This is your Eve Tip of the Day. Brought to you by Sugar Crush!
Probe scanning is a key part of the Eve Online experience. I believe it is even in the tutorial. But do you really use it? You should!
There are three types of scanning, core scanner probes, combat scanner probes, and moon probes. Ignore moon probes for now.
Core probes - Find anomolies. These include Wormholes, anomolies, data/relic sites, combat sites, gas sites, and other crazy stuff. 😄 The core launcher is easy to fit, and I often will use it on an interceptor when traveling around drifter holes. Drifter holes are awesome. heh
Combat probes - Find 'stuff'. It can also find the anoms, but can also find ships, structures, drones, fighters, and other cool things. The launcher uses a LOT of CPU.
These work on a series of ranges, arranging the probes around the thing you are search for. Everything you find has an 'id' attached to it. These ids let you track something even when you don't know what it is. A video showing the arrangement on this are best, I'd recommend a few. But doing it through exploration is the quickest way to learn it.
The tldr version for combat scanning: Get a ship that gets bonuses to scanning, like maybe the Heron! Launch probes. Focus the probes on the gate you're on, set it to the shortest range using the shortcuts. Scan everything, even when blue. Ignore all hits if you think it's all f riendlies. Easiest way to exclude your friends. Do this BEFORE combat kicks off. After combat kicks off, you'll get a 'range' to an item. This is a point in time when you start the scan, so yo ucan warp to it when you get a hit. There are implants you might need for the high end of scanning down shuttles and small stuff. A scan of 90 is a good starting place, though the 'unprobables' need like a huge implanted number.
Want to be useful in standing fleet? Give warp ins by combat scanning things down.