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Old July 5 2012, 10:20 AM   #1
theblitz
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Star Trek: Countdown - The physics (spoilers?)

So, after reading (most of) Star Trek: Countdown I am left struggling with the physics of the whole thing.

1. How can a supernova light-years away destroy Romulus so quickly?

2. The whole time-scale seems screwed. One sec they are still talking about building up the red-matter and a second later the star has gone nova.

I know that ST does not always stick to the basic laws of physics but surely this is just plain stupid.
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Old July 5 2012, 10:51 AM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Star Trek: Countdown - The physics (spoilers?)

Although the science in Countdown is awful, the STO novel The Needs of the Many goes satisfying technobabbly detail about the Hobus Supernova.

Admiral Janeway classifies Hobus as a Type 1a supernova, located a whopping 500 light-years from Romulus, which exploded at multiwarp speeds. Something about nutrinos being shunted into subspace although they didn't understand how. Even decades later, Starfleet only has vague theories about how and why it happened the way it did.

I actually liked that in Countdown, (and later TNoTM) nobody really knew the hows and whys of the disaster. Spock knew it would be very very bad, the Romulans disbelieved him for the obvious reason that supernova can't do that. I just wish they'd left out Spock's "adding the energy of the planets it consumes to its own" stuff. It's probably the worst bit of science Spock ever said. Considering the interstellar distances the supenova would have to cross, a panet's mass would be nothing. Certainly not fuel enough to reach the next system!
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Old July 5 2012, 02:33 PM   #3
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Re: Star Trek: Countdown - The physics (spoilers?)

Countdown's portrayal of the supernova makes no sense on any level. Just for one example, there's its claim that Hobus was one of the oldest stars in the galaxy. That's getting it completely backward. The stars that go supernova are really big and hot and burn out really quickly -- they're the youngest stars in the galaxy. The oldest stars are small, cool red dwarfs that will burn for trillions of years before finally, gently casting off their atmospheres and cooling into white dwarfs.
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Old July 6 2012, 05:37 AM   #4
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Re: Star Trek: Countdown - The physics (spoilers?)

I think I remember reading somewhere that either the pre-game backstory for STO or The Needs of the Many said that Species 8472 (or as they are knows in that universe, The Undine) were responsible for the Hobus supernova.
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Old July 6 2012, 05:43 AM   #5
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Re: Star Trek: Countdown - The physics (spoilers?)

JD wrote: View Post
I think I remember reading somewhere that either the pre-game backstory for STO or The Needs of the Many said that Species 8472 (or as they are knows in that universe, The Undine) were responsible for the Hobus supernova.
The Hobus supernova makes any sense only if someone went out of their way to break the star, very badly.
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Old July 6 2012, 07:24 AM   #6
captcalhoun
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Re: Star Trek: Countdown - The physics (spoilers?)

the whole thing makes no sense and is symptomatic of the whole shitfest that Trek XI was. i know trek often has shonky science but Trek XI took it to an all new level of gibberish.
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Old July 6 2012, 09:00 AM   #7
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Re: Star Trek: Countdown - The physics (spoilers?)

captcalhoun wrote: View Post
the whole thing makes no sense and is symptomatic of the whole shitfest that Trek XI was. i know trek often has shonky science but Trek XI took it to an all new level of gibberish.
Right, because Star Trek never featured ridiculously bad astronomy before.
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Old July 6 2012, 09:56 AM   #8
theblitz
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Re: Star Trek: Countdown - The physics (spoilers?)

True - but it would have been nice if they could have used this opportunity to put some real science into it.
Don't they have any science advisors?
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Old July 6 2012, 10:15 AM   #9
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Star Trek: Countdown - The physics (spoilers?)

The way I see it, a supernova going off with the force of a warp 9 Big Bang is just one of Trek's many fantasy elements.

C'mon people, it's positively tame compared to the Great Bird of the Galaxy stuff in New Frontier!

"An impossible supernova threatening to destroy the galaxy? That's nothing. Let me tell you about the Thallonian homeworld..." said Calhoun afterwards. Probably.
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