Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
Halo: Orion Arm Star Map by The-Chronothaur Halo: Orion Arm Star Map by The-Chronothaur
Something I've been meaning to do for a while now: my version of a stellar map of significant systems in the Halo universe. I actually made the first version of this a couple of months back but decided to wait for the release of Halo: Warfleet to see if there were any major updates or possibly an official map. There was, but it's of the whole galaxy and only shows a few Forerunner structures. On the other hand, Warfleet also firmly establishes that both humanity and the Covenant are based in the Orion Arm -- which has been canon more or less since the start, but has fluctuated somewhat with some sources suggesting more pan-galactic scales for either faction. Either way, I'm happy about it. It makes the galaxy seem more vast, as it rightfully should be.

Notes:
  • Space is big, yo. The human sphere is confined to too small a volume (comparatively speaking) to feasibly identify individual systems, so this is really more of a Covenant map than anything. A lot of the Halo star maps I've seen has the UEG/UNSC spanning much larger areas, which doesn't really jive with the distances of the named stars that get thrown around in the books. Based on the stars they've colonized, we can build a pretty decent picture of the kind of distances humans are comfortable crossing -- e.g. the 83 light-years of Madrigal is already considered distant, though there are anomalies like Harvest supposedly being far away despite being 11 LY from Earth (which I just like to ignore and pretend that Halo's Epsilon Indi is located further away, despite what Warfleet states). Still, all of the known colonies are in the "tens of light-years" ballpark, so I'm assuming a couple-hundred LY radius at most for humanity. Warfleet does mention that distances in light-years don't always correspond to the length of slipspace routes, but given that both the UNSC and the Covenant are confined to the Orion Arm rather than being scattered all over the place, the effect can't be that drastic. Still, while the bubble may look small on the map, there'd still be thousands of systems in there only some of which are explored.
  • Most of the Covenant worlds are pretty much guesses based on when the various species were discovered, whether some colonies are said to be fringe or distant, etc. The Covenant is naturally far larger than the UNSC, given their age as a civilization as well as vastly superior slipspace speeds to humanity's (until very, very recently). Per Warfleet, they control thousands of systems, but not even nearly every system in their territory -- given that as presented here, it would encompass hundreds of millions of stars. It's just that because of their faster slipspace travel, they can cover a lot more territory in reasonable timeframes.
  • I'm aware that the Bestiarum identifies Y'Deio as the real-world HD 69830 system, but I purposefully ignored it; said system is only 41 light-years from Earth -- something that doesn't really make sense given that humans have colonies further away than that and the Kig-Yar (as well as the Covenant proper) would've come across humans a lot earlier if they were that close. I still put it comparatively close to the human sphere, though. Let's just assume that the Forerunner AI that compiled the Bestiarum misinterpreted human stellar catalogues.
  • I reasoned that Glyke has to be fairly close to the human sphere for Gray Team to be able to reach it with war-era slipspace drives. It may still be too far away for that, though. Oh well, hitch-hiking on Covenant ships may've been involved.
  • Te is said to be fairly close to Sanghelios/Urs.
  • Based on Warfleet, I put Malurok and Palamok quite close to each other, as Malurok is said to be jointly colonized by Sangheili and Yanme'e (which is a very interesting idea in and of itself).
  • Joyous Exultation is toward the fringes of the Covenant given that Xytan Jar 'Wattinree was exiled there by the Prophets.
  • I placed Ulgethon and the Planet of Blue and Red fairly close to Sanghelios, comparatively speaking, assuming the slipspace capability of pre-Covenant Sangheili was somewhat superior to pre-2553 humanity but not late Covenant level. Thus Ulgethon would've been a frontier colony by 852 BCE but been enveloped by the Sangheili expansion sphere at some point since the Covenant's founding. Besides, the distances may look small but even now Ulgethon would be nearly 1000 LY from Sanghelios, and you can fit a lot of stars into that kind of volume.
  • Installation 04 should probably have been even closer to the human expansion sphere given that the PoA was able to reach it relatively quickly. (Let's not talk about Installation 03 and the Floral Express).
  • The Orion Complex and Maethrillian are roughly around where the real-world Orion nebular complex is located.

Though I limited my own fandom outside this particular map as much as that is possible in a fan map in the first place, this map serves quite well to show the general context I'm operating in as far as my Daybreak project goes. I've also made a much more in-depth map, complete with lore, of a more confined region of the Orion Arm where I'm setting most of my post-Covenant stuff.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconslimysomething:
slimysomething Featured By Owner 2 days ago
"but I purposefully ignored it" lol good
Reply
:iconthe-chronothaur:
The-Chronothaur Featured By Owner 11 hours ago  Student Digital Artist
Wink/Razz 
Reply
:iconfaclan:
Faclan Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2018
So great to finally have a picture idea, no matter how rough, of the scale of the Halo universe. Both to see how close things are and how much possible space there is to find Space Whales or other sneaky things hiding out there. Thanks a lot of putting this together.
Reply
:iconthe-chronothaur:
The-Chronothaur Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Thanks. I'm also working on a more detailed map mostly of my fanon factions, which should be coming out in the near future.
Reply
:iconfaclan:
Faclan Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2018
Looking forward to seeing that.
Reply
:iconhalodarkage:
HaloDarkAge Featured By Owner May 2, 2018
This is well done, I have been searching all over for a map for the Halo verse for my fanfic, but his the best one out there. With your permission, may I use your information when constructing my fanfic world map, credit will be aptly due
Reply
:iconthe-chronothaur:
The-Chronothaur Featured By Owner May 5, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Sure, as long as you give credit, it's fine.
Reply
:iconhalodarkage:
HaloDarkAge Featured By Owner May 5, 2018
Awesome Thank You
Reply
:iconcaptchris42:
CaptChris42 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2017
Excellent work! I found some very nice maps on projectrho.com, a very nice website. I'm still not sure if Alpha Halo is supposed to be at the Iota Horologii system, near Onyx. If this is top down, I also think Onyx will be near '3 o'clock' on the map, not 6 (using projectrho and whitten.org maps)
Reply
:iconthe-chronothaur:
The-Chronothaur Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Thanks and nice catch! I'm familiar with the projectrho website for its Atomic Rockets section, but I didn't realize they had star maps as well. I believe I used the maps at www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/ as the main reference here, but I'm not a 100% sure how I decided on Onyx's placement; I might have to check that. And yeah it's supposed to be top-down, which is always a tricky thing to do when it comes to 3D space. It's actually one of the reasons I've found it harder to make an 'accurate' map of human space, besides having to be a lot more careful with the real-world star placements.

I recall the Iota Horologii placement for Soell was based on somewhat shaky info? A hint at a Bungie webcam before the release of Halo CE or something? Regardless, I don't think it was ever confirmed so I just ignored it.
Reply
:iconamalgamation100:
Amalgamation100 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Brilliant man, way more condensed and more realistic than my galaxy map! I might have to make a post about this later! :)
Reply
:iconthe-chronothaur:
The-Chronothaur Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2017  Student Digital Artist
I'm glad you like it! I didn't really do this to "compete" with anyone specifically, and I understand if you need to enlarge the UNSC/Covenant's territory in a crossover setting for them to come across as competitive with larger factions from other sci-fi.
Reply
:iconamalgamation100:
Amalgamation100 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I didn't mean to imply you might of been competing with someone I was simply stating that you did a brilliant job man.

Space is 3D, and I always thought that the way a lot of galaxy maps do there stuff is very unrealistic but I couldn't figure out a way to do it any better my self so I just did the best I could, never thought about zooming in on sections of the map to display the planets like that haha.
Reply
:iconwisky-08:
Wisky-08 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2017
Nice
Reply
:iconcannonfodder14:
cannonfodder14 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2017
I love this. Gives space that sense of scale that the Halo lore generally does a poor job with. Fantastic and would be of great reference for the Halo fics I read.
Reply
:iconthe-chronothaur:
The-Chronothaur Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconmetalporsiempre:
MetalPorSiempre Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
You know, this comes at like the right time for me. I'm working on a fic and where everyone is located was a big part of the worldbuilding for it and it was giving me a headache.
Reply
:iconthe-chronothaur:
The-Chronothaur Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Well, I'm glad my work could be of assistance :)
Reply
:icondelta406:
Delta406 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
This is something the Halo universe has drastically needed for a long, long time. A few attempts made in the past didn't take any of the considerations you made into account. Most folks tend to ignore the vast size of space and plot a whole galaxy-wide chart, instead of focusing on the Orion Arm. I'd love to see an expansion of this in future works, especially with details on human controlled space. For what this is, it's the best Halo map I've ever seen. Thank you for making it.
Reply
:iconthe-chronothaur:
The-Chronothaur Featured By Owner Edited Sep 24, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Thanks -- I made this partly to patch that lack of a more 'plausible' Halo stellar map. Most people don't really grasp the sheer scale of the galaxy or how big of a place even a single spiral arm really is, so I wanted to offer an alternative.

I've been working on a map of human space, but it's challenging especially in regards to some named systems. I can't quite decide whether I should follow the canon in regards to Harvest/Epsilon Indi and have it right on Earth's doorstep or put it further away to better explain the long travel times. I know Halo Warfleet states that the apparent distance is due to a longer slipspace route, but I'm not a fan of the explanation -- I think the real-space distance in light-years should matter more instead of being totally random, even if there's some variance in slipspace travel times.

Truth to be told, even 343i's own lore is kind of inconsistent with itself. Warfleet reaffirms that both humanity and the Covenant are based out in the Orion Arm, yet it places Installations 03 and 05 as well as the Halo Wars shield world far away in other spiral arms. We know those installations were reachable by human and Covenant slipspace drives within a matter of weeks, so how come either the UNSC or especially Covenant weren't more widespread?
Reply
:icondelta406:
Delta406 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
I think therein lies the flexibility of their so-called "longer Slipspace routes" deus ex machina. 

"Lightyears are immensely long for spacecraft to cover." "Is that so? Oh, well, Slipspace makes a short cut of the actual distance traveled."

"But Epsilon Indi is actually a relatively close star system." "Is that so? Oh, well, it's because of the travel dynamics of Slipspace. Longer route, actually." 

"And now you have them traveling a quarter of the way across the galaxy to other Forerunner artifacts." "Is that so? Oh, well, it's because those are shorter Slipspace routes. Much easier to get to somehow."

But as far as strong-arming a convenient plot device, it's a relatively minor one all things considered. Every sci-fi space opera has them. 
Reply
:iconthe-chronothaur:
The-Chronothaur Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2017  Student Digital Artist
I know, though it's still kind of jarring for someone trying to make sense out of this stuff. Especially since this shorter slipspace route effect seems to be very selective -- somehow the trips to Installations 03, 05 and the Etran Harborage were massively truncated from their de facto distances, yet those same kinds of shortcuts never enabled the Covenant expand beyond the Orion Arm throughout 3000+ years?

I suppose it was bound to happen in some form given that the Halos must be spaced very far apart to cover the entire galaxy, though I still wish they'd put 03 and 05 closer (they did put Installation 01 in the Orion Arm like 04 for some reason). I never liked the canon explanation for 03's discovery anyway, especially in light of the info that it's thousands of light years distant. Installation 05 could technically be explained by a super-fast Forerunner slipspace lane revealed to Regret by the Forerunner artifact he was studying, but how does a random human freighter stumble on a hyper-efficient slipspace route allowing it to cross galactic distances?

Overall, I would prefer that the realspace distances correspond to the slipspace travel times for the most part with slipspace "currents" only introducing minor variety. Just having it all be totally chaotic is the lazy way out IMO, and, as previously mentioned, fails to address why either the Covenant or humanity aren't more widespread in the galaxy. They could've explained Harvest with some kind of geometric anomaly that caused early observations of the system to be off by 100 or so LY or something similar, while having the Halo universe version of the system actually be much further away.
Reply
:icondelta406:
Delta406 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Perhaps the most efficient retcon would be to include Slipspace corridors that the Forerunners left behind, but which only activate for Reclaimers, hence why the Covenant never stumbled into the far reaches of the galaxy, but suddenly humanity can. The banner of Reclaimer has always been the go-to in the past to make Forerunner tech work for humanity. Might as well apply it to absurdly long distances across the galaxy.
Reply
:iconkamikage86:
Kamikage86 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2017
This is amazingly done well, it's absolutely perfect, I bow to your awesomeness.
Reply
:iconthe-chronothaur:
The-Chronothaur Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Well thank you!
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
September 23, 2017
Image Size
9.7 MB
Resolution
3171×2258
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
3,489 (6 today)
Favourites
103 (who?)
Comments
25
Downloads
120 (1 today)