It's hard to believe it, but my nebula tour is over. And amazingly I am only 7 jumps away from Colonia! Time to flush out the rest of my photo album...
I took a detour on my nebula trip because I saw from the codex there were Lagrange clouds nearby. And you know, I had forgotten how beautiful they are. I like them more than nebula.
Along with some of the nebula I passed, these vibrant gas clouds paint the sky with vivid colors. It feels like a homecoming festival of sorts. Sure, technically Colonia isn't "home" but at this point anywhere with humanity I think qualifies :-)
One thing I appreciated about the Distant World 2 expedition is that the campaign passed by several scenic planets. Finding interesting planets isn't my forte it seems. I'm lucky to find interesting looking ones, let alone spectacular views from the surface.
Every once in a while though I do find something that catches my eye. While in the neighborhood of the White Smoke Nebula I found a planet with crater rays. Honestly, I'm not sure when the last time I saw one of these was, so I swung over for a closer look.
I also went anemone hunting and found these.
With each passing day I feel Colonia getting closer. I'm well within 10 kLy of it now.
I passed through the Leo Szilard and White Smoke Nebulae. Last log, I noted that some EDSM astrophotography entries seem more vibrant than when actually there. That wasn't true of the Leo Szilard Nebula. The vibrant colors were all I expected.
The White Smoke Nebula's beauty on the other hand really does depend on the point of view from it. I must have wandered around its perimeter for a while trying to find a good shot. And it does look like a cauldron with smoke rising from it, though in my opinion the brew is some orange stew with purple steam. I wonder what's cooking?
It's time I take a harder turn toward Colonia. But first I'll leave with some pictures of Phoebe's Heart.
Sometimes I think the astrophotographers might retouch the colors on the photos of these things for EDSM. The reds in this photo are far more intense than what I could find. But hey, I'm just an amateur. Maybe I didn't try hard enough to find the right angle.
But I'm still pleased with my own photos.
On my way to Corsair's Nebula I encountered a planetary nebula not on the EDSM galaxy map charts. Sadly, I'm not the first to discover it (Commander Pirin was, according to EDSM). Oh well.
That said, it's extremely close to Corsair's Nebula, only 1600 Ly distant, and there are a few neutron stars in between. The system at its heart is "green" which is handy for stocking up on supplies, and I found it quite fitting because this nebula itself had a beautiful green cast. Most planetary nebula are the same bluish-violet; it's refreshing to find one that is quite different.
Anyway, I decided to fire off a message to the GMP proposing it be called "Corsair's Treasure". After all, every pirate needs a treasure.
On my way to the next two nebulae I picked up two more EDSM badges. First, I got my Wolf Hunter the other day (I think I mentioned this). And then using some sleuthing skills learned from hunting the Wolf-Rayet, I bagged Into the Blackness for reporting in a black hole first.
It was then I saw a planet that resembled a pizza. Mmm, pizza... It must have been the "mad" influence of the next nebula I was heading toward, the Mad Hatter nebula. To the explorer who named it: I'm not seeing it. You must have been mad yourself ;-)
Then it was on toward the Door of Heaven. I flew around it a little trying to find a decent photo op before diving into it and doing some scanning.
Now I'm off to some kind of biological anomaly reported on the way to my next stop, Corsair's Nebula.
I tell you I'm getting tired of meals on this ship. She's a good ship but a bit wanting in amenities and storage. Add "find a decent pizza parlor" to my back-to-civilization to-do list.
Still not seeing the Mad Hatter here. Maybe the space madness that afflicted me during my "Pizza planet" visit afflicted the first visitor passing through?
Given that I'm flying through the heavens now, not sure why they need a door (ha! -- must be more Mad Hatter space madness). I've seen prettier during this long journey of mine.
A third log entry in one day? Yep. First there was the nebular tour roll-up of the past couple of days including this one. Then my "vanity" pic entry. I thought two entries would be enough, but no, this day was packed with a bit more adventure than I had planned. I managed to damage my ship flying into a ring I couldn't even see!
I was on my way to collect a Wolf Hunter badge (which I got afterwards ;) when I stopped in Vegnua RM-U b35-0 5 because my DSS scan showed a dark red gas giant. "That's an unusual color," I thought as I commanded helm to come about to investigate.
So it turns out that the scan filter must do some color or low-light enhancement, because when I got there I could hardly see it. It was very dark gray, barely visible against the black of space. Trying to see if maybe I was on the dark side, I set out at what I thought was a reasonable distance from it to orbit to its other side.
Now I knew the planet had a ring from DSS, and in fact I was wondering where the ring was because I didn't see it. I had thought I was orbiting facing its edge in a plane parallel to it...but in fact I was barreling straight for it and didn't realize it. Yet. Not until the "emergency stop" warnings sounded followed by a hard dump from supercruise into a field of almost-black rocks.
It turns out the ring system is as dark as the planet, so it's nigh invisible against the void. But it's also very thin, so you can't see it well against light either. I should have scanned the planet and ring: that makes it pop out.
Needless to say I spent the next few minutes with my AFMU repairing the damage. And then I scanned the ring like I should have. It was much larger than I had expected.
I'm nicknaming the system/planet "Spider Web" because that's how it felt to me when my ship got caught. I think I'll also send in a blurb about it to the Galactic Mapping Project. Who knows? Maybe the name will stick.
Hey, I'm allowed to take pictures for no good reason at all :) I like this one of my ship.
The next two waypoints on my self-guided nebula tour going home were the ones visible in my last log entry: the Leviathan Nebula and the Veil of Inanna.
The Leviathan nebula looked more beautiful than I thought it would. Also, I encountered a Herbig Ae/Be star in there. Those are fairly rare; I've only seen four so far (two discovered by me).
I departed the Leviathan nebula for the Veil of Inanna. That approach vector produced a pleasing view of the dark gas cloud across it, splitting it into two purple wings. It reminded me of a cosmic butterfly.
I also visited the nearby system Vegneia BF-R e4-880. It is a black hole system, and its third star (C) has life on its planets. The sea of anemones in the photo was from planet C 4 with one of the nebula wings hovering at the horizon.