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Old March 14 2013, 02:02 AM   #121
throwback
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

In regards to our knowing our galaxy better, astronomers have discovered a new system approximately 6.5 light years from Earth. This is a brown dwarf binary star system with the name of WISE 1049-5319.

The star chart seen in "Conspiracy" depicts the Sol System as being within a hundred light years of the galactic edge. However, a star chart seen in "Emissary" depicts the current state of knowledge, with the Sol System located between the galactic core and the galactic edge.
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Old March 14 2013, 02:46 AM   #122
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

On could argue that any explanation of what happened to the Valiant is only as good as Spock's interpolation, which itself is a function of the condition of the recorder's memory banks.

In that spirit, maybe the barrier was the storm; the barrier does resemble a storm; well, it does more so under the original effects than under the "remastered" ones, at least. A maxim that a trope shouldn't be repeated twice, when once will do, would lend addition credence. Anyhow, maybe the recorder's memory was so garbled up, that it read that the storm was what threw them clear, rather than whatever it was that really did.

I could buy that, except for a couple of things.

First, if we throw out too much of what Spock says as inaccurate, then that basically defeats the whole purpose of having the dialog in the first place. The episode invests quite a bit of time in delivering it to us. We're not being thrown a red herring, we're being thrown a bone, in that dialog.

Second, Spock indicated when he found garbled data. Plus, he's Spock, man, the second of our two heroes. So, we have to believe that what he told us was a pretty accurate account of events, as they were recorded. However you slice it, Spock said the storm is what threw the Valiant out of the galaxy in the first place. And, he differentiated between the magnetic space storm that swept them to the edge of the galaxy on the hand, and the unknown force that mutated the seventh crewman on the other. It's therefore reasonably clear that the Valiant crew made the same differentiation.

So, I can't accept an identity between the magnetic space storm and the barrier. For what it's worth, I'd thought of that possibility, too, basically because of the economy of tropes problem that I mentioned. But the other reasons not to believe it far outweigh that possibility, I think. We just have to accept that the galaxy is a stormy place, at least at certain times and places.
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Last edited by Cookies and Cake; March 14 2013 at 03:19 AM. Reason: typos
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Old March 14 2013, 03:09 AM   #123
blssdwlf
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Also it would be interesting to know what Sam Peeples (who wrote WNMHGB) and the TOS writers thought in terms of the galaxy's shape and size. Certainly at best they only had a 1960's understanding of the Milky Way and not our current understanding from more than forty years of research since.
Interesting question about 60's understanding.

From my 1968 printing of the Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia:
"Milky Way system, the GALAXY which includes our sun. It comprises c.50-200 billion stars in the form of a disk; at its greatest diameter is c.100,000 light-years; thickness c.10-16 thousand light-years. Solar system is c.30,000 light-years from center. Position of earth permits observation of numerous stars appearing to form white pathway (rim of our galaxy) commonly called Milky Way."
Timo wrote: View Post
Also, it does take "days" to go from star to nearby star at warp elsewhere in Trek. Go from FTL to STL, and this distance in lightyears will translate to a trip duration in years - and the distance from a star to its not-quite-closest-neighbor does tend to be less than ten lightyears.

Also, "years" is a valid expression for "decades"... Although there would be some poetic harmony in the "days"/"decades" pairing, too.
We know that warp speed to actual speed is variable in TOS. Slow actual speeds in system near stars and planets and fast between star systems. ~1,000 LY per day for "Obsession", "That Which Survives" and "Breads and Circuses" are quite reasonable going between systems.

As to Kirk's log entry:
Captain's log, Star date 1312.9. Ship's condition, heading back on impulse power only. Main engines burned out. The ship's space warp ability gone. Earth bases which were only days away are now years in the distance.
The reason I think it is an interesting indicator are based on several things...

1. He compares the time difference between "days" to "years". A 1,000 LY trip in days is on the order of 400,000c. If impulse was limited to sublight, it wouldn't be "years" but "thousands of years" like how he compared the trip to the Andromeda Galaxy in "By Any Other Name".

2. The Enterprise's five year mission has enough food to last a crew of 430 for five years (surprise!) according to "The Mark of Gideon". If the flight home is at sublight, they'd run out of food and Kirk's log entry would reflect their dire situation.

3. In "Miri", Kirk says, "We're hundreds of light years from Earth, Mister Spock. No colonies or vessels out this far." This would suggest that Earth colonies and likely bases were limited to a radius of 1,000 LY from Earth. If that's the case and if Earth is 20,000 LY to the rim according to 1968 thinking then the nearest Earth base is roughly 19,000 LY away. That's a pretty long trip home!
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Old March 14 2013, 04:07 AM   #124
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
Also it would be interesting to know what Sam Peeples (who wrote WNMHGB) and the TOS writers thought in terms of the galaxy's shape and size. Certainly at best they only had a 1960's understanding of the Milky Way and not our current understanding from more than forty years of research since.
Interesting question about 60's understanding.

From my 1968 printing of the Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia:
"Milky Way system, the GALAXY which includes our sun. It comprises c.50-200 billion stars in the form of a disk; at its greatest diameter is c.100,000 light-years; thickness c.10-16 thousand light-years. Solar system is c.30,000 light-years from center. Position of earth permits observation of numerous stars appearing to form white pathway (rim of our galaxy) commonly called Milky Way."
Timo wrote: View Post
Also, it does take "days" to go from star to nearby star at warp elsewhere in Trek. Go from FTL to STL, and this distance in lightyears will translate to a trip duration in years - and the distance from a star to its not-quite-closest-neighbor does tend to be less than ten lightyears.

Also, "years" is a valid expression for "decades"... Although there would be some poetic harmony in the "days"/"decades" pairing, too.
We know that warp speed to actual speed is variable in TOS. Slow actual speeds in system near stars and planets and fast between star systems. ~1,000 LY per day for "Obsession", "That Which Survives" and "Breads and Circuses" are quite reasonable going between systems.

As to Kirk's log entry:
Captain's log, Star date 1312.9. Ship's condition, heading back on impulse power only. Main engines burned out. The ship's space warp ability gone. Earth bases which were only days away are now years in the distance.
The reason I think it is an interesting indicator are based on several things...

1. He compares the time difference between "days" to "years". A 1,000 LY trip in days is on the order of 400,000c. If impulse was limited to sublight, it wouldn't be "years" but "thousands of years" like how he compared the trip to the Andromeda Galaxy in "By Any Other Name".

2. The Enterprise's five year mission has enough food to last a crew of 430 for five years (surprise!) according to "The Mark of Gideon". If the flight home is at sublight, they'd run out of food and Kirk's log entry would reflect their dire situation.

3. In "Miri", Kirk says, "We're hundreds of light years from Earth, Mister Spock. No colonies or vessels out this far." This would suggest that Earth colonies and likely bases were limited to a radius of 1,000 LY from Earth. If that's the case and if Earth is 20,000 LY to the rim according to 1968 thinking then the nearest Earth base is roughly 19,000 LY away. That's a pretty long trip home!
This is why it's an appealing idea to tweak Kirk's indication of how long it would take to reach those bases to mean in subjective time, according to the relativistic effect of time dilation.
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Old March 14 2013, 04:54 AM   #125
blssdwlf
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

I dunno. I'm not a big fan of relativistic time because it would mean the Earth that the Enterprise crew knew wouldn't be the way they remembered it when they get back. They would be even more out of sync with time than Captain John Christopher being brought forward into the future. I figure if they have artificial gravity then time dilation is something that they could have solved as well.
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Old March 14 2013, 04:57 AM   #126
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
I dunno. I'm not a big fan of relativistic time because it would mean the Earth that the Enterprise crew knew wouldn't be the way they remembered it when they get back. They would be even more out of sync with time than Captain John Christopher being brought forward into the future. I figure if they have artificial gravity then time dilation is something that they could have solved as well.
Well, exactly. That would be one reason, beyond just being couped up on the ship for subjective years, why they'd want to recharge the warp drive. It's only something that they would endure in an emergency.
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Old March 14 2013, 07:48 AM   #127
blssdwlf
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

I'm not sure what they would endure here. Endure time dilation? Or endure a longer trip home provided by FTL impulse engines that are significantly slower than warp drive?

And what about cases like being chased by the planet killer from "The Doomsday Machine"? If they had Slower-Than-Light impulse engines they wouldn't have a chance being chased by the machine.
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Old March 14 2013, 08:01 AM   #128
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
I figure if they have artificial gravity then time dilation is something that they could have solved as well.
I'd expect that inertial dampeners, artificial gravity, deflectors, and tractor beams would all affect the process of time dilation to varying degrees.

But in my opinion, it's pointless to postulate exactly what the effects would be, unless you're going to go all the way and just invent the damn things. Beyond being pointless from a purely intellectual perspective, it would complicate the premises of Star Trek, without making any counterbalancing worthwhile dramatic contribution.

In my view, that's why Star Trek keeps it simple and generally avoids time dilation effects in the first place.

However, if I were to indulge in how I would handle extended STL acceleration of a connie in the Star Trek universe, I'd do it this way.
1. Inertial dampeners couldn't compensate for time dilation indefinitely. Once the Lorentz factor gets to a certain value, the inertial dampeners would overheat, short out, and go off line, assuming they didn't catastrophically explode creating massive gravitational ripples that would tear the ship apart. At that point, if the ship survived, the crew would be subject to the inertial effects of acceleration, and therefore time dilation.

2. Therefore, to make a twin paradox trip, the connie would have to disable inertial dampeners to begin with.

3. Therefore, the presumably usual direction of acceleration is wrong relative to the deck layout. The proper direction of acceleration for such a trip would be bridge-first. Maybe the deflectors could be used to redirect thrust from the impulse drive to apply the impulse to the ship in the proper direction.

4. The continual operation of the shields would be essential to prevent blue-shifted cosmic rays from irradiating the crew to death.

5. Similarly, the navigational deflectors would have to be used to make sure the path ahead was clear of interstellar debris. But unfortunately, their emitters are mounted in the wrong place for the top-first journey.
All this adds up to the trip just not being something that the writers planned for, or if they did they really didn't think it through. The basic problem is that the decks should be laid out perpendicularly; the trope of laying the keel of the Enterprise as if she were a naval vessel seems to have won out over hard science fiction.
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Old March 14 2013, 08:42 AM   #129
blssdwlf
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

As far as I can tell, the Enterprise's navigational deflectors are spherical. Otherwise she couldn't accelerate in full reverse or do warp pivots or later on in the movies fly around V'ger.

A quick search through all the dialogue doesn't reveal any instances of time dilation or relativistic effects. The writers either ignored the problem or the problem is not relevant in the episodes. Hmmm.
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Old March 14 2013, 09:02 AM   #130
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
As far as I can tell, the Enterprise's navigational deflectors are spherical. Otherwise she couldn't accelerate in full reverse or do warp pivots or later on in the movies fly around V'ger.
Well, I guess I should have qualified which sources I meant. FJ has the navigational deflector on the main dish, and that faces only forward. Memory Alpha concurs: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Navigational_deflector.

It's very difficult for me to reconcile the idea of a dish that aims in a particular direction with the idea that deflector beams can be directed in any direction with equal ease.
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Old March 14 2013, 11:09 AM   #131
Timo
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

First, if we throw out too much of what Spock says as inaccurate, then that basically defeats the whole purpose of having the dialog in the first place.
I'd argue that Spock would be justified in concentrating on the issue that was of immediate interest to our heroes. How the Valiant got there was far less interesting than what happened to the Valiant when she tried to brave the Barrier that our heroes had apparently been specifically tasked to confront. The giant holes in the records could well be in areas of no particular interest, such as how to get from Earth to the Edge (because Kirk had already managed that part nicely enough).

I'm no fan of identifying the "storm" with the "barrier", either. But the inherent vagueness of Spock's statements allows us to do lots of things with the "storm" part, which was of limited interest to our heroes, while keeping the nature of the "barrier" as close to the explicit dialogue as possible.

2. The Enterprise's five year mission has enough food to last a crew of 430 for five years (surprise!) according to "The Mark of Gideon". If the flight home is at sublight, they'd run out of food and Kirk's log entry would reflect their dire situation.
Then again, the status of the ship as of "Gideon", fairly late in the game, might not reflect her status at the very beginning of her mission particularly well. And if Kirk really intended to explore space beyond the "edge", rather than merely test the edge itself for later expeditions (the latter interpretation can easily be made from the dialogue, too), his ship would probably have been stocked for a much longer mission than was the case after his less-than-triumphant return (taking from the pilot to "Balance of Terror" at least, perhaps even as late as "Dagger of the Mind") and apparent subsequent reassignment to less deep-spacey duties.

This would suggest that Earth colonies and likely bases were limited to a radius of 1,000 LY from Earth.
The existence of the Delta Vega station could be taken as evidence of a special effort to build a chain of bases in support of the very mission of exploring the "edge", though: bigger bases closer to home, but automated stations and supply stashes along the route Kirk took and subsequent expeditions would frequent. It's not as if the heroes are surprised by the fact that they are mere light-days away from civilization, after all. Spock points out that Delta Vega is practically next door, but the reaction from Kirk is more like "Ah, so it's Delta Vega that will save us, rather than Gamma Ridiculi or Beta Obscura or one of the other stashes we were briefed on".

And what about cases like being chased by the planet killer from "The Doomsday Machine"? If they had Slower-Than-Light impulse engines they wouldn't have a chance being chased by the machine.
The episode was quite clear on the monster being extremely clumsy: even a completely crippled starship could outrun it. Sure, the DDM could devour half a dozen star systems in a row within at most a year, meaning it had FTL drive. But there was no sign of it ever going FTL during the actual adventure, or accelerating much. Even when it for some mysterious reason decided not to eat all of L-374 after all and to head for the next system instead, there was no indication that she would have been doing so at any significant speed.

It's probably just a case of the thing being fast at FTL but slow at STL, and with poor transition from one to the other. Some penalties would be expected from the massive size...

It's very difficult for me to reconcile the idea of a dish that aims in a particular direction with the idea that deflector beams can be directed in any direction with equal ease.
It would help if we knew what a deflector beam actually does. But, just like the Bussard collector, this technology has one definition in noncanon, backstage books but none in the actual episodes or movies. All we ever see or hear it do is "alternate modes" or "special adaptations", with nary a hint to what its normal mode of operation would be.

For all we know, the navigational deflectors, plural, have nothing to do with the big dish, and the big dish in turn is not directly related to protection against the medium the ship pushes through. Instead, the dish might be a mere sensor, incapable of pushing anything but vital for long range navigation and associated deflection prediction nevertheless. Short range navigation and deflection could do without it.

Of course, to be a long range, high speed FTL detector, the dish would need to emit a powerful subspace field, the foremost means of going FTL. And that part could be turned into a weapon, even if the standard technology had no "push" as such.

This is yet another example of our traditional definitions of treknologies being inconvenient. FTL impulse or navigational deflector dishes that don't deflect can come in handy at times. But it's not a particularly satisfactory solution.

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Old March 14 2013, 01:39 PM   #132
Warped9
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

I'm certainly not a physicist, but I don't think even artificial gravity will spare you from relativistic effects. If you go fast enough in normal space then you'll experience time dilation. That's proven science. And if your warp engines are out then how can you create a subspace bubble to take you out of normal space? Yeah, I know they pulled that in DS9's pilot episode, but it's still bullshit.

The only loop hole I can see is that impulse engines can create a sunspace bubble to take you out of normal space and thus save you from time dilation. And even if impulse can get you just a bit faster than light you still have a years to centuries voyage to get back from the galaxy's edge.
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Old March 14 2013, 01:51 PM   #133
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I'm certainly not a physicist, but I don't think even artificial gravity will spare you from relativistic effects. If you go fast enough in normal space then you'll experience time dilation. That's proven science. And if your warp engines are out then how can you create a subspace bubble to take you out of normal space? Yeah, I know they pulled that in DS9's pilot episode, but it's still bullshit.

The only loop hole I can see is that impulse engines can create a sunspace bubble to take you out of normal space and thus save you from time dilation. And even if impulse can get you just a bit faster than light you still have a years to centuries voyage to get back from the galaxy's edge.
One of the main arguments in how to differentiate the twins in the twin paradox is that the twin subjected to the inertial forces of acceleration is the one who experiences the time dilation. On the other hand, the one who doesn't experience those forces does not experience time dilation.

Inertial dampeners would eliminate the effects of acceleration, and therefore by the principle of equivalence, mechanics aboard ship would operate as if there were no acceleration due to the impulse drive. Therefore, any effect of time dilation would be canceled, as long as the inertial dampeners continue to operate.
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Old March 14 2013, 02:19 PM   #134
blssdwlf
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
As far as I can tell, the Enterprise's navigational deflectors are spherical. Otherwise she couldn't accelerate in full reverse or do warp pivots or later on in the movies fly around V'ger.
Well, I guess I should have qualified which sources I meant. FJ has the navigational deflector on the main dish, and that faces only forward. Memory Alpha concurs: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Navigational_deflector.

It's very difficult for me to reconcile the idea of a dish that aims in a particular direction with the idea that deflector beams can be directed in any direction with equal ease.
But what of the Reliant? Or the older ships like the Aurora Space Cruiser? They don't have a dish.

The first time the "dish" = navigational deflector on screen I think was in TNG with the E-D. I just view that as a limitation of the E-D and ships that used that design philosophy which the TOS Enterprise, movie Enterprise, Reliant, Stargazer, etc did not follow.
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Old March 14 2013, 02:32 PM   #135
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
As far as I can tell, the Enterprise's navigational deflectors are spherical. Otherwise she couldn't accelerate in full reverse or do warp pivots or later on in the movies fly around V'ger.
Well, I guess I should have qualified which sources I meant. FJ has the navigational deflector on the main dish, and that faces only forward. Memory Alpha concurs: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Navigational_deflector.

It's very difficult for me to reconcile the idea of a dish that aims in a particular direction with the idea that deflector beams can be directed in any direction with equal ease.
But what of the Reliant? Or the older ships like the Aurora Space Cruiser? They don't have a dish.

The first time the "dish" = navigational deflector on screen I think was in TNG with the E-D. I just view that as a limitation of the E-D and ships that used that design philosophy which the TOS Enterprise, movie Enterprise, Reliant, Stargazer, etc did not follow.
I know! I have no certain answer to that.

In CorporalCaptain's world, ultimately Star Trek breaks down. I mean, honestly, I try to take it as far as I can, because I enjoy Trek Tech. But this is an example at the frayed edge of the tapestry that is Star Trek.

I can reach into my bag of tricks and postulate that there are different classes of navigational deflector systems. Perhaps there is a low power system that works well enough for certain classes of maneuvers that doesn't require a dish? That would mean that the heavy cruiser connie can just plain do more, such as:

The Paradise Syndrome uses a deflector beam from the Enterprise. IIRC, the original effects didn't show where the beam came out of, but the remastered effects have it coming out of the dish.

remastered FX: http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/3x...romehd0510.jpg
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