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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old April 3 2010, 05:05 AM   #91
blssdwlf
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Which is fine, but from that perspective you're looking at a universe where the laws of physics as we understand them either don't apply or apply only in special circumstances. I am not overly interested in discussing that interpretation of the Star Trek universe.
Well, d'oh - yeah it's more reverse engineering for me which is incompatible with what you're trying to discuss. Good luck in your methodology then

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
That isn't even a close comparison. We're talking about two space ships in orbit and one that can't match an orbital maneuver with its own engines.
But Riker didn't outmaneuver the other ship. He avoided its SENSORS using the planet's magnetic pole, which makes bringing it up inapplicable to the example I was using, to illustrate that the fact that powered orbits are possible does not make them preferable or even typical. A more fitting scenario would be, say, two starships at close range and in relatively low orbit trading phaser fire, one suddenly drops into a powered orbit hovering over a particular spot in order to open the range and get into position to fire photon torpedoes.
I vaguely remembered the TNG scenario. I had taken a different tack (ignoring the magnetic sensor interference) and was remarking that if both ships were evenly matched in combat, then both would be able to maintain distance since they could both power over to wherever they wanted to go. If they were not evenly matched ships then yes one could power hover to another spot and watch the other ship helplessly not be able to match the maneuver. But if they were not evenly matched, then the ship that could power hover would be already the stronger ship, IMHO.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
I'm trying to clarify what it is you're asking. You said Excelsior came "to a stop" and did not clarify whether it stopped relative to space dock, to Earth, or to the camera, all of which are co-moving objects in this scene. It appears to me it came to a stop relative to the camera, which makes the example somewhat irrelevant. If you're claiming it came to a stop relative to space dock, then you need to explain why your mystery device is slaved to space dock's orbital velocity (as Mytran did in the post below yours).
The camera is on a slow track pulling back. When the Excelsior lost power and came to a stop it was relative to everything behind it in the short block of time from CH5 0:46:38 to CH5 0:46:42 of about 4 seconds. As far as I'm concerned with that brief scene, nothing moved behind the Excelsior as the camera pulled back and slight up and the Excelsior stopped relative to it's background and the camera.

If it followed any real-world physics, it would continue drifting forward on momentum. But since it did not, then something else other than "real world physics" is in play. You could choose to ignore it, since you can't really explain for it unless you lean on mass reducing impulse engines - but that would put you in fictional-fantastical territory where powered orbits would be nothing to a starship

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Or perhaps it just isn't "Hard Scifi"?
Not when the rest of the series consistently strives for a minimum hardness, or at the very least a degree of squishiness that it won't collapse under its own weight. The handful of extremely soft spots found in Trek canon have long been recognized as "scientific errors" and treated as such.
The weight of what? The very core of Star Trek Technology (for TOS at least) has avoided a straight comparison to real world science and technology. By cleverly naming stuff phaser, warp drive, impulse engines, transtator, duotronic, multitronic, etc it would be extremely challenging to tie their function, let alone adherence to real world science. And that's a good thing for the writers, but difficult on those who are trying to figure out how it would work if it was built today.

Heh, we're just getting into different philosophical approaches to figuring out how fictional stuff works. Neither one is better, but I think I have less headaches
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Old April 4 2010, 03:09 AM   #92
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Which is fine, but from that perspective you're looking at a universe where the laws of physics as we understand them either don't apply or apply only in special circumstances. I am not overly interested in discussing that interpretation of the Star Trek universe.
Well, d'oh - yeah it's more reverse engineering for me which is incompatible with what you're trying to discuss.
Though I have no idea what you mean by "reverse engineering" in this context, I get the point. I'm more familiar with Star Trek has a science fiction production, not a fantasy one.
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Old April 7 2010, 04:58 PM   #93
blssdwlf
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

USS Jack Riley wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
scotpens wrote: View Post
An aircraft flying in a big circle while waiting to land isn't orbiting anything. It's just flying in a big circle.
American pilots circle the airport. British pilots orbit the airport.
I didn't know that. I figured with all the international rules in place there was a standard "language" for air terminology.
A miscellaneous bit, it would seem that the US Army also uses "orbit" for circling around as in:

"As the Apaches orbit counterclockwise..." and "As the Apache continues his orbit and clears..."
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Old April 9 2010, 09:44 PM   #94
publiusr
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

In TOS, the ship seems much lower than geosynch--but higher than LEO. I keep thinking it harvests naturally occuring anti-matter in van Allen belts to stay recharged.
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Old April 10 2010, 02:14 AM   #95
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

^ But that assumes that 1) all planets HAVE van Allen belts or 2) all planets have the same gravitational and rotational properties.

This being TOS, the stock footage is of the same orbit over every planet regardless, so it's not very useful to use as a datapoint; it's pretty much just an artsy establishing shot that tells us "Ship is in orbit" and not much else.
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Old April 10 2010, 11:39 PM   #96
Ronald Held
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

The ship had the same orbit, regardless of the planet of the week, because that was a stock shot they composited into the rest of the scene, AFAIK.
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Old April 11 2010, 01:12 AM   #97
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

publiusr wrote: View Post
In TOS, the ship seems much lower than geosynch--but higher than LEO. I keep thinking it harvests naturally occuring anti-matter in van Allen belts to stay recharged.
Earth's atmosphere (and presumably other worlds) doesn't just stop at a certain altitude, it just sort of peters out. The upper most layer of Earth's atmosphere is composed of hydrogen and helium. What the Enterprise could be harvesting while orbiting is hydrogen, The same bussard collector they use during warp flight to collect interstellar gas could be used to collect a portion of a world's upper atmosphere. Given the density, collecting in orbit would be easier.

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Old April 12 2010, 01:09 AM   #98
Ronald Held
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

The number density of gas atoms/molecules at the Earth's geosynchronous orbit is very low. Also do we believe the ship always orbits opposite to the atmospheric rotation?
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Old April 12 2010, 02:52 AM   #99
blssdwlf
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
The number density of gas atoms/molecules at the Earth's geosynchronous orbit is very low. Also do we believe the ship always orbits opposite to the atmospheric rotation?
Not always. For a while I thought they had it orbit the same as the atmospheric rotation... and then I saw "Court Martial" I wonder if there is any correlation between the requested orbits and the FX?
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Old April 12 2010, 08:13 PM   #100
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

^ No, because they used the exact same FX for every type of orbit in every episode of TOS. The only thing that changed is the color of the planet.
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Old April 12 2010, 09:39 PM   #101
publiusr
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

I only speculated about the Van Allen belts. ISS is in LEO, and our planet looks very large--larger than the guest planets appear on TOS, so I assume it is between geosynch and LEO. Looks about--what, 1,000? or 2,500--to--5,000 miles up or so? Beyond the van allen belts?
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Old April 12 2010, 10:45 PM   #102
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

It doesn't matter how big the planet "looks" unless you know how big the planet is and what its rotational characteristics are. If you have a planet rotating fast enough (or with weak enough gravity), you could be in geostationary orbit at an altitude of fifteen feet.

The Van Alan Belts, on the other hand (not all planets will even have them) go between 1000 and 5000 km, with a little break, then a much larger belt at 25,000 km and extending pretty much forever (tapering off slowly into space).
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Old April 12 2010, 10:54 PM   #103
publiusr
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

I was just eyeballing the distance over an Earth sized--of course, the effects folks actually made the Enterprise look as if it were going "around" the planet by turning the model. In truth the ship would almost look as if it were going straight up close.
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Old April 13 2010, 02:14 AM   #104
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

publiusr wrote: View Post
I was just eyeballing the distance over an Earth sized--of course, the effects folks actually made the Enterprise look as if it were going "around" the planet by turning the model. In truth the ship would almost look as if it were going straight up close.
Strictly speaking, "up close" the Enterprise would look as if it were stationary and the PLANET was slowly revolving underneath it.
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Old April 13 2010, 03:04 AM   #105
blssdwlf
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
^ No, because they used the exact same FX for every type of orbit in every episode of TOS. The only thing that changed is the color of the planet.
Addition - the only things that changed are the color and rotation direction of the planet. Sometimes it went with the Enterprise's direction of travel and sometimes it did not.

I haven't watched enough of them yet to say for sure if the FX guys tried to match the dialogue regarding "orbits", but it does seem like there was some effort beyond the re-use of the Enterprise motion
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