They're Random, Baby!

Halo Stellar Cartography

On February 12, 2004, Walshicus submitted an interesting map of the Halo universe. In his words:

Hi, I mentioned on the HBO forums yesterday that I was making a map of the Halo universe. I've made it the best I can for the moment, though I've made allowance for future updates based on submissions from people wanting to see a [real] system named in their fan-fiction appear.

I've included 2 information documents, containing general assumptions I have made and the colour key as well as a complete list of the cartesian coordinates of all stars used [so people can check the Z location of stars, which is not possible in the 2d map I made].

The Excel document contains every piece of data I needed [and sometimes didn't] when making the map.

I also have another excel document which contains 30,000 stars and information about them. It's a database of 30,000 stars and myriad information about them. I thought to include it so that fans may have the potential of making their own maps [though if requested of me, I'll be more than happy to make one for anybody].

The map itself is a 1624x1288 JPEG, and weighs in at 224k. You can see it by clicking the thumbnail below. The two informational documents have been converted to HTML, and follow the image. The two Excel documents are zipped:

Stellar Cartography

Additional Map Information

SystemX value [ly]Y value [ly]Z value [ly]
Sigma Octanis-146.884102816.09378118-226.0868678
Epsilon Eridani10.33016908-1.7943620.351666644
Chi Ceti14.9751133-18.0304090273.32254967
Lambda Serpentis-10.06251053-15.3988018133.61258607
Zeta Doradus12.7509898218.99693108-30.31774339
Alpha Centauri B-1.797568891-0.0047499954.008191121
Alpha Centauri A-1.814818733-0.0161966874.000380379
61 Cygni A-4.7594653313.1801519969.805181546
61 Cygni B-4.8641669323.2104664829.822906262
Procyon A-0.8899170375.545813419-9.921881856
Sygma 2393 A5.27368629710.340021570.74672824
Sygma 2393 B5.18216115910.191219530.777500102
Epsilon Indi-6.642725561-9.396618485-2.708221789
Tau Ceti-7.296550469-8.9829997172.729187223
Eta Cassiopeiae A / Unyielding Hierophant5.538617446-1.68371336718.52237678
Eta Cassiopeiae B5.538617446-1.68371336718.52237678
82 Eridani / Eridanus11.59426074-3.506802815.60585262
Delta Pavonis-16.28667914-10.705990594.070252041
Xi Bootis A-20.708690194.3286936675.426366563
Beta Hydri-6.816930338-0.892312246-23.37841953
Mu Cassiopeiae0.2944451981.286948923-24.58693767
Xi Ursae Majoris A33.5636563-3.1414367044.096431901
Xi Ursae Majoris B33.5636563-3.1414367044.096431901
Mu Herculis A21.29324593-9.50591841714.35578818
Mu Herculis B21.29324593-9.50591841714.35578818
Mu Herculis C21.29324593-9.50591841714.35578818
61 Virginis2.684397194-23.6721925814.31138764
Chi 1 Orionis3.2695934372.39187375427.95016916
CD-46 11370 A13.88922895-21.1572014-13.41469913
CD-46 11370 B13.88922895-21.1572014-13.41469913
Beta Comae27.47446741.37965838111.57544633
BD+38 2285 A-19.9526147322.179919741.00567315
BD+38 2285 B-19.9526147322.179919741.00567315
Kappa 1 Ceti A-26.487492912.01132418-6.760001348
Kappa 1 Ceti B-26.487492912.01132418-6.760001348
CD-34 11626 A10.84736055-17.556663289.516052561
CD-34 11626 B10.84736055-17.556663289.516052561
CD-34 11626 C10.84736055-17.556663289.516052561
Gamma Pavonis-9.686796972-22.72976258-17.09651888
Reticulus A18.55362614-29.189454336.506994995
Reticulus B18.55362614-29.189454336.506994995
10 Tauri-28.31702198-29.8504132717.53334754
Alpha Fornacis A21.7628102327.0860430530.15456299
Alpha Fornacis B21.7628102327.0860430530.15456299
BD+39 2947 A-4.1774440143.27037762246.53087959
BD+39 2947 B-4.1774440143.27037762246.53087959
Psi Capricornii-41.43070864-22.97664081-6.568791243
BD-05 642 / Sinai16.5039821824.8185611739.24750577
Gliese NN 4363 / Alpha Jaguaris-36.5852826339.93529081-43.33284393
Gliese NN 4364 / Delta Jaguaris-14.8778333331.87220012-84.23094048
Gliese NN 4277 / Talos Prime-38.04647416-26.00588012-69.18639247
Gliese NN 4278 / Talos IV-8.545556356-37.99873526-73.44158553
Lalande 211850.953954571-0.753489442-8.218429387
Lamda Draconis-325.5890149-20.7373728371.61498327

Additional Map Information

Map Key

Red names indicate systems known to have been inhabited by humans at some point. Orange names indicate a human system which exists currently only in Fan-Fiction. White names indicate Covenant locations. Purple names indicate systems which are likely places of human habitation. Cyan names indicate uninhabited systems.

Map additions

Should you wish to have a star system [it must be a real one] from a fan-fiction implemented in the map, simply email me at mw703@soton.ac.uk with the star name, and I'll do the necessary research. However, if the star is located in a place that would clutter up officially inhabited systems, then I'll have to say no to your request...

Points Of Note

  • Eridanus: Unfortunately it seems that the esteemed Mr Nylund accidentally created this star system himself. Eridanus is the name of a constellation representing a great river, in the night sky; but there is no star with the singular title Eridanus. Instead we have a plethora of "Eridani"s.

    I use 82 Eridani as the intended location for Eridanus. This is based on the following observation; in Halo: First Strike, Lieutenant Wagner takes approximately 5 days to travel from Reach to Earth. Epsilon Eridani is 10ly from Earth, and assuming he double his travel time as a result of the Cole Protocol [we know he didn't completely obey the protocol, which would probably have quadrupled his time], he would be travelling 10ly every 60 hours, or 4ly per day. It is mentioned that the Ascendant Justice / Gettysburg travelled a distance that would normally require a few days, after fleeing from Epsilon Eridani. If we assume a distance of 10ly from Reach, then the most likely single-star candidate [I don't recall Eridanus being binary] is 82 Eridani, which is conveniently in the constellation of Eridanus. Hopefully this is a good assumption.

  • Sigma Octanus / Octanis: Sigma Octanus is another non-existent star from the books. The closest match is Sigma Octanis; however this poses another problem - it is over 270ly from Sol! Under normal circumstances this would seem to be a 68 day journey. This is seems a bit too far for even an outer colony, all of which are within 80ly [20 days] so far. I was tempted to consider relocating Sigma Octanus to a similar sounding appropriate system closer to Sol, however something else struck me as odd. In Halo: The Fall Of Reach, the difference in time between the loss of contact with Harvest, and the first military investigation is 8 months. Even assuming planning delays, intelligence gathering and the like, it would seem it took the battle group around 4 months to arrive at Harvest - this would indicate a distance of about 500ly.

    Additionally curious is the extremely long duration of the UN - Covenant war; around 32 years. Given the massive superiority in both technology and ship numbers, one would have thought the Covenant would have destroyed humanity long ago. If humans had colonised out to 500ly radius of Sol, then it is possible that the Covenant were merely taking the war at a leisurely pace, rather than a positively lethargic one. Their search for Forerunner artefacts may have something to do with this, as well.

    All this means that the mystery of the location of Sigma Octanus is unlikely to be solved until new data is released by Bungie or Mr Nylund.

  • Inner / Outer Colonies: Just what is an Outer Colony? I had assumed that an Outer Colony was simply a human possession beyond an arbitrary sphere of development, centred on Sol - encompassing among others, Reach. In Halo: First Strike however, Lieutenant Wagner mentions that the Naval Academy on Reach was the closest thing he had to a home in the Outer Colonies. This implies that Reach itself was an Outer Colony.

    Are we then to assume that Inner Colonies are simply those within the Sol system [Mars, Europa, Ganymede, Titan, etc] and Outer Colonies simply those that are not?

  • Eta Cassiopeiæ / Unyielding Hierophant: An educated guess would place the location of the Unyielding Hierophant somewhere in the Eta Cassiopeiž system. John-117 mentions that it would take only a small course change from Eridanus to Sol in order to intercept the Unyielding Hierophant. The only star of any importance I was able to find [not to say that another prospect doesn't exist... I only investigated the 10 potential candidates I could find] was Eta Cassiopeiž. Eta Cassiopeiž lies almost exactly on the line from [my deduced] Eridanus and Sol, except for a Z+ 2ly shift - a minor course correction.

    I do concede however that Eta Cassiopeiž is not the best candidate for the location of a vast Covenant base since the system is a binary, and probably lacking any potential seed-asteroids that are suggested in the book to be the original nucleus of the space station. I have coloured the system's name white.

  • Alpha & Delta Jaguaris, Talos Prime and Talos IV: These star systems are fictional drawn from the work of MADSH33P@netscape.net They replace Gliese NN 4363, Gliese NN 4364, Gliese NN 4277 and Gliese NN 4278 respectively.

  • Tau Ceti, Lalande 21185 and Lamda Draconis: These stars are real systems, but coloured considered human colonies based on MADSH33P@netscape.net's work.

  • Sinai: This system is drawn from scimitarex@omegacell.net's work, and is in reality the star BD-05 642.

  • Additional Systems: I have coloured in purple the names of several star systems I believe to be the likely locations of human colonies [before they are destroyed in the Covenant war, of course] based on star type and whether they have existing planets that we have detected. This is not canon in any way, and should Bungie confirm their existence or otherwise, I shall change the map accordingly.

  • Covenant Space: Bungie's recent article titled "The Covenant Primer" has revealed that the Covenant occupy a large portion of the Orion Spiral Arm of the galaxy. Sol is located towards at the inner edge of the Orion Arm, and thus we can safely assume Covenant space to be rim-wards. This is best shown via the top-down overall map of the Milky Way I have supplied.