By Master Jedi Hyqs
Last update: 04/02/2012 - 19:15 EST

Where is it and how do I get there from here?

This is the question of navigation. The relationships between all the places we have come to love in the Star Wars galaxy. Although this subject has been address in many ways over the years, only recently has there been a comprehensive work released. The Star Wars – The Essential Atlas (TEA) is now the go to source for galactic maps, timelines and the understanding of most places in the Star Wars galaxy. Using the TEA as a starting point, this database will expand that information into a three-dimensional representation intended to be as accurate as possible so to facilitate navigation. It will use the Galactic Grid (Galactic Coordinate System, or GCS) for locations and Galactic Units (gu)(1gu = 15 parsecs) for distances, as described in the TEA. The vector drafting program AutoCAD, will be used to create this 3D representational database. Wookieepedia will also be used as a referance.

The 2D Data

Before a 3D matrix can be created we must first map the current information as a 2D map. You can download this map in PDF format (Acrobat Reader needed). This map will be continually updated in time. The 2D map key shows the labeling of each system according to media hierarchy. Visual media is at the top followed by online and video games, then novels and comics, and finally miscellaneous media. This scale is used to create a canonizing order for objects in the galaxy.

Download: 2D Map (1.46MB -11/14/11)

The 3D Data

The main structure of this database has been created in AutoCAD. A 3D design program used in Civil, Architectural and Engineering circles. The beauty of AutoCAD is its expandability and accuracy. It allows you to have as much or as little data as you would like. You can zoom in to small objects comparatively, such as asteroids or moons, or zoom out to view whole star systems, or nebula, or entire regions of space with complete accuracy down to the smallest measure.

To view this file you will need AutoCAD WS.

Download: Astrographical File (DWG Format - 04/02/12)

Speed and Distances in Space

Space is huge. Consider this; our sun orbits the center of our galaxy at around 230 km/s, or 828,000 km/h. One parsec (pc) is equal to 30.857 Pm (pentameter, x1015). So the sun is moving at 0.000000828 Pm/h. That comes out to around 0.00725 Pm/yr. So in a thousand years (1,000) the sun will have moved only 7.25 Pm, or about 0.235pc. (Did you get all that? I had to read it twice myself.) The closest star to the sun, Proxima Centauri is at a distance of 1.3pc (4.36ly). If Proxima Centauri should stop moving and the sun headed right for it, it would take about 5,532 years to hit it. So as we can see, even though star systems move through the galaxies at extreme speeds, the distances between objects make these rates minimal.

My star is not where I left it!

With the previous in mind we can see that form a distance star systems don't move much relative to the galaxy. But for a starship in close proximity to a system, speed is much more of an issue. As a starship jumps to a curtain location it has to home in on the systems current location like a torpedo homes in on a ship. The Navigation Computer (NavCom) would refine its focus from region to system (star), to planet.

Systems, systems every where ...

A star system by definition must include a star, or multiple stars known as clusters. There are binary star systems and ternary star systems and so on. Most star systems in the galaxy are named after the primary planet in the system. For example the planet Coruscant is in the Coruscant System.

Planets are usually sequenced with letters, Roman numerals or numbers like Todirium III or K'vath 5. Planets are sequenced in order from the nearest to the farthest from the star. These are general rules and don't apply to every system. Many systems with one inhabitable planet are referred to by just there name, without the sequence number, as the numbering is not necessary do to the fact that in most cases the one planet is the only destination of interest in the system. However the number is implied even if not used. This same sequencing convention is used with moons and other bodies as well.

The systems star, its sun, may have its own name such as in the Abbaji System. Its star's name is Iminec. Yet other systems are named after their stars and not the planets of the system such as the Zug System.

Although there are exceptions, the general rules are used in the Navigational Database.

Is this a region or a territory?

The galaxy is divided in many ways. Two of the main ways is by regions and territories. The main territories start with the inner most Deep Core, followed by the Core Worlds, The Colonies, the Inner Rim, the Expansion Region, the Mid Rim, and the Outer Rim Territories.

In the 3D matrix the Deep Core is a sphere that expanse out from the galactic center for 1860pc. The Core and The Colonies are also spheres with radius of The Core at 3060pc and The Colonies at 4080pc. The boundaries of the other territories cut through the galactic plan like a wall. Their height along the Z axis is theoretically unlimited.

The Grid and navigation, how does that work again?

The GCS (or Galactic Grid) is used to aid in locating systems and objects in the galaxy for organizational purposes. The Navigational Coordinate System (NCS) is used to track objects for navigational purposes. Both are constructed using the Cartesian coordinate system with its origin set at Coruscant Prime. Its orientation is contrived by setting the Y axis on a line drawn from Coruscant Prime to the Bright Jewel Cluster, approximately 3,814pc away. Galactic North (GN) is in the direction of the Bright Jewel Cluster.

The GCS is then divided into 100gu sized cubes. Each cube or galactic quadrant is labeled alpha-numerically with a number indication for north and south, and a letter indication for east and west. The Z axis of the quadrant is placed so that half of it is in the positive direction and the other in the negative. The galactic quadrant of Coruscant is L-9. The GCS for Alderaan was M-10.

A navigational coordinate of an object in space is marked in parsecs by its location relative to the origin, along the three axes (X,Y,Z). Distances from the origin are marked in Parsecs to the 1/100,000 place. The NCS coordinate for Alderaan was:

X:1933.99665
Y:-87.55200
Z:7.00875

That don't add up!

During research for this database, conflicting information has been found between the TEA and sourced Wookieepedia information. For instance, the Gorsh system is said to be 100,000ly from The Core. In actuality, this would place Gorsh 2,045gu from The Core, outside the galactic boundary. The TEA places Gorsh in the O-3 quadrant, 670gu from The Core.

In these cases the TEA information is used unless verifiable sources rejecting the TEA's conclusions have been located. It is assumed that the TEA information has been fully vetted.

 

The SWGNDB is used by Incom Corp.