That Time Elite Dangerous Predicted a Real Solar System

In 2017, Elite Dangerous gained attention for appearing to predict the discovery of the TRAPPIST-1 solar system. Although the game’s representation of TRAPPIST-1 is not completely accurate, the developers deserve credit for making efforts to update the game based on real-life scientific observations.

In 2017, Elite Dangerous made headlines for seemingly predicting the existence of a real solar system. The system, known as TRAPPIST-1, was discovered in 1999 and gained popularity in 2016 and 2017 due to its potential for hosting habitable planets. Players of Elite Dangerous found a system in the game located at the exact same coordinates as TRAPPIST-1, sparking discussions about the game’s prescience.

Initially, the system in Elite Dangerous was a nondescript brown dwarf system, but after the discovery of TRAPPIST-1, the developers updated the game to match the scientific observations. However, the current state of the system in the game is not entirely accurate. While additional moons have been added, the mass and age of the star in Elite Dangerous differ from the real-world estimations.

The first planet in the system, known as TRAPPIST-1b in reality, is called Traid 11 in the game. Its mass and gravity in Elite Dangerous are lighter than expected, and the planet is not tightly locked as it should be. Furthermore, the orbital eccentricity of the planets in the game differs significantly from their real-world counterparts, with the game’s planets having more elongated orbits.

One notable discrepancy is the extreme orbital inclination of the planets in the game, which is not observed in reality. The system layout in Elite Dangerous is very irregular and strange, likely due to the small size of the system. Despite not reflecting all the latest discoveries and scientific information, the developers deserve credit for attempting to update the game to match real-life observations.

The author invites readers interested in real-life space topics to check out their other channel, Cosmic Curiosity, where they will be focusing on creating content about astronomy and space exploration.