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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old August 23 2012, 07:05 PM   #1
zombar
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Federation: 8,000 ly across?

So I recently re-watched First Contact. I noticed Picard telling Lily Sloane that the Federation is 8,000 light years across, however in Voyager it's estimated a trip of 70,000 ly would take about 75 years at maximum warp to complete. So doesn't that mean if one wants to travel across the Federation it would take them ~8,5 to cover the distance. Is the Federation really that big or am I missing something? If the Federation really is that big how can it be successfully managed and defended?
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Old August 23 2012, 07:10 PM   #2
JarodRussell
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

Just don't think about it. The Federation couldn't be managed properly if it took 75 years to get from one end to the other. But Voyager would not work if it didn't take 75 years to get home.

Well, they could have set Voyager in another galaxy, that could have solved the problem.
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Old August 23 2012, 07:12 PM   #3
C.E. Evans
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

zombar wrote:
If the Federation really is that big how can it be successfully managed and defended?
Not all of it can, IMO, but by deploying lots of ships and establishing starbases along key "space routes," Starfleet can still maintain a presence (albeit limited) in the more distant reaches of Federation space. In areas of contested territory--like along the borders of rival nations--there may be a much stronger Starfleet presence in place.
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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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Old August 23 2012, 07:59 PM   #5
MacLeod
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

zombar wrote: View Post
So I recently re-watched First Contact. I noticed Picard telling Lily Sloane that the Federation is 8,000 light years across, however in Voyager it's estimated a trip of 70,000 ly would take about 75 years at maximum warp to complete. So doesn't that mean if one wants to travel across the Federation it would take them ~8,5 to cover the distance. Is the Federation really that big or am I missing something? If the Federation really is that big how can it be successfully managed and defended?

Welll it all depends on which warp speed figure you use.

If using VOY about 8 years
Doing the Maths from TMP 4 days to travel 16 ly, it would be in the region of 4 years
If using TOS figures about 8 days

In TNG to traverse the intergaltic void some 2.7million ly, about 300 years.

Plain and simple the writers of VOY ignored any previous established figures, in order to make the jounrey seem longer than it should have been.
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Old August 23 2012, 08:12 PM   #6
RPJOB
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

Warp speed may also refer to different velocities in different parts of the galaxy, similar to the Chochrane's Factor used in the old Star Trek Maps. Warp 5 may be faster in Federation space than in the Delta Quadrant.

There's a number of instances in TOS of the Enterprise travelling 1,000 light years in a matter of days. They could be using a subspace freeway that is a narrow corridor. Once you get off it, you'e back on the galactic surface streets with their lower speeds.

The truth of the matter is that ships move at the speed of plot. Accept that and you can accept all the rest regardless of any apparent contradictions.
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Old August 23 2012, 08:17 PM   #7
Christopher
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Plain and simple the writers of VOY ignored any previous established figures, in order to make the jounrey seem longer than it should have been.
Not true. The "roughly 1000 ly per year" estimate used on Voyager was initially established two years earlier, in the first-season Deep Space Nine episode "Battle Lines":

http://www.chakoteya.net/ds9/413.htm
The Gamma quadrant is seventy thousand light years from Bajor. It would take our fastest starship over sixty seven years to get here.
That differs from VGR's estimate (75 years to travel 70 kly) by only 12 percent, and that could be due to Voyager not being the fastest ship, or Sisko failing to take stops along the way into account.
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Old August 23 2012, 08:18 PM   #8
MacLeod
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

^Isn't that like saying 50mph in the UK is different than 50mph in the US. Sure what one species calls warp 5 might be a different velocity than what another species calls Warp 5.

But Federations ships would have uniformity, when using the same scale. And given that TNG/DSN and VOY were all set within the same time frame a span of some 15 or so years for the TV shows. With no indication that the scale was recalibrated.
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Old August 23 2012, 08:27 PM   #9
Christopher
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

^Well, the tech staff of the modern Trek shows were well aware that writers would make ships go at the "speed of plot," and so in both the behind-the-scenes and trade-paperback versions of the TNG Technical Manual, they clearly stated that the relationship of warp factor to actual effective velocity was variable depending on local spatial conditions -- that warp factor was a measure of power usage rather than speed, and that in some parts of space you could achieve greater speeds with the same amount of power. And yet for some reason a whole generation of Trek-tech fans ignored that clear statement and assumed that the relationship of warp factor to velocity was absolute and immutable -- even though it never actually corresponded to any onscreen evidence. Ships onscreen have always gone much faster than the published warp formulae indicated.
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Old August 23 2012, 08:31 PM   #10
MacLeod
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

Christopher wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Plain and simple the writers of VOY ignored any previous established figures, in order to make the jounrey seem longer than it should have been.
Not true. The "roughly 1000 ly per year" estimate used on Voyager was initially established two years earlier, in the first-season Deep Space Nine episode "Battle Lines":

http://www.chakoteya.net/ds9/413.htm
The Gamma quadrant is seventy thousand light years from Bajor. It would take our fastest starship over sixty seven years to get here.
That differs from VGR's estimate (75 years to travel 70 kly) by only 12 percent, and that could be due to Voyager not being the fastest ship, or Sisko failing to take stops along the way into account.
Ok I stand corrected VOY did use one of the previously established figures.

However in TMP we are told that they could have Spock back on Vulcan in 4 days. A distance of some 16ly.

So at 4ly per day = 1460 ly / year. Which gives a journey time of around 51.4 years. Though we don't know what speed that is at. It could me the maximum speed ~Warp 7 (TOS scale), or Warp 5 saying the dailouge seemed to indicate that Kirk wanted to give the Enterprise a proper shakedown cruise.

But in any TV/Film production, any vehicle travels at the speed the plot needs it to. Even if we've seen it travel faster.

And on a more scientifc note it is physically impossible for the GQ to be 70 000ly from Bajor, given that our galaxy is ~100 000ly wide.

But back in the world of ST, The GQ terminus of the wormhole however is ~ 70 000 from Bajor.
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Old August 23 2012, 08:43 PM   #11
Christopher
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

^Well, you answered your own nitpick, so I don't see why you felt it necessary to offer it in the first place.
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Old August 23 2012, 08:52 PM   #12
Doug Otte
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

Depends upon the time of day you're traveling. If it's Sunday morning, you can get from end to end in about a year. If it's rush hour...fuggedaboudit.
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Old August 23 2012, 09:07 PM   #13
Pavonis
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
And on a more scientifc note it is physically impossible for the GQ to be 70 000ly from Bajor, given that our galaxy is ~100 000ly wide.

Huh? 70,000 lightyear is less than 100,000 lightyears, so I don't see any impossibility here. Is this a reference to Star Trek cartography that I'm not aware of, or have forgotten? How's it impossible?
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Old August 23 2012, 09:15 PM   #14
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

Q likes to slow down the speed of light sometimes. Just for kicks
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Old August 23 2012, 09:50 PM   #15
MacLeod
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
And on a more scientifc note it is physically impossible for the GQ to be 70 000ly from Bajor, given that our galaxy is ~100 000ly wide.

Huh? 70,000 lightyear is less than 100,000 lightyears, so I don't see any impossibility here. Is this a reference to Star Trek cartography that I'm not aware of, or have forgotten? How's it impossible?
Ok I'll expand. Some parts of the GQ might be more than 70 000ly away. But at it's closest point to Bajor the GQ is far closer than 70 000ly away.

There is a difference between a specifc point and a general location.

Idran a star some 70 000 ly away from Bajor would be a specifc location. The GQ is a general location counting for 25% of the galaxy.

Or to put it in modern terms, pick a country/state other than your own and ask how far away is it, do you measure to the border or a specifc point within it?
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