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Old October 5 2012, 09:49 AM   #130
Re: The Genesis planet...

The star shining on Genesis is the same as the one for Regula? Source please?
There can be only one star within impulse range of things. If there were two, we'd be seeing twin shadows and all.

But when you can rearrange that moss into whatever you want, this point doesn't apply.
No such ability was ever indicated. You can turn the surface of a dead moon into moss, but the vice-versa isn't included in "a process whereby molecular structure is reorganised at he subatomic level into life-generating matter of equal mass".

Firstly, the only features seen on the moon are circular craters before the effect. None of these circular craters is seen on any part of the surface once the wave has crossed it. Therefore the surface topography must be changing - and that means parts of the surface are rising and/or sinking.
Sinking under the waves, that is. The mountains we do see up close are "flat terrain" in terms of the initial and final views, not visible from that distance at all - the zooming makes that clear. But the height of the crater rims is not established.

If we assume a speed of .25c and a travel time of two minutes we get ~5.6m miles
And that's being really generous because we see the departure speed vis--vis the Regula rock in the background, and that's not an appreciable fraction of lightspeed.

Let's remember that Kirk would have had no reason to hold back on speed when leaping from Regula to Mutara, and it is suggested everybody had to slow down once entering the nebula. Spock also seems confident that they can get into the nebula before Khan, in a faster ship, catches up on them. The sum total of all this would appear to be a relatively slow transit of very short duration (essentially seen in real time) in two badly wounded ships, into a dense nebula that for all we know is inside the Regula system and in the process of being sucked into its star (or having been burped out by it in the very recent past).

As for transforming that nebula into a planet and a star, we might do some math on the masses involved. Assuming a tiny planet where gravity is largely magical (and "in flux"), and a tiny star that will only burn for a few centuries and need not obey any particular laws of astrophysics, we're still probably discussing much more than 10^27 kg of mass (because how do you get a glow out of a star more than a thousand times smaller than our sun?). If Mutara is as dense as a thick Terran water vapor cloud, 1 g/m^3 (at least a quadrillion times denser than normal nebulae, but do starships really shudder when running into a cumulonimbus, admittedly at high speed, but with deflectors on?), then we're talking about a nebula just a few million kilometers in diameter - something we can shove as close to the Regula star as we please. A number of implausibilities suggested or allowed in the movie (absurdly high density of cloud, fairly small mass of star) would then conspire to make possible the conversion process. But only if Genesis efficiently used all of the available mass.

With more realistic nebula densities, the Genesis wave would have to reach out farther to gather then pseudorealistic amount. Reaching back to Regula would never be a problem under any parameters, not in comparison with what's required to make a planet and a star. Or even a planet, really, as something like Mars already weighs in at about 10^24 kg.

Timo Saloniemi
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