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Old June 17 2009, 02:47 AM   #1
mythme
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Location of the Delphic Expanse

I'm sure this has been brought up before, but after re-watching Season 3, I am once again pondering where the Delphic Expanse might have been. I did a search for some fan-made maps or discussions on this but didn't come up with much. Most seem to believe the the Expanse was probably in the Beta Quadrant, somewhere around Klingon space. However, Memory Alpha suggests that, it was in the Alpha Quadrant, which prevented earlier contact with the Cardassians, Ferengi, Breen, etc. I was wondering what everyone on here thinks about the subject.

There are a couple hints in the episodes pertaining to size and location which I took note of:

The Vulcans, the Klingons and the Ossarians (which Phlox recognized) tried to explore the Expanse which suggests that it leans towards the Beta Quadrant side. You might consider the appearance of a Benzite (in the mines in "The Xindi") as supporting this. One of the slave girls in "Rajin" is a Nuvian. This species is employed as masseuses on Risa ("Fallen Hero") so it is likely that her homeworlds lies somewhere near early Earth/starfleet space and the Expanse.

It took Enterprise seven weeks (at warp 5 presumably) to reach the edge of the Expanse. Using the TOS warp scale, this would place it roughly 17 Light years from Earth. According to Soval, the Expanse itself is enormous - 2000 light years. At Warp 5, it would have taken 16 years to cross it.

In "The Xindi", it is mentioned that the council planet is 50 light years from Earth. So unless backtracking occured (which is entirely possible), Enterprise never reached any deeper into the Expanse. Again using the TOS warp scale this would take about 5 months as warp 5. the NX-01 left Earth in late April and reached the Council planet the following mid-February. Taking into account various stops along the way, anomalies, battles, low warp, damage, etc, this seems about right.

In "Twilight", T'Pol took the refugee humans to Ceti Alpha 5 in the Mutara system which is "far from the Expanse" and also Denobula. Kirk's mission seems pretty much located in the Beta Quadrant and from what we've seen in "Space Seed" and the movies "TWOK" and "TSFS", Ceti Alpha 5, the Mutara Nebula, and, subsequently the Genesis Planet were located somewhat within reach of Klingon space. The REAL Ceti Alpha is 220 light years from Earth. So with that in consideration, how far is "far from the Expanse" and where is it in relation to the Klingons?

I know that I've geeked out here, but I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts they would like to offer.
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Old June 17 2009, 03:54 AM   #2
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

well vulcan would have been along the way.
cardassians were known during the time of enterprise/ a carrdassian poet
was living on vulcan.
it is possible like other ships rajiin was on a ship that got sucked into the expanse when they got to close to the barrier.

i always wondered if some of the odd pockets of space could be retcon into being part of the former expanse.
tng seemed to especially have a lot of them.
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Old June 17 2009, 12:26 PM   #3
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

One idea I find attractive is that the Expanse was a relatively irregularly shaped blob that extended at least one pseudopod between Earth and its main TOS enemies, the Romulans and Klingons. Or at least the Romulans. So when Archer's antics dispersed the Expanse, this made possible (and inevitable) the Romulan War - but until then, the Expanse had protected Earth from attacks by these villain cultures.

That would indeed place the Xindi homeworld in the direction of Beta Quadrant, although the majority of the Expanse might lie above or below the galactic plane, thereby allowing for the familiar empires to exist at that plane (and thus making cartography simpler, the way it seems to be in the later eras).

If the Expanse doesn't extend pseudopods between the major empires, it certainly shouldn't lie between them in its entirety, either - 2,000 ly is way too big for that. So perhaps one has to peek around the nearest corner of the Klingon Empire to reach the former location of the Expanse?

However, I still prefer the idea that the Expanse protected Earth and her vicinity from her enemies, so that its evaporation would leave a power vacuum the newcomer UFP could fill. The Klingon and Romulan empires appear to be older than the UFP, and shouldn't have left power vacuums in their neighborhood in the general case. If it only takes four warp-days to reach Earth from Qo'noS, yet the Klingon Empire supposedly covers dozens if not hundreds of star systems, then the lopsidedness of the Empire must have some sort of an explanation, long before the border defenses of the UFP become that explanation.

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Old June 17 2009, 10:43 PM   #4
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

I'm a bit puzzled about the warp scale used. If one uses the TOS scale on Memory Alpha, Warp 5 is definetely faster. In Damage travelling 4 light years at Warp 3 takes 3 days. That means the Expanse would be much farther away than 17 light years.
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Old June 17 2009, 11:03 PM   #5
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

In "The Expanse", the NX-01 basically heads to Vulcan to drop off T'Pol first. En route she changes her mind and wants to stay on board. They change course and head for the Delphic Expanse. It then takes 7 weeks at a sustained speed of Warp 5 to reach the cloud barrier, according to Archer's log.

By "Zero Hour", I assume it took shorter to get home because the Xindi-Aquatic ship was vastly more advanced. There's also that race's ability to create a vortex, which got the superweapon to Earth in a matter of what, days?
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Old June 18 2009, 02:50 AM   #6
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

Well, the writers at least gave a reason why the Expanse wasn't mentioned in other series: It was destroyed in ENT as well, so why would they mention it later on?
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Old June 18 2009, 05:41 AM   #7
Peter the Younger
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

I wouldn't use the TOS warp scale; the few mentions of speed they make in ENT tend to favor the TNG scale, or something close to it at the lower ends anyway.
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Old June 18 2009, 08:10 AM   #8
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

Speeds and distances are always very difficult to determine in Trek. It took the Enterprise 7 weeks to get to the Expanse, but it took them only 4 days to get to Kronos, and that was with a detour to Rigel.

I've made lots of maps for my own fanfiction, but since that takes place post-NEM, I didn't include the Expanse.
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Old June 18 2009, 11:14 AM   #9
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

A theory I've heard, which I find quite convincing, puts the Expanse in the Alpha Quadrant. The "Star Charts" book places the edge of Federation space as it borders the Breen, Ferengi, Cardassians and Tzenkethi about 50 light years from Earth. At least the first three of these cultures were exploring space by the 22nd century, so why weren't they contacted until the 24th, when Starfleet had roamed far further than 50 lightyears for over a century beforehand? The answer: That way lay the former Delphic Expanse, and to avoid antagonizing the Xindi, the Federation gave the region a wide berth for a considerable time.
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Old June 18 2009, 01:23 PM   #10
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
A theory I've heard, which I find quite convincing, puts the Expanse in the Alpha Quadrant. The "Star Charts" book places the edge of Federation space as it borders the Breen, Ferengi, Cardassians and Tzenkethi about 50 light years from Earth. At least the first three of these cultures were exploring space by the 22nd century, so why weren't they contacted until the 24th, when Starfleet had roamed far further than 50 lightyears for over a century beforehand? The answer: That way lay the former Delphic Expanse, and to avoid antagonizing the Xindi, the Federation gave the region a wide berth for a considerable time.
The reason I don't like this theory, as someone mentioned above, is that a Cardassian was living on Vulcan at this time and the Organians had studied the Cardies by the 22nd century. (Also the new Trek film mentions a Cardassian drink, which probably was around before the time alteration). Ferengi appeared in "Aquisiton". Also, according to Worf, Klingons once tried to invade Breen. This was in the time of the "second empire", which would denote before the rule of the High Council so, in other words, before Enterprise's time. This would be unlikely if the Expanse was in their way.
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Old June 18 2009, 01:35 PM   #11
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

mythme wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
A theory I've heard, which I find quite convincing, puts the Expanse in the Alpha Quadrant. The "Star Charts" book places the edge of Federation space as it borders the Breen, Ferengi, Cardassians and Tzenkethi about 50 light years from Earth. At least the first three of these cultures were exploring space by the 22nd century, so why weren't they contacted until the 24th, when Starfleet had roamed far further than 50 lightyears for over a century beforehand? The answer: That way lay the former Delphic Expanse, and to avoid antagonizing the Xindi, the Federation gave the region a wide berth for a considerable time.
The reason I don't like this theory, as someone mentioned above, is that a Cardassian was living on Vulcan at this time and the Organians had studied the Cardies by the 22nd century. (Also the new Trek film mentions a Cardassian drink, which probably was around before the time alteration). Ferengi appeared in "Aquisiton". Also, according to Worf, Klingons once tried to invade Breen. This was in the time of the "second empire", which would denote before the rule of the High Council so, in other words, before Enterprise's time. This would be unlikely if the Expanse was in their way.
Just because Cardassian and Ferengi citizens were travelling past the Expanse doesn't mean the theory doesn't hold up. Some people were always going to explore beyond the expanse, I imagine. The odd visitation or casual contact between citizens is quite different from full-on contact between governments. I don't see why Cardassian and Ferengi activity in later-Federation space or nearby prior to official contact damages the theory. As for the Klingon mission to Breen space, we know that the fleet vanished without a trace. Everyone assumes it was the Breen, but what if it was the expanse? This might explain why the Klingons displayed such uncharacteristic fear of the place; anything that could humiliate them with the loss of a proud battlefleet would be a place to avoid. If anything, such contacts prior to official first contact make it even more odd that it took so long for Starfleet to explore 50 lightyears spinward. I believe "the former expanse was there" is a very good explanation.
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Old June 18 2009, 03:34 PM   #12
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

Something no one has mentioned, is that the expanse may be "above" or "below" us. The galactic plane is 10000 light years thick, so it could easily be above or below us, especially as star charts and stuff have placed stuff in all deirections in our plane, but hardly anything out of it.
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Old June 18 2009, 03:43 PM   #13
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

apenpaap wrote: View Post
Something no one has mentioned, is that the expanse may be "above" or "below" us. The galactic plane is 10000 light years thick, so it could easily be above or below us, especially as star charts and stuff have placed stuff in all deirections in our plane, but hardly anything out of it.

Recently I have had thoughts that the Expanse may actually be another name for all of the different versions of the "Center of the Galaxy" which we've seen over the years. Perhaps it fits, perhaps it doesn't, maybe some of the expanse did remain after the events of Enterprise's third season. There have been several inappropriate and incorrect references to trek and the center of the galaxy, the only one that fits is really from TNG's Nth Degree.

Perhaps parts of the Expanse did remain and somehow the name "Center of the Galaxy" was applied to it for some reason. As another poster suggested if you take into account the 10,000 light year thickness of the plane of the galaxy....perhaps they are referencing that.

Just rambling, and trying to put two ideas together.....
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Old June 18 2009, 03:45 PM   #14
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

Oh, just got promoted!!!!!
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Old June 18 2009, 09:50 PM   #15
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Re: Location of the Delphic Expanse

I'm not sure the 10,000 lightyear thickness of the galaxy is entirely applicable here. Yes, the gas is about 10,000 lightyears thick, but the actual stars are only around 1000 lightyears thick. I think. I could be wrong. So depending on how big you think the Federation is and exactly where the Galactic barrier is, the UFP could very well extend all the way from top to bottom.
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