Although it’s been a few weeks since I made a reasonable post on this site, there are a few things that I should mention in regards to updates on the Nightwish’s expedition and other projects I’m working on.
The SPVFANightwish is continuing its journey around the galactic core. As of today, we are entering Expedition Day #85. We’ve made quite a few amazing discoveries including more rocky ice worlds with astonishing mountain ranges similar to David and Goliath which was discovered earlier this year. Imagine my surprise and excitement when that discovery was featured by Down to Earth Astronomy! Because of the way that I share screenshots from Elite Dangerous and the brief nature of daily updates, you can follow the ship’s journey on my official Twitter account @CMDRExorcist.
In other news, I’ve made some small changes to the main gallery page. The images are still hosted in Google Photos, but the main gallery page has been changed to focus solely on the image galleries for the various games I photograph.
The Nightwish just departed Morgan’s Rock for the second time this week following a catastrophic accident which destroyed much of the ship’s upper structure and cost us 91% of our hull integrity. This occured for reasons far too common among Elite Dangerous pilots: high gravity pilot error. We attempted to land on a 4g world and things were going well until I miscalcuated the height of a crater rim and was unable to compensate for the height differential. The Nightwish slammed into the crater wall at around 45 kps, which is devastating on a world with such high gravity. To make things worse, the vertical thrusters were damaged in the collision, which made it almost impossible to keep the ship from slamming against the crater wall a second time, which is what drove the hull integrity to a terrifying 9%!
Fortunately, we were able to recover the ship and land just south of our intended landing zone to assess damages and ultimately complete our survey mission.
We used the remote drone camera system to capture the dramatic image above, which broke my heart. I’ve never seen my baby in such poor condition before. Knowing that she was less than 9% damage from complete destruction was terrifying. Unfortunately, none of my allied Commanders were in the local area, which required us to jump 30 systems backwards to NGC 6188 for repairs. I was shocked as sparks, flames, and smoke poured out of the ship as it limped back to station for repairs. Two crew members suffered minor injuries in the accident.
Many thanks to the medical staff and repair teams at Morgan’s Rock for helping to get the ship back on its feet. We spent the evening in dry dock with an army of technicians crawling around the ship working to get her back on her feet. Because we were well on our way to David and Goliath, I decided not to remain at the station and departed as quickly as possible following the quality assurance inspection on the repairs.
To make up for the damage and the mission setback, we cruised for an hour after leaving the station before coming upon a really nice F-class star with a closely orbiting ringed lava world (pictured above). The new Elder Scrolls Online chapter releases today, so I doubt that I’ll be traveling anymore today until I’ve had a chance to explore the Khajiit homeland on Elsweyr. Until then, fly safe, CMDRs!
Last week’s discovery prompted me to divert to the nearest station, which was Morgan’s Rock in NGC 6188. The Nightwish spent most of the weekend docked as the crew took time to stretch their legs before heading back to the black. It was decided that we’d head back to David and Goliath for a quick photo and SRV session before moving along to the next expedition waypoint.
It’s curious that it didn’t take long after leaving Morgan’s Rock to find something new and interesting! Another rocky ice world of similar composition to last week’s discovery popped up on a close system map. It lacks the exaggerated surface features, however, but it does have an insanely eccentric orbit around its parent gas giant as you can see in the image below.
My biggest wish for this world in particular would have been for some kind of geologic activity, but there planet itself is as inactive as they come. Fortunately, views like the one above with the tilt of the gas giant make up for that lack of activity. We spent about an hour exploring this planet’s surface, collecting refining materials, and enjoying the sights before pressing on.
As most Elite Dangerous players will tell you, discoveries come and go. There are good days, bad days, and terrible days. Sometimes you’ll discover two amazing systems in a row; other times will take up to 200 system jumps before anything remotely interesting appears. After departing the tilted gas giant, the Nightwish entered a region of space between David and Goliath and NGC 6188 where the systems are populated mostly by rocky ice worlds and common high metal content worlds.
We ended the evening in orbit around the high metal content world pictured above. I chose it for a panorama shot because I think it closely resembles Mars and our sensors detected the presence of silicate particles caught inside of several massive hurricanes traveling around the planet’s surface. We continue to monitor and analyze atmospheric samples and will depart sometime this evening.
The Nightwish has docked for an overnight stay at Morgan’s Rock in NGC 6188 for minor repairs, restocking, and to sell our current exploration data so that I could release the location of the phenomenal rocky ice worlds David and Goliath discovered two days ago. As promised, here is the location data. I’ve also submitted these worlds to the EDSM Galactic Mapping Project.
Goliath: Qeajo CZ-N C20-15 AB 1 D
David: Qeajo CZ-N C20-15 AB 1 E
It took some convincing for the entire crew to agree to divert from our path, but the station in NGC 6188 was the closest place for us to travel to sell this exploration data. Moving on deeper into our planned route would have placed the nearest locations easily 10-20k light years away, which was not something I thought would be acceptable. 90 jumps later, the ship arrived in NGC 6188 and we’re taking advantage of human civilization, even if it is a remote installation, before heading on.
Sunrise on David (Qeajo CZ-N C20-15 AB 1 E). Credit: CMDR DasExorcist
The ship will remain in dock for the next few hours before setting back out toward David and Goliath to take a few more photos, do some system mapping, and then head toward the expedition’s second waypoint. Video footage of these amazing worlds as well as additional photos from this week will appear this weekend on the third episode of Elite Dangerous: Out There, which should drop on my YouTube channel late Saturday or midday Sunday.
This incredible mountain has an interesting story. It was discovered in December 3304 shortly after the Elite Dangerous Beyond Chapter Four update changed the way that players scan star systems and accumulate exploration data. It was initially believed (incorrectly) that the mountain was around 65 km in height due to the planet’s glide height and the mountain sticking up out of the scanning grid. However, subsequent measurements by other Commanders and a team from Sagittarius Eye Magazine revealed that it is around 30 km in height. Since no precise method exists in Elite Dangerous to determine mountain heights, this measurement remains a close estimate. Regardless, it’s an incredible point of interest (POI) and I believe that it should be included in the list of galactic POIs. As you can see in this video, it takes approximately 5 minutes to coast from the central peak to the base in an SRV!
Perhaps the biggest challenge for many Commanders wanting to visit Mount Wesley is it’s location. It was discovered by the Nightwish in Smojai IT-P D6-2 on A 2 A, which is a small green moon orbiting a blue gas giant. As you can see from the image above, the views from the central peak are extraordinary! Smojai IT-P D6-2 is quite a distance away from the bubble; I recommend Commanders to use the route through Hillary Depot if they want to visit. Traveling to that station provides a waypoint and brief respite before heading into the more unexplored areas surrounding it.
I announced the mountain’s discovery on the Elite Dangerous forums shortly after it was discovered, which gave pioneering Commanders such as Alec Turner to visit and base jump himself. You can view the original thread here with the discussion and disagreement about the mountain’s height. I am grateful to the Elite Dangerous community for their support in exploring this mountain and helping me to get a more realistic idea of its height. Whether it’s 65 km or 30 km high, there’s no denying that Mount Wesley is a unique place to visit in Elite Dangerous.
Few discoveries and experiences in Elite Dangerous have excited me as much as the system that I discovered yesterday. As you can see from the image below, the Nightwish jumped into a system that’s home to two rocky ice planets covered in astonishingly high mountain ranges.
After a brief survey of their surfaces, I have decided to name them David and Goliath after the characters from the Bible story. The planets are very similar in size and composition, but David has fewer mountain ranges than Goliath.
Goliath is Qeajo CZ-N C20-15 AB 1 D while David is Qeajo CZ-N C20-15 AB 1 E.
The Nightwish is docked in NGC 6188 for the moment and will continue on its journey this weekend.