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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old February 15 2013, 05:49 PM   #46
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Worst science goofs

Keturah wrote: View Post
The last time I watched Generations, I laughed as Dr. Sorin sent that rocket up towards the sun from the planet surface, and it appear to be going, say 85mph. But fewer than 5 seconds later, it reached the sun! Wowsers. Am I remembering that correctly?
Yes you are.

Presumably, they edited out the hours and hours of Picard and Soran sitting around in the desert, exchanging scowls and glares
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Old February 15 2013, 05:53 PM   #47
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Re: Worst science goofs

Or, the missile had a micro-warp drive and made a warp hop to the sun after it exited the atmosphere.
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Old February 15 2013, 10:45 PM   #48
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Re: Worst science goofs

It's hardly a surprise twist or anything: Worf already told us exactly how fast Soran's probe would be.

Worf: "Sir, according to my calculations, a solar probe launched from either the Klingon ship or the planet's surface will take eleven seconds to reach the sun."
Note that Worf had no real data on the specific hardware the Klingons or Soran would be using. He had no sensor readings on the launch installation on the surface, and Soran's previous starkiller probe at Amargosa had apparently been of a standard Starfleet model. So we learn that all "solar probes" span these five to ten lightminutes from a Class M world to its star in eleven seconds - fairly humdrum performance for a warp drive, really (except when close to a star, but perhaps that only applies to larger starships?).

Not much need for speculation here. The probe had a FTL drive, just like so many others, despite starting its journey at a fairly low speed riding on a conventional-looking rocket flame, just like so many others.

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Old February 17 2013, 11:33 AM   #49
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Re: Worst science goofs

Christopher wrote: View Post
Or, the missile had a micro-warp drive and made a warp hop to the sun after it exited the atmosphere.
That explains how the missile got to the star so fast but it doesn't explain how the effects of the warhead are seen on the planet without delay. If it's similar to Earth's system there should have been an 8 minute delay from the detonation of the missile to the visible changes to the star.
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Old February 17 2013, 04:57 PM   #50
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Re: Worst science goofs

A bit of fine-tuning:

Assuming the star is like Sol, we'd be the best off if we speculated that Veridian III was only about five lightminutes distant from it - because only then would Veridian IV, another known Class M world, still also fit inside the "life belt" of the star.

As for the death scene of the star reaching the planet that fast, perhaps it did not? Perhaps the star continued burning normally for the next five minutes, as far as Picard and Soran could tell - but a great "shadow" of some sort expanded from the detonation at FTL speed, making everything look dimmer?

After all, the darkness was achieved by the time-honored movie trick of "nuit américaine", shooting in bright daylight but playing with the white balance (or, previously, using a different quality of film, intended to be compatible with studio lighting rather than sunlight). That means that not only does the big source of light on the sky grow dim, but any light moving between surface locations, say, being reflected from or emitted by the equipment we see, is also unnaturally dim. This would be more consistent with a "dimming field" than with the loss of sunlight.

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Old February 17 2013, 05:05 PM   #51
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Re: Worst science goofs

Christopher wrote: View Post
the explosion of Praxis in TUC (which was also able to instantaneously affect a starship sectors away), the trilithium supernovae in GEN (ditto),
In the case of the Praxis explosion, dialog was [http://www.chakoteya.net/movies/movie6.html]:

The Undiscovered Country wrote:
VALTANE: Negative, sir. The subspace shockwave originated at bearing three two three, mark seven five. Location. It's Praxis, sir. It's a Klingon moon.
So, that's not a science goof. The shockwave was explained as being FTL.
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Old February 17 2013, 06:12 PM   #52
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Re: Worst science goofs

^My point is that there are plenty of fanciful concepts in all the Trek movies, a couple of which provide direct precedent for the portrayal of the FTL supernova in ST'09. The claim that that movie is somehow unique or unprecedented in having sloppy science is blatantly false.
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Old February 17 2013, 06:26 PM   #53
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Re: Worst science goofs

Christopher wrote: View Post
The claim that that movie is somehow unique or unprecedented in having sloppy science is blatantly false.
Well, that's certainly true.
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Old February 17 2013, 08:11 PM   #54
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Re: Worst science goofs

If anything, ST09 is less of an offender because it embraces a fast-paced style of storytelling that leaves a lot unsaid (unlike old Trek that could not afford to show and chose to tell) and also unseen (because modern movies can afford to show, and appear classier if they nonchalantly choose not to). Plenty of possibilities for rationalization, then.

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Old February 18 2013, 05:39 AM   #55
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Re: Worst science goofs

Trek science has been borderline at best, amusing most of the time and laughable at the worst of times. It was expressed quite well in the Authors Note in The Songs of Distant Earth which I just finished re-reading.

"However, this version was directly - and negatively - inspired by the recent rash of space operas on TV and Movie screens. (Query: what is the opposite of inspiraten - expiration?)

Please do not misunderstand me: I have enormously enjoyed the best of Star Trek and the Lucas/Spielberg epics, to mention only the most famous examples of the genre. But these works are fantasy, not science fiction in the strict meaning of the term. It now seems almost certain that in the real universe we may ever exceed the speed of light. Even the closest star systems will always be decades or centuries apart; No Warp Six will ever get you from one episode to another in time for next weeks installment. The great Producer in the Sky did not arrange his program planning that way."

Smart man, Arthur C. Clarke. Just tell your stories and don't sweat getting the science right. If Trek had to deal with real world science we'd just now be getting from Earth of Alpha Centauri at 0.1 c. McCoy and Scotty would have passed away in the void between the stars and the rest of the command crew would be past retirement age.

Let Trek be Trek and don't expect it to be this weeks installment of Nova on PBS.
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Old February 18 2013, 06:41 AM   #56
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Re: Worst science goofs

RPJOB wrote: View Post
Smart man, Arthur C. Clarke. Just tell your stories and don't sweat getting the science right. If Trek had to deal with real world science we'd just now be getting from Earth of Alpha Centauri at 0.1 c. McCoy and Scotty would have passed away in the void between the stars and the rest of the command crew would be past retirement age.
Space opera can be done while respecting the speed of light - Alastair Reynolds comes to mind - but you're right, best to let Trek be Trek.
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Old February 18 2013, 07:45 AM   #57
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Re: Worst science goofs

Space opera may be but Trek cannot. Just like it can't be done without transporters, phasers, time travel, human/alien hybrids,, dilithium, etc. By the time you strip out all the scientific impossibilities and implausibility what you;d have left may be entertaining but it wouldn't be Star Trek. That ship sailed with The Cage.
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Old February 18 2013, 10:04 AM   #58
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Re: Worst science goofs

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well we have to expect a certain amount of bad science in a Sci-Fi TV show.

But here is another one, in TNG's "The Royale" they came up with a temapture below absolute zero.
So did scientists a few months ago!

Granted, it's not cold, but it's below absolute zero
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Old February 19 2013, 11:25 AM   #59
Timo
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Re: Worst science goofs

Geordi just accounted for wind chill.

Seriously. The only reason the surface temperature would really be of interest to our heroes is the effect it will have on away teams...

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