If you haven't seen it yet, undock, warp to somewhere safe, and then take a look to the northeast. There you will see what EVE Online players are now calling "The Big One".
What is The Big One?
The Big One didn't begin to appear in the skies of New Eden until November 26th, when it was noticed by a player, Caroline Grace, noted explorer and photographer of New Eden phenomena. (In fact, some players have taken to calling it "Caroline's Star", which is certainly a more poetic name.) CCP Games published a game world news report, citing her discovery and highlighting its unusual nature. If it is a supernova, the light of the exploding star should not be visible to the entire New Eden cluster, as this one appears to be. Something strange is happening to enable this phenomenon to be instantaneously observable hundreds of light-years away.
Naturally, the EVE Online role-playing community is going berserk with speculation about what this all means. Most interestingly, The Big One/Caroline's Star appears to be coming from Jove Empire space, in the UUA-F4 region and close to the W477-P system. Several players have made precise efforts to triangulate the position of the anomaly.
Does this foreshadow the opening of Jove space to pilots? Even if you don't follow the lore of the game closely, there have a been a lot of developments in the backstory of New Eden lately. So many, in fact, that even those who monitor and study it carefully have thrown up their hands in torment, trying to make some sense of it all.
Adding fuel to the idea that Jove space is soon to be available to pilots are the recent disbanding of the "CCP Alliance", which previously had exclusive access to Jove systems, and the removal of Jove ships from the game database. The role-playing community have long speculated that the Jove are now likely to be dead, and that their space was invaded by Sansha Nation pirates, using wormhole-generating technology. There have been reports of unusual Sansha movements, just before the appearance of The Big One. This may signify some sort of disaster in Jove space, possibly even clearing the systems for future capsuleer explorers.
A Holiday Present?
Regardless of how this all works out, it's refreshing to see CCP Games investing in the evolving story of EVE Online. It's easy to forget that this is a science fiction-based game, at its core, and that we are all part of an unfolding history in the New Eden cluster. If you pay attention, you can learn a lot from the role-playing aspects of the game, as they foretell new possible capabilities for players. Caroline's Star, and all it may represent, is a very visible hint of some potentially very exciting times ahead.
It's a happy coincidence that the appearance of this mysterious anomaly comes just as the traditional holiday season begins. While I don't ascribe any religious significance to the appearance of this bright star in the east, as some players have amusingly suggested, it does indicate that the Rhea expansion, and the ones to come shortly thereafter, may include some very large and exciting gifts from CCP Games.
Keep a watch on Caroline's Star, and the story around it. You will find it increasingly hard to miss as you fly the spacelanes in New Eden. As many capsuleers have observed, the star is getting brighter every day.
So, too, I believe, does the future of this game we all enjoy.
Fly safe! o7