The codex screenshot for the The Dark Wheel - Which system is it?

I've finished crunching through the data for all 8260 systems I got from EDSM and now have a list of 709 systems that contain gas giants with 8 or more moons, for a grand total of 863 gas giants.

The gas giant that's furthest away from the main star clocks in at a whopping 1,241,592 LS away. The medium distance for the 863 total gas giants on the list is only 1,501 LS, so the vast majority of those planets are reasonably close to the main star. Only 59 planets on the list are over 10,000 LS from the main star & 8 systems require a permit.

Elite Dangerous: The search for the Dark Wheel
This might suck, but i would say start with the furthest away...
What is the popular opinion on just how the Dark Wheel station would appear to CMDRs in-game? Does anyone think it'll be just like any other station that becomes instantly visible on you nav panel once the system has been scanned with the FSS? or that'll be one of those things that become visible once you get within 1000 ls of the station? or even more hidden than that?
It could be a Class L or something.
However, if we're looking at the back of the station, stations usually face the thing they are orbiting, so it seems likely that that is a moon or tiny planet.
If the station is orbiting a moon of a gas giant, then presumably the gas giant is outside the frame somewhere.
Skipped a few pages of reading to add a response...

What we might be seeing is the station, facing both the moon we can see and it's host which could be out of shot to the upper left or behind the station. (I can't see the galactic plane so orientation isn't confirmed?) If we're behind said moon we could be in an L2 point which may reduce the power required to maintain position due to the gravitational anomalies.

Seems to comply with the Codex entry but there's a problem, we'd then be orbiting the host gas giant, albeit in a geostationary L2 position behind the 8th moon and not orbiting the moon itself. To rectify that this moon would need a subsequent moon of it's own, like we see in Shinrarta Dezhra AB 2 F A (The 7th moon) but not 2 H (which would then be the 9th moon, not the 8th).

That might narrow down the search a little?

Edit: Ok, caught up on the whole thread and yep, this could easily be a very rare conjunction as well.

Edit [2] Afterthought re: Permit locks
I noticed in the last week or so that I'd forgotten to unlock Terra Mater and Nastrond and both factions were showing the permit unlock at the top of their lists as a chained follow on mission, even though I was still neutral with both. I've also been back to the (Allied) DW base on SD AB 2 H - Neumann Camp recently with triple Elite and no similar mission was visible.

This might be a lot easier if the PC version had some kind of achievement list to tick off in the hope of accidentally triggering any TDW invitation counters that might be accumulating but hidden out of sight?
Last edited:
Lyta Crane likes arcane brown dwarfs (L,Y,T) ? And maybe she was high on onion head and took a planet for a moon and a dwarf for a giant ?
It could be something like this.
What system is that?

Also a question for those of you out there with access to the imported data dump from the EDSM API: what's the closest you've found a gas giant with 8+ moons to it's parent star? I've been able to compile a list from my original dataset (200 LY cube centered on Sol) with some estimation of the distance from the gas giants (w/ 8+ moons) to the star(s) they are orbiting. The closest one acording to that data is orbiting it's parent star at 185 LY, and only 7 in total that are closer than 500 LY.

EDIT: Scratch that. I just visited the first couple of systems and the calculations are way off.
Last edited:
Have folks taken into account moons of moons in the search?

Codex entry says the 8th moon, but that may not mean moon "h".

Example 1) If a planet has moons a, b, c, d, e, e a, f, and g, then g is the 8th moon.

Example 2) If a planet has moons a, b, c, c a, d, d a, e, f, g, then f is the 8th moon.
That would be an unusual way of interpreting it which made "The Moon" the fourth planet in our solar system. That doesn't seem likely.

'c a' is not a moon of the planet - it's a moon of 'c'.
Also a question for those of you out there with access to the imported data dump from the EDSM API: what's the closest you've found a gas giant with 8+ moons to it's parent star?
...and how does that correlate with the radius and mass of the star?

This is an important question to ask of the EDSM data, I think. The chances of the station being in a system which was already visited as of 3.3 release I think are basically zero (so the gas giant itself won't be in the EDSM data). But it could give very useful information on how close the gas giant can plausibly be to a red dwarf, red giant or red supergiant star - if it was possible to rule out red dwarf stars, and then just concentrate on looking for uncatalogued red giant and supergiant stars near Sol, that could speed up the search a lot.
Might help a bit, but the supergiant isn't always the primary, eg Rigel (Orion).

Edit: The supergiant isn't always the entry point, as in the case above.
Last edited:
I searched EDSM for all stars with temperature < 2300k with an 8-moon Gas Giant in the same system.
Spreadsheet up: Google Docs Spreadsheet Link
I copied the "Red Giants" tab into a new spreadsheet so I could do some edits, you can find it here:

Out of the 37 systems there I think there are 15 systems that have approximately the correct star solar radius / distance to the gas giant ratio that could replicate what we see on the picture of the supposed Dark Wheel station in the Codex.

I decided to visit 5 of the candidates and took screenshots of each where I tried to replicate the Codex picture the best I could. I thought it might give us some insight into what the actual system we are looking for might look like.

Before we look at those I thought I'd share the view from the 8th moon of a gas giant orbiting a M type star, this is a red dwarf with a solar radius of 0.55 and the gas giant is orbiting 325 ls away. This is the closest one I could find that was in my 200 LY cube around Sol dataset.

LTT 6278
Spectral class: M2 V | Solar radius: 0.5528 | Distance to gas giant: 325 ls | Ratio: 0.170%
Photo taken 1.34 ls away from the 8th moon and 319 ls from the star.

I don't think we will ever find a station orbiting a 8th moon of a gas giant that is orbiting a red dwarf star, that could possibly result in the photo of the station from the Codex. Zoomed in or not. I don't think it's physically possible for that arrangement to happen. Not around a red dwarf star.

Now, moving on to the big bois.

Aucofs QR-W d1-3
Spectral class: M5 IIIb | Solar radius: 29.091 | Distance to gas giant: 2,135 ls | Ratio: 1.363%
Photo taken 0.28 ls away from the 8th moon and 2,000 ls away from the star.

This is the red giant with the lowest ratio between the solar radius of the star to the distance to the gas giant at 1.363%
Personally I think this is still to far away with respect to the Codex screenshot, but I could be wrong.

Aucofs HK-A d4
Spectral class: M3 IIIb | Solar radius: 31.903 | Distance to gas giant: 1,357 ls | Ratio: 2.351%
Photo taken 0.16 ls away from the 8th moon and 1,356 ls from the star.

Next one comes in at a 2.351% ratio and now I feel like we're getting closer to the Codex image.

HR 6001
Spectral class: M5 III | Solar radius: 51.672 | Distance to gas giant: 996 ls | Ratio: 5.188%
Photo taken 25.1 Mm away from the 8th moon and 1,000 ls from the star.

Next one is at a 5.188% ratio. This looks pretty damn close to the Codex image.

21 Zeta Cephei
Spectral class: M I | Solar radius: 91.600 | Distance to gas giant: 1,600 ls | Ratio: 5.725%
Photo taken 5,84Mm away from the 8th moon and 1,613 ls from the star.

Now we move over to the super giants. This one has a ratio of 5.725% The color is off, but the size looks right.

4 Cassiopeiae
Spectral class: M5 III | Solar radius: 97.203 | Distance to gas giant: 1,522 ls | Ratio: 6.387%
Photo taken 22.8 Mm away from moon and 1,477 ls from the star.

And our last super giant has a ratio of 6.387% Size looks right, color is ever so slightly off.

Again, I don't think it's possible for a gas giant with 8+ moons to orbit a M class star as close as the Codex image depicts unless the solar radius is over 20-30. If that's true then the Dark Wheel station in 100% not in, or near the bubble.

Last edited:
Brief mention in case it's important later...

Found a lagrange cloud that appears to be in the L3 point.
HIP 24936 A 19 C (Same orbit & behind the host Y Dwarf)
A Notable Stellar Phenomena that's only 725 Ly from Sol!

Belated edit: Thanks for adding the orrery to the system map FDev, long overdue and much appreciated. Hopefully the next notable stellar phenomena I find will also be in an L3 point, and I can get excited about FDev populating the more stable L4 and L5 points with gigantic fields of (currently missing) trojan objects.
Last edited:
Caveat: I have not read all pages of the thread yet so this may have already been discussed.

On page one there is a lot of discussion about the colour of the star. To my mind the image looks manipulated for dramatic effect. Changing the colour could easily be done in any number of ways (filter, colour balance, colour subtraction, levels, curves, overlays) in Photoshop. So hunting for a specific hue if red, could be a red herring (no pun intended).
Top Bottom