The Unknown Probe:
Only recently discovered, these mysterious artefacts are believed to be probes, but of unknown origin. Their physical appearance makes them likely to be related to the unknown artefacts discovered in 3301. Such mystery only serves to make these objects more widely sought after by wealthy individuals and organisations alike, no matter that their unidentified status automatically prohibits them from being sold on any legal market. <– In game description.
Thargoid Probes are objects of unknown origin and purpose. They are related to the Thargoid Sensors , as they are not only similar in design, but possess the same corrosive qualities as the Sensors and the Thargoids in general. They appear to point to Merope 5 C, the planet where “Barnacles” were first found. Scanning a Thargoid Probe will cause it to emit an EMP wave and burst of noise.
Video by ObsidianAnt
WHAT DO WE KNOW?
- They were initially found protected by threat level 4 military transport convoys in certain systems close to Sirius they can be found free-floating around ammonia worlds in Degraded Emission Signal Sources (Threat 2).
- They point to Merope 5c.
- They corrode ship internals in the same way the Thargoid Sensor does.
- They share a similar appearance with the Thargoid Sensor.
- When using the discovery scanner in their presence, the Thargoid Probe transmits a sound-encoded image that probably is meant as a key to decode the non-interacting TP sound transmission.
- As of release 2.4 Thargoid Probes started to be found in Non Human Signal Sources within 150 Ly of Merope. Threat 2 will contain a Thargoid Probe, Threats 5, 6, and 7 can contain Thargoid Probes and Thargoid Sensors – though they may also contain Thargoids that will react if you scoop the Thargoid items.
- If you get hyperdicted while carrying a Thargoid Probe the Thargoids will expect you to drop the probe. If you do not they will attack.
- A Thargoid Probe can be used to open a Thargoid Structure. You will also need the Thargoid sensor to activate the Thargoid device within.
Otherwise, the sound of the TP contains encoded information about the atmospheric composition of the planet, and it’s temperature, gravity, radius and distance to the system Col 70 Sector FY-N c21-3 in multiples of the respective values for Merope 5c. The Col 70 sector is currently permit blocked.
Here’s an image of the tight beam transmission broken down, making it much clearer to see the information:
TIPS FOR OWNERSHIP
Generally a single TP is quite easy to care for, but you will have to be careful carrying more than a couple. The primary concern is the internal systems damage. Fit a corrosion resistant cargo rack (CRCR) from Professor Palin or a Technology Broker (larger size is available from the Technology Brokers). If you can’t fit cargo racks then here are some tips to handle probe transport:
- First and foremost keep an eye on your cargo hatch. If it fails in normal space you can usually recover any cargo that falls out, provided you notice. However if it fails in super-cruise then you are out of luck.
- Carry one or more Auto Field-Maintenance Units. You need to keep your cargo hatch above 75-80% to prevent malfunctions.
- Carry some additional (less valuable) cargo so that if your cargo hatch does fail you won’t necessarily lose the TP.
- Have a lot of modules. The more modules in your ship, the more the damage will be spread out and the less your cargo hatch will suffer.
- If you’re travelling long distance, jump quickly. From the time you arrive in a system you have 30 seconds until the first damage occurs. If you can scoop fuel (if necessary), find your next destination, and get to the jump countdown before the damage triggers, then you will avoid all damage in that system and get a new 30 second window in the next system.
- If you’re carrying 3 or more TPs you need to be lucky. More than two TPs hitting the cargo hatch simultaneously can cause it to malfunction even if it was at 100%.
LOCATING A TP
Suggested system is Delphi – it has just about every place for finding Thargoid Probe. Where a method is described it should also work in other similar locations. Most locations can also spawn Thargoid Sensors.
- Non Human Signal Source Threat Level 5,6,7,8 in Pleiades: (may spawn around planet 6 while you’re looking for an Threat 2). Most likely will contain an Interceptor – and maybe scouts. Non Human Signal Sources in the bubble are more dangerous than those in the Pleiades, as they tend to contain more scouts, which are actively hostile. Thargoid Probe spawns as part of the scattered cargo in the area, so they are not always present, and you have to dodge the Thargoids to scoop them. This method is more than others dangerous, and still relies on random Signal Source spawns, but you’ll be busier.
- Loot Science Megaship wrecks: Science vessels (there is a Lowell in the suggested system) can contain Thargoid Sensors and Thargoid Probes. May require multiple relogs, but has the advantage that you aren’t waiting for an Non Human Signal Source to spawn, you can just relog next to the ship. You will need Hatchbreaker Limpets and a Manifest Scanner, and know how to use these on the wreck. Be aware that Interceptors spawn around these ships – combat logging on Thargoids is allowed.
- Random NPCs : NPCs in Non Human Signal Sources can be carrying Thargoid Probes/Thargoid Sensors, so you can pirate them, though finding these NPCs is again quite random. Be aware there probably will be Thargoids around.
- Non Human Signal Source – Threat Level 0 near Ammonia Worlds in the Pleiades: Look around planet 6 in the suggested system for a Non Human Signal Source – Threat level 0. These are safe locations as you won’t encounter Thargoids, but the RNG can sometime annoy – 20 minutes is typical. All that time is waiting for a random spawn, so can be tedious. (This used to be the easiest location to find Probes, but recently the NHSS0 appear to have vanished.)
A separate guide giving the principals of locating Thargoid (previously Unknown) Probes is available here which gives more Ammonia World locations.
Our local CFN reporter CMDR Larzock has done some vigorous testing on how the TP acts when close to different atmosphere types. (Please note due to an unknown reason i was unable to embed the video here, so i will leave the links the his various videos)
On July 18, 3302 CMDR Rizal made use of the Advanced Discovery Scanner in the presence of an Unknown Probe after targeting it. The Thargoid Probe responded by turning on its lights, charging and releasing an EMP shockwave, which in turn briefly knocked out CMDR Rizal’s HUD (supposedly to grab his attention). This was accompanied by an audio burst; the Thargoid Probe finally “spoke”.
The forums were quick to respond, decoding the audio from the video and suggesting various experiments.A map has been drawn from the audio, showing a globe and possible coordinates. With the Thargoid Probe pointing at Merope 5 C, many CMDRs are now on the hunt to find the next clue.
On August 17, 3302, the first free-floating Thargoid Probe was discovered orbiting Pleiades Sector KC-U b3-1 8, a planet with an ammonia atmosphere, at an “Anomalous Signal” point of interest. This was quickly followed by additional Thargoid Probe finds above other ammonia worlds in nearby systems. Finding the Probes above ammonia worlds is significant because it ties the Probes to the Thargoids, who are believed to have originated on an ammonia world.
On August 20, 3302, the Thargoid Probe transmission was fully decoded and revealed to contain planetary data such as radius, surface temperature, gravity and atmospheric composition. This transmission was directed at an unknown receiver on Merope 5C. In addition, the transmission included distance data that, when triangulated, was found to have been measured from the star system Col 70 Sector FY-N C21-3, which is within a group of permit-locked systems that players cannot currently access. It is believed Col 70 Sector FY-N C21-3 may be the origin point of all Thargoid Probes, and contain the home world of their creators.
However the audio image has not been decoded to this day:
- Credit to the The Original Canonn Codex and the Elite wiki for some information and images here
- The fastest moving thread on the internet regarding all things unknown probe, artefact, and large barnacle is the threadnought, curated by Cmdr Rizal.
- Galnet Collection Unknown Probe