known it. The Alliance knows there’s a better way, but to prove it we need YOUR help.

That’s why Purple Power Interstellar, on behalf of the Alliance of Independent Systems, has begun collecting exploration data for an exciting new colonisation initiative due to launch later this year.

All explorers in possession of interesting cartographic data relating to potential colonisation sites outside of the current borders of human space are invited to participate in this historic endeavour.

With that, I set out towards Barnard’s Loop, a red circular object most of you will have seen in all populated areas of space to some degree…

It was stunning. Absolutely stunning. Yet again I am surprised to find myself torn away from the attraction of combat and send myself into the open arms of nearby Nebulae. I stopped to take in the nearby Rigel System and then spotted the extremely interesting Spirograph Nebula!

The Spirograph Nebula is an interesting find!

The Spirograph Nebula (right, with blue arcs around center star).

The Spirograph Nebula (right, with blue arcs around center star).

The interesting thing is to find the whole system completely enclosed in the colors of the Nebula, while just 6LY away you can hardly see the Nebula at all! Very easy to miss on the map or even when in the next system!

Arriving within Barnard’s Loop, an orange Nebula caught my eye. Flame Nebula was very pretty and from a distance looked very much like the Eye of Sauron, as seen in the vintage Human stories of The Lord of the Rings.

My exploration Asp infront of the Flame Nebula.

My exploration Asp infront of the Flame Nebula.

It is quite an odd feeling being surrounded by all those colors I’d not seen in my previous expedition. Whether it was the green of Spirograph Nebula or the Orange of Flame Nebula – well worth the visit!

I did not find anything of great use to the Alliance, but it was a good excuse to visit Barnard’s Loop anyway!

The Alliance of Independent Systems are happy to announce that their recent data drive has proven to be an oustanding success. A considerable amount of data was delivered to officers stationed aboard Ziemkiewicz Ring, and a team of highly trained scientists are now going through the submissions to identify potential candidates for future colonisation.

Feel free to check out my exploration image record below! Warning: Most are LARGE images!

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Space Gaming Category Information

My first space game addiction was with David Braben's 'Frontier - Elite II' released in 1993 on the Commodore Amiga. This game actually gave me so much of what I wanted in a game that I continued to play it until the 'Elite - Dangerous' release in 2014.

I also played through the 'Wing Commander' series from Chris Roberts, enjoying them immensely. This led directly to my support of his 2012 crowdfunding campaign for the Star Citizen and Squadron 42 games that are still in development.

These days I use gaming to try to escape from the pressures of real life. I also occasionally upload or stream gameplay to YouTube and Twitch, and rather than doing this to instruct others of the best way to play, I do it because of the social interaction with viewers and other gamers.

Left: Hires redraw I did of a 'Frontier - Elite II' Eagle ship with Merlin and Aster planets visible.


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Tim is British and lives in the United States with his wife and kids.

He works for software developers Image Space Inc. and Studio 397 on their racing simulations, and is a fan of Gaming, Motorsports, and photography.