First-time poster here, and accidental Witchhead Nebula Explorer.
I've recently been playing Elite Dangerous again (after five years!)
I was not much a player back in the day, but with everything that has been going on, I hopped back in with Horizons. Wowza, landing on planets is cool.
But I finally had a goal recently!
Actually, get into engineering, and explore a little bit.
My goal? The Barnard's Loop Nebula, and the nebula next to it.
I had already made the Journey to the California Nebula, so I thought this would be an easy feat.
After a few technology upgrades to my baby Orca, I had a jump range of around 23LY.
And planned my path.
Unbeknownst to me via poor research, my path was thwarted by "Requires Unknown Permit".
But I didn't let it stop me, I proceeded onwards. I manually navigated around the Col-Sector locked stars, and worked my way to the backside of the loop, precariously getting further below the base map. Making my descent, I realized my jump range was not enough to bypass certain stars in order to get where I wanted.
Panic struck as I realized my error, and unknowingly not bookmarking where I had jumped to reach my point.
Sighing in defeat, I attempted to manually trek my way back to the Nigurri system, but amazement struck my eyeballs as I had found myself no longer in the Inner Orion Spur, but instead inside of the Sanguineous Rim. I was gaining new Codex entries from scanning systems, and planets.
And then suddenly I realized, I had become the first commander to scan brand new star systems because of my ill-fated jump range.
Realizing that even though I was thwarted in my attempt to get behind Barnard's Loop, I instead fulfilled this instinctual need to discover planets, and then, I had my first true giddy excitement.
I jumped to the star system HD-43193. I didn't realize the wonder of seeing it for the first time, I had only seen them in youtube videos, but this one was special.
It was two stars that had became neutron stars, and they were twins sitting next to each other, or rather, on top of. I got close to them in amazement not believing that I had found some, I didn't get too close, as this was my exploration ship, and I had dropped everything I could to go far.
It was not until later that I discovered that I had seen something without realizing it.
When I had gotten close to these two beauties, my point of view was… Odd, things seemed to warp themselves when I approached them, and that is when I took to google and became even more awestruck. Those beauties held a secret, and that secret was a small black hole that had formed between them. This doomed-to-fail journey had turned not only into a day of marking my name on a few systems but to also see the wonders of our galaxy.
But my journey was not over, I still had to fly back home. Continuing my trek, I realized I was growing weary and had to find a system with a starport to leave the exploring for another day. Manually plotting my course once again, I went to EDDB to find the closest starport to me… It was in the Lembass system, but I knew it wasn't going to be that easy. I had flown down, and up again trying to reach the Loop, and the Lembass system was far below me, and, much to my dismay, blocked by the permit-locked Col-Sectors. But I carried on, passing through many-a-system, marking my name on many planets, and new systems such as the Synuefe CI-V A29-2 star system, which I humbly dubbed the 'Purple Palace' as its only star was a beautiful T-Brown Dwarf Star in its brilliant purple hues shining on it's surrounding planets.
After many hours of exploring, mapping, and scanning, I had finally reached my destination of Lembass Tsao Prospect Starport. Finally, my ship and I could rest, and that is when I realized… I was in the Witchhead Nebula, or rather on the outskirts. So for one last go around, I traveled in and out of the Witchhead Nebula, excited to see the varying skybox colors. I was shocked when I had scanned a signal in this sector, Nonhuman Signal Source.. Threat… 6.. I decided then, it was time to return to the port, and rest my weary eyes.
Although it might not be the mightiest ship build in the yard, it was my ship, my journey and I wouldn't have it any other way.
This is a long post to simply say, even though we may not see it in our lifetimes, being able to explore our galaxy in this game is cool… And, makes me catch my breath at times, seeing these stars, planets and even black holes is astonishing and I wouldn't have it any other way.
o7 Commanders, Trinityblade out.