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NGC 1502 and Stock 23 are real. They're star clusters. The other names aren't familiar to me, but they might be real, too.
You might consider placing events in one of those clusters.

The resource most often used to get real information about real objects is the Simbad astronomical database. One of its search pages is at

Just type in one of the official names of an object and Simbad will display lots of info about it.

Unfortunately, although there are BF catalogs, 528 and 529 aren't recognized by Simbad. Maybe Steve can comment on that.

Information about many star clusters is also available from WebDA. Its search page is at
According to it, 5 stars that are in the Hipparcos catalog (used by Celestia) are in the vicinity of Stock 24. The cluster might consist of 30 or so stars.

Precise 3D positions for ~1.3 billion stars are expected to become available later this month when Gaia's second data release is published. That should make it possible to provide more accurate numbers.

ETA: and will likely require some significant ret-conning of some of OA's articles. Sad
Some interesting ideas re your story. I do have some thoughts and comments on that re OA tech and other things, but need to head out the door shortly.

Will post on those later today or tonight as time permits.


The objects BF528 and BF529 are actually HII regions; their correct names are BFS 28 and BFS 29. I think the colour of the typeface I used is a bit muddy, so that the S looks like a 5. Apologies for misleading you.

Both are 1100 ly from Sol, according to the catalog.
Welcome to the project! Smile

(04-12-2018, 03:14 PM)Frank_D Wrote: So for right now, that works for starting to create my setting; not that I can use up a whole sector, but there's plenty of room to grow.
I'm going to set my sector in The Outer Volumes, or The Periphery.
My populated worlds will be connected by routes facilitated by wormhole generators, or is that no good?
Until today, I couldn't imagine myself setting a private eye story in a scifiĀ setting but this happened today...

The setting is certainly big enough that you could write your own region in. A couple of points to keep in mind is that OA doesn't really use the generic SF term "sector" and the wormhole Nexus thins out quite substantially towards the edge of the middle region. It's certainly not impossible that there would be a branch of the Nexus that far out but it connectivity also means that the area is unlikely to be a backwater (if that's what you're going for).

Here's some information on wormholes in the setting and the wormhole nexus in general:

(04-12-2018, 03:14 PM)Frank_D Wrote: I woke up in my new clone with that awful backup/restore headache. I would take a good old fashioned migraine over one of these any time.
Worst headache ever, but not near as bad as that time someone killed me during the copying process.
The folks at Consciousness Recovery had to do a fresh backup and trim my memory. Otherwise I couldn't recover from the resulting PTSD.
I got that from my medical records, because I couldn't remember.
Imagine that.
Yet that wasn't the most important question throbbing in my mind at that moment.
Who killed me?
More over, why would anybody want to kill me?
I went and got some recovery meds to ease the pounding in my skull.
There wasn't enough time for my murder to be in the news yet, so I decided to go get some food.
It occurred to me that I must have been getting close to something, or they wouldn't have risked killing me. It seemed that The Covenant had assumed I couldn't afford to keep a clone and a backup. They wouldn't have taken a chance, committing an act as desperate as murder.
I fell into line in the medfac cafeteria and began to pile bad hospital food on my tray.
I was so hungry, I would have chewed the leg off of an ostrich at that point.
One of the draw backs of awakening in a fresh clone

There are a few little things that would have to be changed to fit this in the setting, but aside from the wordsmithing a bigger issue is that this passage implies a level of technology and social organisation much less sophisticated than what is the norm for OA. Newly engenerated (not cloned) bodies don't suffer from any form of physical aches or pains, will be awoken at an appropriate state of satiety rather than hungry and nothing like a hospital really exists anymore (there being no reason most of the time to have a big centralised building when injuries are rarely life threatening and can be taken care of by some strategically placed autodoc clinics). Most newly engenerated people likely wake up at home or some other nice location, possibly just in time to see the engenerator seeing itself out like some sort of animated wardrobe.

Murder depends on the region. Most places in OA operate angelnets that would prevent such a thing but not all do (and even those that do may have deliberate hazard zones as a matter of personal choice). Essentially what I'm saying is there aren't any show stoppers to you writing a region into the setting, or telling this sort of mystery story, but it will probably take a bit more discussing what it is you want to do to see how it could work with the setting Smile

Some EG articles that would be useful to be familiar with:
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!
Rynn Wrote:Newly engenerated (not cloned) bodies don't suffer from any form of physical aches or pains...
That depends somewhat on the date, and the local tech level. Early engenerators as used by the LinnEnt empire were comparatively crude, and the engenerated subject would be very thin and weak when they are first woken up.
I've mentioned this effect in one of my stories On The Boat which is set in the early days of the LinnEnnt empire.

By the time the region Frank_D is interested was colonised, engeneration was much more sophisticated - but that doesn't rule out the use of second-hand or dodgy technology by certain fringe fractions on the Periphery. The Periphery, of course, is constantly moving outwards from Sol over time, as at one point even NGC 1502 was at the outer edge of the Terragen Sphere.
Here's BFS 29, by the way

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NGC 1502 looks like this

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
And Stock 23 - note, we don't own any of these images, so we can't use them without attribution- but I'm sure we could put something similar together with various graphics programs.

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
So, as mentioned earlier, here are my thoughts on various parts of your story and related areas...

(04-12-2018, 03:14 PM)Frank_D Wrote: I'm going to set my sector in The Outer Volumes, or The Periphery.
My populated worlds will be connected by routes facilitated by wormhole generators, or is that no good?

I think this is doable, but as has been mentioned, the number of wormholes in the Outer Volumes is pretty low and extremely low to verging on non-existent on the Periphery. Note also that if a given system is connected to a wormhole, it is likely to either be pretty developed (by OA standards, which doesn't always mean what other SF does by that term), or planned to be in future. Or the archai might have plans of some kind for it that aren't at all obvious to human level minds.

A key point here might be what (if anything) you plan to use the wormhole(s) for in your story. Are they critical to the story or just sort of there?

On a related note (and bearing in mind I haven't seen your answer to the question above yet, of courseTongue), here are some possible alternative options that might (or might not) work better for what you're wanting to do:

a) Set the story in the Hinterregions - the Wormhole Nexus is actually a very tree-like structure and the majority of star systems are actually not connected to it. But you could certainly have more wormholes to work with in this region (while not being anywhere near as heavily developed as the Inner Sphere), while still being well out from the 'center of things'.

b) Set the story in a multiple star system and have your characters travel around between the different stars in the system rather than crossing interstellar distances. Multi-star systems are quite common and a system with 4-6 stars (of various types) would be quite doable. The actual distances between the different stars in the system could range from so close as to be nearly touching to so far apart that light would take days or weeks to get from one to the other. OA tech can do ships that could cross those distances in weeks to months and so could provide an option for significant travel without either wormholes or years of travel time between non-wormhole linked stars.

c) Don't use wormholes and essentially just ignore the time taken to cross interstellar spaces. OA tech has both biostasis and engenerators - so your character can either take a starship and sleep their way across the stars or use the Lightways to effectively 'teleport' from star to star. The exciting story stuff would happen at the beginning/end of each trip. Or maybe during if a starship is taken and there is a reason for some number of people to be awake - or something happens that results in your character being woken up.

(04-12-2018, 03:14 PM)Frank_D Wrote: Until today, I couldn't imagine myself setting a private eye story in a scifiĀ setting but this happened today...

NeatSmile I look forward to seeing the entire finished story.

Rynn already touched on a lot of the technical issues re fitting your story into OA. With that in mind, I'm going to mostly focus on some potential ways to address those issues.

With that in mind - there are various options that could make the lower level of technical capability indicated in your story more workable within the context of OA. In no particular order, you could:

a) Set the story earlier in the OA timeline, before much of the tech that Rynn mentions is either invented or perfected, depending. Steve has already mentioned this option earlier in the thread.

b) Set the story in the aftermath of some event that has knocked the local technology and social structure back by some significant amount. This could be a war (local to the system or just nearby), a blight or perversion, an industrial accident, or a natural disaster. Any of these might have negatively impacted the local infrastructure and technology which could still be building itself back up.

c) Introduce some sort of local cultural element that deliberately limits the technology level or application. This could be in the form of laws or customs or religion or some combo of all of these.

Any of these options would cover the issues of a society in which murder could take place and of your character waking up with a headache in a medical facility or the like. However, the body e woke up in would still be more like a tissue printed construct rather than a clone. They could also address the character being killed 'during the copying process' since in most of the OA setting, Backup tech is generally either totally implanted (the implants are very durable) or transmit in real time while the person goes about their business.

Bad hospital food is a common literary and TV trope, but generally wouldn't be a thing in Y11k and for thousands of years before. Food can be synthesized that is virtually indistinguishable from the finest cuisine you can imagine with trivial ease. Although again, the right kind of negative event could account for that.

On a final note, said negative event needn't play a huge role in the story. Probably a combo of passing mentions and maybe a paragraph or three somewhere in the story that provides a bit more filled out backstory would likely do the trick.

Ok, I think that about covers it for now. Hope this helps and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Smile


EDIT - One last thing I forgot to mention above until just now:

If you wanted a somewhat bigger venue than a multi-star system, you could set your story in someplace like the Pleiades - which apparently packs over 1000 stars and some number of brown dwarfs and of course a good bit of gas and dust into a volume about 70ly across. Such clusters aren't hugely denser than our part of the galaxy, but the night sky might be spectacular.

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