Update 2018 (April 1) – Regarding Planets

I’ve had a couple of questions recently about the location of planets on the Galactic Map, so I thought I’d expand a bit on the original entry.

Some locations are real places. These include:

Zeta Reticuli (1 and 2) – The distance between them has been exaggerated slightly for clarity.

LV-44-40 – The ‘Defiance’ comic lists the system as Zeta Doradus. The original script said Alpha Doradus, but considering the time period the comic is set (2137) and the time it took the Europa to get there (27 days), I suggested they change it to Zeta Doradus as it seemed more realistic (Alpha Doradus is a 169 light years versus 38 for Zeta). Witness the power I wield.

Cetti Epsilon IV – As per Drake’s t-shirt, this is adapted from the actual star Epsilon Ceti.
Arcturus – The source of the much vaunted poontang.

Some locations were estimates:

Fiorina 161 – This was one an arbitrary pick that was vaguely on the way back from LV-426 to Earth. Ships travelling on that route don’t actually travel through any other star systems. Fox effectively canonised the location when my original Galactic Map was adapted for use on the Anthology blu-ray menus.

Thedus – I’ve put Thedus at Epsilon Reticuli. I was originally going to use 20 Reticuli based on the Colonial Marines Technical Manual, but back whenever it was I did the original map, I couldn’t locate 20 Reticuli. Epsilon Reticuli fits the bill however, as it’s in the same region of sky as Zeta Reticuli, and Zeta Reticuli is about halfway home from Epsilon. The Nostromo wouldn’t have had to be diverted too far off course to go to LV-426.

Planet 4 and Origae 6 – Here’s what I originally wrote on the entry for the Covenant in the Vehicles sections.
“It’s 7 years 4 months from current position when the ship is damaged by the neutrino burst, to Origae-6.
There are 8 more recharges according to Oram and Walter.
This would place each recharge every 11 months or so (assuming a final recharge when they reach Origae-6).
Using info from the novelisation, it says they’ve been asleep for months (as opposed to years).
I have assumed that this is the first recharge, and therefore they launched about 11 months earlier.
I originally surmised that if we plot dates and improvements in FTL speeds using Prometheus (0.04 light years per day launching in 2091) as the starting point and Nostromo as the end point (0.13 light years per day as at 2122), this would put Covenant at a speed of 0.08 light years per day in 2104. Of course this is comparing three very different ships and a straight line in the improvements of light-plus engines, but there’s very little to go on.
With the advent of the blu-ray, it is possible to see the time and distance numbers from the position of the incident to Planet 4. These numbers however are very ,very difficult to make out. My best guess was 1.249000 (I’m assuming light years) and a travel time of 2 weeks (Ricks says ‘a few weeks’ in the dialogue).
Bizarrely this also points to a speed of 0.08 light years per day.
A further assumption is based on the name Origae-6. Origae is Latin for Auriga, so I’ve used that as a basis to place Origae in the constellation Auriga. A total travel time of approximate 3011 days would place Covenant some 240 light years from Earth at journey’s end. The best candidate in Auriga for this is Xi Aurigae. It is 238 (+/- 5) ly away and is an A2V type main sequence star with a size and mass around twice that of Sol. It does not currently have any known exoplanets.”
The recently released script draft of ‘Paradise Lost’ (courtesy AvP Galaxy) says the Covenant is 239 light years from Earth when they get damaged (another weird coincidence). As much as I would’ve liked to use that figure, it doesn’t jibe with what ended up in the film.

Xarem – The novelisation for ‘Alien Resurrection’ says Purvis will be in hypersleep for ‘a couple of months’. However we have no idea how far that will take him. One would expect FTL speeds to be greater than 200 years earlier, but the only known speed we have is the Auriga (0.008 light years per day – but that’s inside the the Solar System). That kind of speed would only take Purvis half a light year from Earth in 2 months. So I’ve just gone with the assumption that Xarem is a fair way out, but still in the realm of the Map.

Thanks to Clara Fei-Fei (of the nifty Yutani Blog) for pointing out that I’d initially missed Xarem. It may not fit the 22nd century time period, but since we don’t know either way, I decided to include it.

Locations that used real stars as fictional places:

Wright-Aberra Fuel Depot – From the ‘Defiance’ comics. Somewhere fairly close to Zeta Doradus.

LV-178 – aka New Galveston from ‘Out of the the Shadows’ and ‘Sea of Sorrows’. Somewhere vaguely between LV-426 and Earth.

Konor Minor – Mentioned in the original DVD crew bios Easter Egg. The position of Konor Minor is completely arbitrary.

Kellerat – See Konor Minor.

Torin Prime – Much the same as above except I set Torin Prime relatively near to UAORD bases at Skyfire Down and Liberty Echo. Of course they’re all in the Outer Rim.

Skyfire Down – Ditto.

Liberty Echo – Ditto.

Everything else is a real star. I mainly populated the Map with stars that had actual names rather than just alphanumeric designations.

Update 2018 (February 14) – Galactic Map tweaks

Added a couple of locations to the map that I’d previously missed, including Konor Minor and Cetii Epsilon. Konor Minor’s location is speculative. Cetii Epsilon (the fourth planet of which was the site of a Colonial Marine battle if Drake’s t-shirt in Aliens is anything to go by) is a real star system, though it’s named Epsilon Ceti (with only one ‘i’). I’ve used the (mis)spelling from the film on the map.

I’ve also nailed down an accurate location for Epsilon Reticuli (Thedus) thanks once again to Winchell Chung.

Update 2018 (February 7) – New Galactic Map

After a lot of mucking around I’ve finally compiled an updated galactic map.  As with the original version, a great deal is owed to Winchell Chung’s work.  I’ve adopted the much nicer looking boundaries for the Core Systems and Outer Rim that Fox created when they nicked the original map for the blu-ray menus.

In terms of accuracy, the following stuff is:

  • Any listed actual star system.
  • LV-426 and LV-223
  • Sevastopol
  • LV-44-40
  • Fiorina 161 (since Fox effectively canonised the original map for the aforementioned blu-ray menus)

Stuff that is either an estimate or a guess.

  • Thedus
  • Wright-Aberra
  • Planet 4
  • Origae-6
  • Kellerat
  • Skyfire Down
  • Liberty Echo
  • Torin Prime

Bon appetit.

Update 2017 (December 28) – Banned Histories

The Banned Histories version 2.8-ish is up.  I’ve gone the full hack this time including as many Aliens and AvP sources as possible, and generally ignored the endless contradictions.

I say ‘2.8-ish’ as I’m still working on the linked stories AvP (aka Prey), Hunters Planet, AvP: War, Three World War and AvP: The Web.  Once those are up and other bits I’ve missed, it’ll be a proper version 3.0.

Update 2017 (October 26) – More Covenant dimensions

Slight update to the size of the Covenant.  After spending some time trying to work out if the length of the ship was accurate, I asked the demon blueprinter Graham Langridge for assistance.  He had been in contact with Steve Burg, one of the designers of Prometheus and Covenant, and revealed the actual length of the ship to be 1219.2m.  Which is a figure I never would’ve arrived at.  I was looking in the 750m ballpark.  Where the 500m size from The Art and Making of Alien Covenant came from is unknown.

More gratifying was the fact my (now updated) measurements for the Lander and Lifter were only a few metres off.

Graham’s blueprint book will be out next year through Titan Publishing.