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I'm flying out into the unknown corners of the galaxy to explore, I've come across a star marked "Unexplored". I remembered that pointing my ship at it should make me scan it (I have detailed surface and advanced scanners) and then I should discover it, right? And it'd have my name by it as "discovered" I thought...

Didn't work. Flew closer and closer and eventually dropped out of Hypercruise and had to run away before my ship fried.

How can I scan a star?

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There are three requirement to scan an unexplored celestial body:

  • You have to point at the star/planet/moon;
  • You have to target the star/planet/moon. Default key bind: T (for PC);
  • You have to be close enough.

It sounds like you hadn't targeted the star.

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  • Feel free to edit in the default key binding for this - my key bindings are far from default so I don't know which one it is.
    – Sjoerd
    Feb 28 '16 at 15:50
  • I've rebound all my keys to my HOTAS anyway :) Target it. DOOOOOH. Yes. That worked. Thanks!
    – Rob
    Feb 28 '16 at 19:19
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If you're out exploring, don't waste your time scanning asteroid belts, they are not worth anything.

The ones you really want to go for are water worlds, earthlikes and ammonia planets, these will give you the most money.

Terraforming candidates also give a lot of money, so when you find a water world which is also a terraforming candidate it's jackpot time!

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There is a good guide about exploration, that tells about maximum distance for scanning and rewards for different celectial bodies: http://needsmorepolish.blogspot.com/2015/04/fingerbobs-guide-to-exploration-in.html

  • You are close enough for scanning, when your distance is not greater than approx. 13.3 times the radius of the body.
  • Discovering a star is not enough to have your name associated with it in the system map. You also have to be the first to sell the exploration data for that body.

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