Each ship has a unique ion trial signature. When a ship moves from one location to another, their ion trail remains in the sector. The amount and level of scanners on your ship will reveal a certain number of ion trails in a sector. Ion trails by default last for 24 hours. After 24 hours have passed, a trail will not be detectable. Players can find Distortions in the game that will reduce the expiration of their ion trail to 12 hours.