Way back when I was first designing this game I knew how I wanted the planet surfaces to look, but I was still struggling on how to display asteroid fields. I wanted them to be rich and complex, and it finally hit me that I should display them in a similar way to how I do planets. Unfortunately, I didn't take the idea far enough at the time and realize that asteroid fields were displayed exactly like planets, so I wrote two separate pieces of code and different database tables to handle them.
Now I'm going back and rectifying this situation, but it's involving a significant amount of code remediation. At the same time, I'm applying some of the better coding habits I've learned over the past 5 years or so and trying to beat this huge pile of crappy PHP code into shape. It's a lot of effort, but should make implementing the rest of the game and debugging it much easier going forward.