[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part V – The New Chinese Arm (v2.0)

NOTE: This is version 2.0 of the New Chinese Arm – it has been updated from its original version. See here for the full explanation for the change, otherwise read on for the updated Arm!

Finally, here’s the final part of my Realistic Star Map Project: the New Chinese Arm, and its associated branches! There are a lot of systems in here – 115 in total – and as you can see from the 3D map, it sprawls across a large region of space!

New Chinese Arm top view

3D Map of the New Chinese Arm (view from “above”).

As usual, the “subway map” makes this a little easier to digest:

Chinese Arm Subway Map

Subway Map of the New Chinese Arm.

The “Chinese Arm” is actually divided up into six main regions, with two more ‘extensions’ beyond those. The Chinese Arm itself is shown in green on the maps above. The Latin finger now has its own significant extension to expand into, and the Canadian ‘finger’ also has more systems and should now more properly be called the Canadian Arm (or maybe the “Canadarm”, but that’s already taken I guess ;) ). The Sung finger is longer, and the Kormoran finger has now been corrected. Finally, the Full Eber Arm and its extensions map out the route to the true Eber homeworld of Zeta 2 Reticuli, and can be consider to be extensions of the Chinese Arm.

The Chinese Arm:
- The Chinese Arm starts at Sol and follows the American Arm until AX Microscopii (Broward), where it then connects to the first major Chinese system at Epsilon Indi (Chengdu).
- EQ Pegasi (DM+19 5116) is now in a dead-end off the arm, and is replaced here by Gliese 1005 – this system is now the start of the Canadian Arm and is part of the “Haifeng loop” accessible from Kwantung (Tau Ceti), which is itself now a major hub system. Note that Gliese 1005 is listed on the map as DM+19 5116 but this is only for reference purposes – it doesn’t actually have a DM number of its own.
- ‘The Scorpion’s Tail’ (my own name given to a branch from Hunjiang (Gliese 1) given its appearance on the 3D map) contains many of the major Chinese worlds such as Chengdu (Epsilon Indi, which also serves as the gateway to the Chinese arm from Sol), Cold Mountain (Delta Pavonis) and Xiuning (Gliese 832). D’Artagnan (Gliese 693) and Davout (Gliese 682) are now also on the Chinese Arm, near the end of the Tail – there are a few more systems to expand into beyond those, but the main region of Chinese Expansion is the Full Eber Arm which is accessible from Montana (Omicron 2 Eridani). Montana also marks the start of the Latin Finger. Wolf 562 – the system at the end of the Scorpion’s Tail – is also known as Gliese 581 or HO Librae and is a red dwarf that is currently known to have at least three (and possibly at least six) planets orbiting it.

The Latin Finger and Extension:
The Latin Finger is essentially unchanged from the original 2300AD map. It begins at Omicron 2 Eridani (Montana), but this system is considerably more important now since it is also the access point to the Full Eber Arm. The next system is Austin’s World (DM-3 1123, a.k.a. Wolf 1453), which links to the other worlds on the Finger – Gliese 229 (DM-21 1377), Ross 614, and Procyon (Paulo). However, the Finger now connects to DX Cancri (Augereau) on the French Arm, and this system is the access point to the Latin Extension which contains 18 systems for the South Americans (and probably the French as well) to expand into.

The Canadian Arm:
- The Canadians now have a full-blown Arm containing 16 systems to call their own. It begins at Gliese 1005, with Moosejaw Station being the first Canadian territory at the trinary system LHS 1070 (DM+15 4733). As mentioned earlier, EQ Pegasi is no longer on the Canadian Arm. The next inhabited system (beyond the white dwarf WD 2359-434) is Kanata, which was formerly located at DM+20 5046 (Doris) – however, this star is actually over 1300 lightyears away, so Kanata is now located at Gliese 879. Gliese 879 is also known as TW Piscis Austrini and is considered to be a proper motion companion to Fomalhaut, which is only 0.9 ly away and would be brighter than Venus in the sky there. Fomalhaut would be a site of considerable scientific interest since it is a bright, young star known to have a significant debris disk around it which may have planets forming within it. The last inhabited Canadian system is Eriksson at Gliese 884, and there is plenty of room for further expansion beyond that. Another star of interest further along the arm is Delta Capricorni (also known as Deneb Algedi), which is an eclipsing binary consisting of an A7 III white Giant star and a late G or early K main sequence star.

The Kormoran Finger:
- Beta Hydri (formerly Daikoku), Zeta Tucanae (formerly Syuhlahm), and p Eridani (formerly Heidelsheimat) are now no longer directly accessible from the Chinese Arm – these stars are now located far down the Full Eber Arm (Delta Pavonis and Beta Hydri are actually separated by 9.29 ly).
- Kormoran (82 Eridani) is still accessible though, via Gliese 1061 and the brown dwarf DEN 0255-470. These stars comprise the new Kormoran Finger along with Gliese 1068 which lies beyond 82 Eridani.
- Heidelsheimat is now located at Gliese 1061, Syuhlahm is now at LHS 1723, and Daikoku is now at Pi 3 Orionis and represents the furthest human outpost on the Eber Arm.

The Sung Finger:
The Sung Finger begins at Gliese 908 (DM+1 4774), and the Sung Homeworld of Stark remains at Gliese 33 (DM+4 123). There are now more systems beyond Stark – the distance between the brown dwarf 2MASSW J0036+1821 and 54 Piscium is currently 7.703 lightyears. Since it is entirely possible that stellar proper motion would have carried the two stars to within 7.7 ly of eachother by 2300AD – as it is right now they are only 190 AU beyond the stutterwarp limit, and they could be even closer given the error bars in the parallaxes – I have decided that 54 Piscium is actually accessible from J0036 for the purposes of this map. The 54 Piscium cluster consists of eight systems, most of which are red dwarfs – 54 Piscium is an interesting system consisting of a K0 V and brown dwarf companion as well as a known jovian world on an eccentric orbit at 0.28 AU from the star, and HR 9088 (85 Pegasi, a trinary) and Gliese 5 (HD 166) are both yellow stars not too different from Sol.

The (Full) Eber Arm and Extensions:
- The Eber Arm exists in order to reach the “true” Eber homeworld at Zeta 2 Reticuli, which is currently shrouded in mystery. In 2320AD, it was apparent that something nasty happened there that destroyed the ancient Eber civilisation – long-range scouting missions to explore it returned with few survivors, which terrified everyone enough to never want to go anywhere near it again. On the Realistic Star Map, Syuhlahm (now at the red dwarf LHS 1723) is the last inhabited system on the Chinese Arm before the Eber Arm begins – it is separated from the final Chinese outpost of Daikoku at Pi 3 Orionis by two white dwarf systems. Here, Daikoku still contains Eber ruins (which makes sense given its new location), and it now acts as the base of operations for further exploration of the rest of the Eber Arm.
- There are 16 systems on the Eber Arm itself (the most direct route to Zeta 2 Reticuli) and 26 more systems on several extensions from it, so it represents a lot of potential expansion room for the Chinese and possibly the South Americans too. These include a number of ‘named’ systems of interest: Gamma Leporis, AP Columbae (a protostar that is still in the process of forming), Delta Eridani, Kappa Ceti (a sun-like star that is prone to massive superflares), Zeta Tucanae, and Zeta 2 Reticuli itself (Zeta 1 Reticuli would also be accessible, but is basically at the same location as Zeta 2). Zeta Tucanae is also the access point for extensions that reach to Beta Hydri, Gamma Pavonis, and Beta and Zeta Trianguli Australis.


This concludes my presentation of Realistic 2300AD Star Map – hopefully you’ve found it useful! While this is all entirely unofficial and non-canonical, I can’t really see the layout of the systems significantly changing in the future since we’ve discovered most of the systems near Sol now. Thanks go to Colin Dunn and the folks at the 2300AD Facebook group for useful feedback! Any comments and questions (and Paypal donations!) are welcome – feel free to post them here, on the 2300AD Facebook group, or on the 2300AD SFRPG Discussion Board!

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8 Responses to “[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part V – The New Chinese Arm (v2.0)”

  • This is a really amazing piece of work and really inspiring for a 2300AD campaign that I am thinking of starting in the next month or so. It feels much more correct to be basing it in a universe that corresponds even more accurately to the one we now know. I have been writing up a travel guide based on your new Chinese arm, but adding in details like spectral class and the like, and I can’t find the star that you have on the maps as El Cancri (or is it E1 Cancri)? Does it have an alternate name?

    • Thanks! Though the French and Chinese Arms will be getting a bit of a update in the next few days (I hope) – I got the position of WISE J1049-5319 wrong so the start of both arms needs to be fixed. I’ll make a post about that when it’s ready.

      And the star you’re looking for (in lower case) is “ei cancri”, also known as GJ 1116. It’s an M5.5V/M8V binary system.

  • Ah – I thought there was something squiffy when I looked at the distances between them and wondered why people were going from Sol to WISE J1049-5319 via Alpha Centuri and from WISE J J1049-5319 to Tau Ceti via BL Seti, since in both cases the direct route seemed easier.

    The main problem I am struggling with ‘in game’ now is why it took so long to find the Ebers at 82 Eridani, since it looks like a peachy colonisation target relatively close to earth.

  • Thanks for updating the data – that is quite a routing change!

    I have taken your data and used it to draw my own ‘tourist’ map of the Chinese Arm manually, but containing useful information for starter players. I hope you don’t mind that? Next step is to do a military map of the Chinese arm as well, showing all the links off the main routes where pirates and ner-do-wells can hide out in unexplored and unvisited systems. But for that I will need to buy Astrosynthesis and load in your data to find all the routes, which is a task for after Christmas.

  • I did something like this years ago. I took the then available Gliese 3.0 catalogues, the early Hipparcos data and some other catalogues (including the Yale Bright Star and so forth) and updated the NSL as much as possible.

    One thing I did note was that Alpha Crucis -> Alpha Corvi ( Alchiba ) in Gliese. This is likely to be a simple transcription error – reading the abbreviation ALF CRV for the incorrect ALF CRU.

    I also noted Kappa Reticuli -> Kappa Ceti in Gliese. This is likely to be a transcription error, reading the abbreviation KAP RET for the correct KAP CET.

    I still have the data file if you want it. Mail me.

    • Since I got the data for these maps from the new Hipparcos files, I doubt that those specific transcription errors are in these files. (2300AD did have a glaring transcription error though – what they called Rho Eridani was actually “p eridani”).

  • Any chance that lesser humans can get their hands on your files? I set aside the same project a year ago (using the datasets you posted under Stellar Mapping) because I just couldn’t things to click and was losing track of all the edits.

    But I’ve come across some fun in using the new 2300 Colony Generator to expand on the stars that should have been explored. Would love a full AS file with the work done… please?

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