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Old August 23 2012, 07:31 PM   #4
Christopher
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

I've found it's best not to worry much about numbers in Star Trek, since different creators are making them up as they go based on different assumptions and so they tend to be all over the place. In TOS and the early days of TNG, it was assumed that the Federation was pretty large (Deneb, which was on the Federation frontier in "Encounter at Farpoint," is currently estimated to be about 2,600 light-years away, and TOS assumed that the edge of the galaxy, which is maybe 600-1000 ly away at its nearest point, was fairly easy to reach), but then DS9 came along and found it convenient to assume that Bajor, which is beyond the Federation border, is within a few weeks' or days' travel of Earth, and that UFP neighbors like the Klingons and Cardassians could get to each other's territory in days. So the model shifted to a smaller Federation as a matter of convenience.
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