A recent update to EVE Online has made exploration (brought in a couple of weeks ago with Revelations) easier. How much easier? I don’t know since I was never successful before the update. But today I had my first success.
If you look around the EVE forums there is an in depth guide to scanning. I’ll give you short guide. First bit of info, you’re going to do most of your scanning on the solar system view. Get to this by clicking on the map and selecting solar system view from the top of the overview. Secondly you’re going to need a few skills, specifically Astrometrics III and whatever it’s prerequisites are. As with everything in EVE there are others that will help you.
Now, to actually scan. Open your scanner and from anyway in the system launch a Multispectral Probe. This scans an entire solar system and tells you if it finds a reading and what type. The type determines what type of probe to use next. You need “a bunch” (at least 5 or so per system) of “X Quest Probe"s where X is the type of the signature (gravimetric, lidar etc.). You can find stuff with the wrong probes but it will take more scans. Go to each planet in the system and launch one of the Quest probes. When you get to the inner planets you’ll have to choose which to cover since you can’t launch a probe within the range of another. When they’re all ready, select “Cosmic Signature” from your scanner and hit analyse.
Hopefully it will find something. If not, hit analyse again. Once you have something, things get easier. With a lot of luck the accuracy will say 0m which means you’ve found and go warp there and see what it is. More than likely there will be a deviation of some sort and you will have to scan a bit more. So warp to the signature and destroy any probes that can “see” it (you can see the scan range of the probes you have selected in the scanner window).
The next bit is a little hard to explain. There are different probes besides the Quest probes - for example Sift (make sure they begin with type though, gravimetric for instance, otherwise they aren’t the probes used for exploration). Each of these probes has a different range - the shorter the range the more accurate they are. You want to use the shortest range probe that has a range greater than the deviation of your result. So deviation of 0.37 AU (which I got) can be found with the Sift probe (rand of 1 AU). So drop the probe and scan. Unfortunately (As was the case with me), you may need to scan multiple times (with multiple probes). But with any luck, you’ll find something :)
Below are some screenshots taken during scanning and of the Omber asteroid belt I found. Not the most exciting thing to find but I was in empire space and I’d guess the really cool things are in low sec and beyond.