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Asteroid Fields
Asteroid Fields are a collection of asteroid clusters of different sizes. Asteroid Fields can be found in deep space. Asteroid Fields can contain lucrative deposits of materials, that can be prospected and mined.
A ships sensor package will warn pilots of nearby asteroid fields. You can click on the asteroid warning to highlight nearby asteroids.

Squares marked with a purple shroud or with "Asteroid Field" tooltip are considered asteroid fields.

Asteroids occlude regular sensors, and flying within asteroid fields can be a blinding experience. Each asteroid square in a vision ray path will reduce further sensor power by half.

A Dangerous Asteroid Field

Asteroid fields are dangerous places. Asteroids behave unpredictably, and travelling through them is very dangerous.

Ships located inside asteroid fields take damage every hour, based on the length of the vessel. The following damage table is just a guideline:
Length Approx. Damage Critical Chance %
> 1000m length / 4 40%
> 600m length / 6 30%
> 100m length / 10 20%
<= 100m No damage 0%
Damage is applied to shields, then to hull, although some damage may hit critical systems, and some damage may pierce shields. Critical hits apply double damage.

Ships located on the edge of the grid do not take damage from asteroids e.g. (X, 0), (X, 19) (0, Y), (19, Y).
The Pilot/Commander/Owner of a ship which takes asteroid damage will receive a Combat Event. Damage which does not cause hull damage, and which does not cause the ship to fall below 95% of its maximum shield value, will not send a Combat Event. However, an event will always be recorded in the ship's cockpit noting that damage was sustained in an asteroid field.
Constant collisions make regular shielding ineffective, and regular stations cannot be built within asteroid squares.

There are some stations which are designed to withstand the harsh environment of asteroid fields and can be built within asteroid squares:
Any station type may be built on a system square which does not contain asteroids.
Asteroid fields are home to scum and villainy. Bandits in small squads of fighters, gunships and corvettes may spawn and hunt down unwary players.

Between 2 and 4 squads of bandits will spawn in an asteroid field. Bandits usually fly weaker ships such as ugly-type fighters.

Bandits will only attack player-controlled ships. Bandits will only attack if the player has attacked a bandit squad within the past 48 hours. Bandits will still counter-attack normally per space combat rules.

Destroyed bandit ships will be wrecked and converted to NPC-owned, and can be recycled using the appropriate tools.

Bandits will not spawn if there are any stations present within the entire asteroid field deep space square, with the exception of Asteroid Hideouts. New bandit squads spawn when a player enters an asteroid field system, when the asteroid field has no other players present. Bandits will despawn if no players are present in the asteroid field system for 7 days. Wrecks of bandit ships will not despawn.