RV Sonnenkreis - Decoding Universal Cartographics

Following a lead from CMDR shadmar, I spent some time surveying the sector OUTORST in my Clipper, the RV Sonnenkreis.

Sonnenkreis O.png

Updated! As per this post, we now have the tools to resolve the position of any sector and approximate position of systems within the sector. Kudos to CMDR Alot (Esvandiary) and the rest of the DISC crew.

After returning to civilisation and refitting the ship I've set off again towards the brighter regions of the Carina / Sagittarius arm.
The data gathered has allowed me to break the Universal Cartographics system naming code (almost) entirely*.
(edited: latest log data here.)

This is how it works.

Each proc-gen sector is a cube 1280 ly by 1280 ly by 1280 ly, usually containing millions of stars.

Each system is assigned a letter from A thru H based on the zero-age main sequence (ZAMS) mass of the primary star**. The lowest mass primaries are 'A', the highest are 'H.'***

Depending on this letter, the whole sector may be divided up into smaller cubes.

For the letter "H", it's not divided up - there's just one big cube, still 1280 ly on a side.
For "G", it's divided into 8 cubes, 640 ly on a side.
For "F", 64 cubes, 320 ly on a side.
For "E",512 cubes, 160 ly on a side.
For "D",4096 cubes, 80 ly on a side.
For "C",32768 cubes, 40 ly on a side.
For "B",262144 cubes, 20 ly on a side.
For "A",2097152, 10 ly on a side.

We have to work with all those tiny little "A" cubes.

Starting at the "west" "bottom" "south" most cube, we give it the designation AA-A 0.
(The 0 is "silent", and does not appear in the displayed name.)

Moving along the row from "west" to "east", we add one to the first letter each time, so we get AA-A 0, BA-A 0, CA-A 0... and so on.
Each time we get to Z, we go back to A and add one to the second letter; ZA-A 0, AB-A 0, AC-A 0... and so on.
And the same for the third letter; ZZ-A 0, AA-B 0, BA-B 0... and so on.
And when the third letter rolls round we add one to the number; ZZ-Z 0, AA-A 1, BA-A 1... and so on.

(When we get to the end of the row, we continue along the row "above" it, until we get to the top, and start again on the bottom of the next row "north.")

This gives us all the different combinations for the "A" cubes. Inside each cube there may be several star systems of a particular type, and so each system needs an extra identifier on the end.
So we could have AA-A A0-0 - as the first 0 is silent, that appears as AA-A A0. Or IM-W A1-0. Or IM-W A1-1 and so on.

When we want to get the codes for the more massive systems, we use a subset of the full list of "A" codes - so the code for an "E" system that is in row 1, column 1, stack height 1 is the same as the code for an "A" system in the same row, column and stack.

Here is a quick and dirty Python program which brute-forces all the "A" codes and allows a simple lookup of the positional prefix by column, row and stack. finder(column,row,stack) returns the appropriate prefix, everything starting from the "west" "bottom" "south" position.

If my brain is working tomorrow I'll work out how to do it properly using modulus 26, I was only doing it with brute force because I didn't know how it worked and was trying different things. Honest. I'm not a bad coder. Maybe. :eek:
Update: Here it is.

Here is a more complex plotter which uses this sector data to produce a 3d map; it has a bunch of dependencies mind.

Anyway, the page is a little too small to provide a 128 * 128 * 128 grid, but so far as the bigger systems are concerned, it looks like this.

Simples!

Incidental music: the Young Tradition, Client, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Big Bill Broonzy, Blackbeard's Tea Party, Basement Jaxx.

*for the proc-gen sectors. I'm not sure yet how the manually added sectors overlap with the proc-gen ones.
**I think. If it isn't this, it certainly approximates to it very well. (edited to add: this is still very much deserving of study! it may vary between sectors or even between parts of a sector; I'm trying to get a large enough sample base to tell)
***No relation to the standard stellar classes, although they can be mapped on because while analogue and arbitrary the standard classes do progress by mass.
 
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I already had the 160x160x160 cubes defined, and how 512 (8x8x8) of those made a 1280^3 sector.
You've managed to break down the sector construction even further. Kudos to you. :)
 
This is a more elegant program to achieve the same result.

When I get to a more densely populated region I'll gather more data on the boundaries between the different A thru H letter codes.

Moving on from BLEAE EURK, I found this system quite peculiar - BYAA EUQ AA-A H1, a system which contains a massive (72 solar masses) and extremely large (284 solar radii) B supergiant (...ish...) with a single lonely ice moon orbiting at a mere 7 aus from the star. By my calculation the planet should have been roughly about two orders of magnitude hotter than it is.

Sonnenkreis Giant Massive B.png
(yes, that big blue ball is 7 aus away - yikes!)

I'm aiming to get a representative sample of star systems of different letter codes within each sector, more on that to follow.

Incidental music: Billy Idol, Black Flag, Blazin' Fiddles, Britney Spears, Burial, Villagers.
 
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The flight continues; now about 12 Kylies out, I've reached the Carina / Sagittarius arm and have found a convenient destination sector with a large number of bright stars, BLO AESCS. Still a couple of Kylies to go as frameshift travel has been rather spotty today.
Have visited some interesting systems including some truly enormous blue supergiants.

The updated flight log contains representative sampling of a couple of sectors along the route - I scanned as many "H" and "G" systems as were easily reachable and then 4 of each other letter, using the "west" "north" "down" most cubes for each system. I think I will go to a "crossroads" point where 8 sectors meet and do the same thing more extensively in a small sphere around the crossroads, to see if there are differences in the boundaries between letters.

Because of my (repeated) inattention the Sonnenkreis has now sustained slight damage to the hull, powerplant and life-support systems and expended a non-trivial fraction of its repair supplies. Not a cause for concern as yet; 5% damage after maybe 20 Kylies of travel distance (the route is anything but linear) should see me a long way further.

Holding station above an Earthlike world in LYSOOVSKY sector:
Sonnenkreis LYSOOVSKY ELW.png

I'm undecided what to do once I've reached BLO AESCS and surveyed there; this is the furthest out I've been, and I'm keen to press on around the Core and maybe go see one of those famous Neutron starfields, that would be interesting.
Unfortunately that would mean missing out on the chance to do the Buckyball Kessel Run, which would be a shame.

Incidental music: Alan Stivell, the Byrds, Cornershop, Dolly Parton, Cordelia's Dad, Dido, DJ Shadow, Derek Brimstone.
 
Apart of better understanding of the Starforge, how this can be usefull on the go?
In another thread it has been noted a relation between "Sector Name XX-X X0-0" and the star type, wich I find reliable in 99% of times and let me know what type of star i'm jumping in without opening the gal map. I wouldn't stake my life on the method since once in a while B is an L0 that isn't scoopable, but still.
Can you find constant zones inside sectors where we can point to get "exotic" stars (apart the abused SECTOR NAME AA-A H0)? Or routes between cubes that ALAWAYS give you a scoopable star?
 
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No one letters (**-* *N or N-N) does not guarantee "ALAWAYS give you a scoopable star".
a - brown dwarfs is
basically
b - can be L0 and TT
c - it is likely to find TT
d - ......--.......... TT/white dwarfs/NS and stars at the end of their life cycle (S/MS/C , others "lll" prefixes)
e - ......... NS/BH/D
f - like "e"
g - too
h - no comments :)
 
No one letters (**-* *N or N-N) does not guarantee "ALAWAYS give you a scoopable star".
a - brown dwarfs is
basically
b - can be L0 and TT
c - it is likely to find TT
d - ......--.......... TT/white dwarfs/NS and stars at the end of their life cycle (S/MS/C , others "lll" prefixes)
e - ......... NS/BH/D
f - like "e"
g - too
h - no comments :)
That's true, and in fact I wouldn't blindly jump in any system with the last fumes on tanks. But at least If I'm in a badland and the next one is A I can be almost sure to land in another unscoopable dwarf. And if in the sector I'm currently in there are no NS, TT, White Dwarves at all I can have a good guess what I'm jumping to.
I was asking Jackie to translate his blrilliant findings in something an explorer can use on the go that makes us save time. Becouse if I have to opne the galmap, then I loose time but all the info I want is there.
Of course it's very interesting to understand how the starforge works, and to put a meaning behind those letters and numbers. Only that is a big achievement, especially if you cover 2000LY/hr you have a beeter understanding of where you are inside a sector. So I highly value Jackie discoveries. If they could translate in a practical knowledge to use on the go they would be even better.
 
I think all of the above is purely theory ,no practical application in terms of fuelings without loss of time) the Main point in finding the right types of astronomical objects passing the filter.
I'm looking at gal.map one time after fueling (looking at the solid strip route + one jump).

P.S.: Sorry for noob's english :)
 
Can you find constant zones inside sectors where we can point to get "exotic" stars (apart the abused SECTOR NAME AA-A H0)?
The answer is a qualified "yes" as it depends on how much there is in the sector to being with, and doesn't (of course) pick up on hand-placed stars.
Generally speaking systems of "H" and "G" will always be exotic (Os, BHs, &c.), while "F" and "E" systems will tend to be B stars.
As you say, everyone has been looking at the AA-A H systems - I'm generally finding all the ones I look at have already been discovered - but there are 8 cubes of G systems within each sector. If you don't mind going high above and below the plane, search on AA-A G, BA-A G, EG-Y G, FG-Y G, CL-Y G, DL-Y G, YE-A G and ZE-A G and you should get pointed at a lot of bright systems (if there are any in the sector to find.)
 
The answer is a qualified "yes" as it depends on how much there is in the sector to being with, and doesn't (of course) pick up on hand-placed stars.
Generally speaking systems of "H" and "G" will always be exotic (Os, BHs, &c.), while "F" and "E" systems will tend to be B stars.
As you say, everyone has been looking at the AA-A H systems - I'm generally finding all the ones I look at have already been discovered - but there are 8 cubes of G systems within each sector. If you don't mind going high above and below the plane, search on AA-A G, BA-A G, EG-Y G, FG-Y G, CL-Y G, DL-Y G, YE-A G and ZE-A G and you should get pointed at a lot of bright systems (if there are any in the sector to find.)
Very good to know.
Also me and other CMDRs have noted that immediatly after 1.4 the AA-A H0 trick doesn't work anymore. A CMDR had noted down one of these system yet to be explored, and immidiatly after patch he couldn't find it anymore. Opening a ticked he got a reply that the system was working as intended.
It seems that now we have to dig those letters better, so virtual rep since i cannot rep you again.
 
I think all of the above is purely theory ,no practical application in terms of fuelings without loss of time) the Main point in finding the right types of astronomical objects passing the filter.
Yes, there's no great practical value in terms of travel time or for finding habitable worlds (as you can always set the galaxy map to show spectral types K, G, F and jump between them manually, and they're close together, there's no need to predict the name of the next one) but it's an interesting tool for navigation - I'm using it to navigate by finding interesting systems along whichever route I'm travelling - and good for picking out the massive systems.

Something I haven't looked at yet is the behaviour of the grid of sectors high above and low below the plane. A while back I tried to find the patterns in the sector naming but gave up, there's an awful lot of them. But now we know how the system naming works, the sector names might be easier, it probably uses a similar method.

At the moment I've found a small area of bright stars which has lots (hundreds) of E systems and D systems inside, I'm going back and forwards among them taking notes. The precise boundaries between system letters is a real puzzle.

Also: I hope I haven't ushered in another bout of mad system scanning like there has been for the AA-A H systems - at least there's a lot more G systems to go round! :D
 
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Yes, there's no great practical value in terms of travel time or for finding habitable worlds (as you can always set the galaxy map to show spectral types K, G, F and jump between them manually, and they're close together, there's no need to predict the name of the next one) but it's an interesting tool for navigation - I'm using it to navigate by finding interesting systems along whichever route I'm travelling - and good for picking out the massive systems.

Something I haven't looked at yet is the behaviour of the grid of sectors high above and low below the plane. A while back I tried to find the patterns in the sector naming but gave up, there's an awful lot of them. But now we know how the system naming works, the sector names might be easier, it probably uses a similar method.

At the moment I've found a small area of bright stars which has lots (hundreds) of E systems and D systems inside, I'm going back and forwards among them taking notes. The precise boundaries between system letters is a real puzzle.

Also: I hope I haven't ushered in another bout of mad system scanning like there has been for the AA-A H systems - at least there's a lot more G systems to go round! :D
I apologize for the "theory". The understanding of the generation algorithm of the stars in the game will help us in navigating in the ED galaxy)

A year has passed... All the "delicious" systems have the label of a "First Discovered by" :)
 
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