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Old September 18 2012, 02:27 PM   #63
Re: USS Copernicus, NCC-640 or 623?

Interestingly, the same is true of Andrew Probert, who placed the Romulans and the Klingons to the antispinward side of Earth in that famous piece of background art from TNG "Conspiracy" already.

All the onscreen graphical evidence, from Probert or Okuda or Sternbach, is in favor of the Romulans being somewhere "to the upper right", that is, antispinward and coreward of Sol. It is an amusing coincidence that the real star Gamma Hydra, closely associated with Romulans in "The Deadly Years", is also in that direction.

No other relevant "real-world" stellar data on the Romulan Star Empire exists in canon. But in a further bit of amusement, the constellation Triangulum (Australe) is nicely clustered in that direction, too, making fans of Diane Duane's Romulan stories rejoice... The corresponding Triangulum (Boreale) in the opposite direction isn't such a good candidate for various reasons, but would naturally also serve as an argument.

Whether dialogue or graphics should be preferred in this case, everybody can decide for themselves. Intriguingly, nowhere in onscreen dialogue is it even established where these Alpha or Beta Quadrants are to be found; the idea that Beta would be antispinward from Alpha, with Earth, Sol or the Federation straddling the line, is purely based on graphical evidence.

As for the Star Charts, the booklet was lamentably outdated even when it came out of the press. It would be fun to get an updated version in roughly the same format (that is, printed or virtual, but with the same sort of simple 2D layouts and planetary introductions and whatnot) some day. Say, some day when there wasn't any new Trek coming out of our receivers. Say, today...

Timo Saloniemi
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