Lightyears aren't really Lightyears - Just how big is New Eden?

If you’re interested in more stuff like this, visit the Jita Observatory: Jita Astronomical Observatory - Exploring New Eden - An EVE Online Astronomy Club

The problem is that it is pretty evident that Jump Drive distances in light years is a highly unreliable tool for measuring New Eden. Simply, they must not be accurate. A good example is the supposed distance in lightyears between Mara and Dantumi.

Figure 1.1 - Mara to Dantumi in Lightyears: 0.838 ly

Here’s Mara, a pretty standard solar system.

Figure 1.2 - Mara

Here’s Dantumi, also a pretty regular looking solar system.

Figure 1.3 - Dantumi

The problem is that systems that are only 0.838 lightyears are binary systems, and their planetary orbits would be very messed up, especially given the solar masses of each star.

Safe to say that observation dictates the two solar systems must be further apart than 0.838 lightyears.

Luckily for us:

  • We can determine how far apart they are really once we work out actual distances of astronomical structures on the background-skybox.
  • We can easily write off jump drives in lightyears as approximating something else. For instance the Jump drive warps space-time such that based on time dilation and mass-to-energy conversion, etc, saying the jump is 0.838 lightyears makes sense to a Capsuleer.

But in terms of the observable New Eden?

It’s nonsense.

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You can solve any problem in physics by just adding dark energy/matter to one side of the equation, or you can say “string theory” and then make up anything you like.

Not needed for this, because frankly I’m sure no one cares how an EVE “jump drive” operates. Since it doesn’t actually operate.

Now the game world we play in actually “exists” in as much as it can be actually measured…that makes it fun to measure it and compare its consistency or lack-there-of.

Piekura to Mara is 0.9 lightyears in Jump Drive distance, but is stated to be a 1.15 Solar Massive star, therefore cannot possibly be within 0.9 light years of Mara without pulling all of Mara’s planets out of circular orbit.

Therefore we KNOW Jump Drive lightyears to be describing something other than actual spacetime distances that are observable.

Piekura is a G0V class star: therefore must be by definition a 1.15 solar massive star.

While we can definitively say that Jump Drives are not accurate measurements of the distances across New Eden, let the Astronomy begin :wink:

  • The question becomes: how to measure the actual distances in New Eden?

And as seen in the Jita Observatory, we can determine relative positions of Astronomical Structures, such as Nebula, onto the New Eden Map…

Jove did it.


Well I’ve demonstrated that the New Eden Map is not even relatively consistent…distances between star systems that are nearly the same in jump drive lightyears, are not represented even close to the same distance upon the map.

  • Piekura to Mara is ~0.9 lightyears
  • Mara to Dantumi is ~0.838 lightyears

Relative Distances between Piekura, Mara and Dantumi are not accurately represented on Map

So, there is room for the Astronomers to map New Eden from the stars in the sky…to create a real map of the heavenly bodies that populate New Eden.

As we using a gate system and the time taken to travel between systems is roughly the same the map doesn’t need to be accurate when it comes to light years, all it really needs to do is show how the systems are connected.

I agree fully. Showing this to be the case was an integral step though in justifying that it is possible to determine distances between stars in New Eden…within the game.

Hop into the Observatory thread and start contributing…

I can’t tell which thread is the main thread. You created too many.

This thread if you want to talk about how the lightyear game distance is inaccurate for roleplaying reasons…

The Observatory thread for explorations.

I think your premise is wrong. Given the history of New Eden, it is entirely possible that the unit of mass that is being used is not the same as the original Terran unit - a lot of knowledge was lost, perhaps the Amarr redefined the mass units based on a best guess.

The light year, on the other hand, is probably the same light year everybody is used to. Rather than assume the distance is wrong, perhaps you should consider that the mass is wrong.

While this is super intriguing, it doesn’t really fit with the idea of “lightyear” which is the speed of light over distance irrespective of mass (in a way).

I mean, we over-looked the most OBVIOUS question.

What is a year?

Maybe 0.838 years in New Eden is 10 Earth years?

Yes, perhaps.

You are expecting a lot from a game company, Alistair. They do fairly well, but come on, they make a space game we enjoy, they’re not MASA (Mid-Atlantic Space Agency)

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It would be pretty amazing if the stars are not positioned in a 3D grid, with the exact distances listed. Alistair wants to talk about how light-years cannot be light-years because of gravitational effects on planetary orbits . . . I think he is going to have some difficulty working on that problem in a satisfying manner.

Your conclusion that lightyears in EVE are not actually lightyears depends on your observation of planetary orbits that are represented by circles in-game.

Have you considered another explanation: that planetary orbits shown in-game may not actually be representing the real orbit of the planets?

(For one: the planets don’t move.)


Do you have “Abstract layout” checked or un-checked in the map?

Also, I know how just how big New Eden is: I may not know the units, but the answer is 42.