The Eagle Nebula is a Huge emission nebula 7,000 light-years from Sol, Serpens Outer Volume. It consists of enormous columns of cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust, illuminated by ultraviolet light that is emitted from newborn stars. The columns are known as EGG's (Evaporating Gaseous Globules) because the ultraviolet light boils off some of the hydrogen gas (H2), shaping the nebula by photoevaporation. The largest column is about 1 light-year tall. Although it is certain that some relativistic AI probes have already reached the Eagle Nebula, it will be many centuries before any information can be received, as there were no linelayers among them. A large number of venture capitalists and other start-ups, and a number of STC member polities, have made claims to various parts of the nebula. However not all are recognized in all polities, and several areas have been claimed several times by different individuals. There is a popular urban legend that the Eagle Nebula is a local staging post for the mythical Dawn Hunters. Another folktale says that it has already been claimed by a particularly aggressive and protective Caretaker God, or by a new empire of ahuman ai. All of these rumours are almost certainly false.
- Caretaker Protectorate - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
A world or region of space under the protection of a Caretaker God. Some protectorates only include a single planet or moon, others may encompass entire solar systems, or even many thousands of cubic light years. In some cases the day to day running of things is mediated by sophonts under the god's care, at other times the god rules directly, via seraiphim and remotes.