Knowledge Core



A nebula is a cloud in space. It is very different than anything you would see on earth because it is made up of dust and supercharged gases and can often be hundreds of light years in diameter. Nebulae are generally formed after a star dies leaving the cloud of dust and causing the gases to become charged, and even dangerously radioactive at times. Because of this, a nebula is the ideal place for a star to be formed.


A nebula is a very dangerous place to be. Because of the strange material and supercharged gases, a ship’s systems, such as sensors, may not operate properly. In extreme cases, a ship may even be damaged or destroyed from extended contacted with highly unstable nebulae. If you are looking for a place to hide, a nebula will block almost all signals, as well as deter most ships due to the dangers of entering.


A planet is an object in space that is orbiting a star and is big enough to rounded by its own gravity and small enough to not have thermonuclear fusion taking place (what makes the sun burn). A moon is an object that is orbiting a planet and is also known as a “natural satellite”.


The two types of planets that are the most important to know are habitable and uninhabitable. A habitable planet is one that can sustain human life. There are many that you will come across that are naturally habitable (like earth), and others that have been terraformed (huge machines placed on the surface and in the atmosphere that make it livable).

Because of a moon’s density they are known to cast signal “shadows”. This means that if you are on the far side of a moon you will not be detected by any sensor systems on the planet.

Planets and Moons



A star is a glowing sphere of plasma held together by its own gravity. The nearest star to the earth is the sun. Almost every star you see in the sky is similar to our sun. The smallest stars out there are the tiny red dwarfs. These are stars with no more than 50% the mass of the Sun, and they can have as little as 7.5% the mass of the Sun. The largest star we know of ,VY Canis Majoris, is thought to be 1,800 times the size of the Sun.


Most ship shielding systems allow us to travel near stars, but any prolonged exposure, or getting too close, will damage and/or destroy the ship. Stars are not only extremely hot, but also give of large amounts of energy and radiation.


A galaxy is a system of stars, planets, debris, gas and dust all held together by gravity. Galaxies range from dwarfs with just a few thousand stars to giants with one hundred trillion stars. Scientists believe there is a black hole at the center of every galaxy holding everything together. Most galaxies are between 3000 and 300,000 light years in diameter, and separated by millions of lightyears.


With the help of warp engines you will be able to travel huge distances in space in fairly little time. However, all of your missions will take place in a relatively small part of space. Even within your own galaxy, there are huge portions that have not yet been explored, and there is no telling what they might contain.


Black Hole


A black hole is a massive gravitational source that is so strong not even light can escape its pull. It is believed that there is a black hole at the center of nearly every galaxy. Black holes are formed when a massive star collapses at the end of its life cycle.


You will want to avoid black holes at all costs. There is a point in every black hole where the gravitational pull is so intense that nothing can escape called the event horizon. The closer you get to the event horizon, the more massive the gravitational pull becomes. In many cases, the pull is so intense that it bends space and time around it. This bending of space and time is what causes relativity, which means time will be warped. What will feel like seconds to you, may be days or even years for those not near the black hole.


A wormhole is a hypothetical feature in space that would act as a shortcut between two points in space and time. It can be thought of as a tunnel with two ends, each in different locations and possibly different times. An active wormhole has never been observed in space, but mathematical theories support the existence of wormholes.


Wormholes are extremely unstable and unpredictable. Because of the complexity of tunneling through time and space, it is almost impossible to accurately predict where a wormhole may lead. Although traveling through one will allow you to instantly pass through any distance, you never know where or when you will end up. Wormholes can occur spontaneously and last for a brief moment, or endure thousands of years.


Oort Cloud


The Oort cloud is a spherical ‘cloud’ of frozen objects at the very edge of our solar system. You can imagine it a bit like a fishbowl, with the Solar System at the center, and the spherical cloud of icy bodies on the edge. It is believed that this is where many of our system’s comets originate from.


Whenever you approach a solar system, you will almost always find an oort cloud surrounding it. You must proceed with great caution because the majority of the frozen ice chunks are methane, which is extremely explosive. Some oort clouds will require you to manually navigate your way through while others will have gaps large enough to pass through without a problem.


Asteroids are commonly considered as minor planets. They do not have the characteristics of a comet, but are not big enough or spherical enough to be considered planets. An asteroid can either increase or decrease in size throughout their lifetime depending on the type of collision they endure. Some collisions add mass by absorbing impact, and others break it down by chipping away at the surface.


Collision with an asteroid can lead to disaster. Many asteroids are so small that your ship won’t even register them on sensors. However, there are some that are so massive they actually pull other asteroids towards them, causing the formation of an asteroid field.




A comet is an icy body that is moving through space which possesses some kind of unbound atmosphere. The unbound atmosphere is created through heating of the ice that causes the gases to be produced, but the gravitational pull is not strong enough to hold it in place – which is why many comets have long tails.


Comets are generally smaller than asteroids, but not always. The number one characteristic of a comet is that it is moving quickly and is made up of gases and liquids that create the comet’s tail. Use caution when dealing with a comet seeing as the extra material may at times be explosive or radioactive.


A supernova is when a star explodes. The explosion emits as much energy as the star produced throughout its entire lifetime in a single moment. The shock wave travels at approximately 10% of the speed of light. The explosion lets off so much energy that the resulting nebula becomes the perfect place for new stars to begin to form.


Your ship’s sensors can detect when a star begins to destabilize, but cannot always predict the exact moment the star will go supernova. You can only outrun the shock wave through the use of warp engines.


Distance in Space


An astronomical unit (A.U.) is the average distance between the Earth and the Sun, which is about 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers. Astronomical units are usually used to measure distances within a solar system. A light-year (ly) is the distance that light can travel in one year in a vacuum (empty space). The speed of light is about 186,000 miles or 300,000 kilometers per second. So, in one year light travels a distance of about 5,880,000,000,000 miles or 9,460,000,000,000 kilometers or 63,240 A.U..


You will regularly see the abbreviations “A.U.” and “ly” whenever a course is calculated or distance scanned. When the distance is extremely long you will see kly (thousand light years) and mly (million light years).