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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old August 23 2008, 08:23 PM   #16
cobalt1365
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

A starships bussard collectors magnetically attract stray hydrogen molecules and pull them into the ship's ramscoop on the front of its necelles. It could be safe to assume that as the hydrogen molecules pass through the warp field they would be excited and begin to glow. Of course that doesn't explain all the streaks moving past the ship, but that's my best guess
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Old August 23 2008, 09:17 PM   #17
Warped9
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

Christopher wrote: View Post
They're meant to be the stars going by. Of course, it's taking huge dramatic license, the stars are so far apart that a ship would have to be going millions of times the speed of light for the stars to move visibly like that. But it was done to create the visual impression of movement.

We see them at sublight speed as well because of stock effects elements being used, or again simply as dramatic license to create the impression of movement.
This is quite on point. I have a program called Celestia that also allows you to see what it would look like to be moving through the galaxy at faster-than-light speeds. If you crank it up enough to thousands of times the speed of light some of the nearer stars to your position do indeed look much like what we see on TOS. It's rather cool.

Of course this is based on the assumption that warp space still somehow looks very much like normal space. The program would be more accurate if it showed Lorentz distortion as you approached the speed of light.
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Old August 23 2008, 10:04 PM   #18
Shaw
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

I was always fine with stars, but when in doubt return to the beginning to see if they attempted to tell us... for example, the opening shot in The Cage has them talking about meteoroids and the process (meteoroid beam/deflector) for keeping them from impacting the ship in flight.

So if stars aren't a good enough explanation, then they could be energized particles of debris accelerated by the ship's velocity via the meteoroid beam and slowing down as they move passed the ship (disappearing moments after it passes).

I've found that with TOS they sometimes attempted to explain things early on, but later relaxed once they were comfortable with their audience. In the first few episodes, aspects of how things worked (a mechanism for deflecting random space debris and for producing gravitation within the ship) were fitted into dialog (most likely at the suggestion of their consultants from NASA and Rand), but dropped off as they felt that the audience was getting comfortable with the environment.

But lets face it, in TOS they had a handful of effects shots that they used over and over again, and the moving dots were designed to show a different speed from the dots in the background so that it didn't just look like the model was moving in front of a static background. So just like using an 11 foot model was done to add perspective in shots (making the Enterprise seem quite large), those dots were design to make space feel sort of 3D on the screen.

I always thought it was a nice touch even if it wasn't realistic. It helped make the show visually exciting even back in an era where most of the people watching were seeing it on low resolution black and white TVs.
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Old August 23 2008, 11:47 PM   #19
Ronald Held
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

How would the scenes "feel' to you if the stars moved Physically correctly under impulse or warp drive?
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Old August 24 2008, 05:17 PM   #20
Timo
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

Sublight travel at anything under half lightspeed probably wouldn't look like anything at all: the stars would be static. At higher speeds, one would begin to get redshift/blueshift, and the light from stars to the side and aft would eventually stop reaching the ship at all, resulting in tunnel vision.

Warp travel might look like an extreme version of relativistic travel: pitch black, save for one hyper-bright spot dead ahead (mostly gamma rays and even more energetic stuff, theoretically infinitely energetic in fact). Or then it might look like Newtonian space again - which would mean Celestia-like, or TOS-like, flow of stars.

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Old August 24 2008, 06:26 PM   #21
The Squire of Gothos
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

Not wanting to download any dodgy 3rd party software, I spent a few minutes tweaking the star Windows screensaver on my office PC to resemble what the crew saw through the viewscreen.
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Old August 24 2008, 06:50 PM   #22
Brutal Strudel
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

Far as I'm concerned, they are stars--big, blobby red, yellow and blue stars. Trek was many things but it was never remotely hard SF. Its take on biology (a human/Vulcan hybrid? with the radically different internal layouts, biochemistry and, presuambly, genetics? better a human/begonia hybrid, they'd be more closely related...) is as naive as its take on physics and that, imao, is part of its appeal.
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Old August 24 2008, 07:10 PM   #23
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

You know, this topic reminds me a bit of the exchange in Bread & Circuses, when Flavius notices Spock's ears. He asks, "What do you call those?" Spock replies, "I call them ears." Flavuis retorts, "Are you trying to be funny?" Spock says, "Never." That pretty much sums up this thread! LOL! -- RR
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Old August 24 2008, 11:34 PM   #24
Ronald Held
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

The forward view is roughly the same in special and general relativity. Unfortunately, I do not have any screen images handy to show of either.
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Old August 25 2008, 07:53 PM   #25
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

Magic.
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Old September 29 2008, 06:18 AM   #26
RobertScorpio
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

Sheridan wrote: View Post
Thanks for the answers guys. I guess from what I've heard that we can safely assume that these are stars the Enterprise is passing. I do think it's a bit odd that this was never explained at any point of the show though. Maybe they did that to leave room for interpretation?
Don't let some of these knuckle head responders get you down. It was a good question. But looking at some of the responces, you can see why some TREK FANS are probably still living at home with mom/dad, unemployed..and still virgins at the age of 50.

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Old September 29 2008, 08:48 AM   #27
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
...Trek was many things but it was never remotely hard SF. Its take on biology (a human/Vulcan hybrid? with the radically different internal layouts, biochemistry and, presuambly, genetics? better a human/begonia hybrid, they'd be more closely related...)...
Did you steal that from Carl Sagan? I'm pretty sure it was him who said Spock's mother would have had a better chance reproducing with a rutabaga.

As for later Trek's contributions, tho', with the TNG episode that established all life on worlds populated by humanoids was seeded long ago by the same ancient race, then there could be some connection between all humanoid forms. Could be that on those seeded worlds, all the humanoids are similar enough where with little or no intervention, they can reproduce. We've heard the non-canon things about Amanda's pregnancy being carefully monitored and procedures done during it. We also see on DS9 Bashir saying something about needing to do one little thing so that Jadzia and Worf would be sure to conceive a viable child.
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Old September 29 2008, 06:52 PM   #28
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

cobalt1365 wrote: View Post
A starships bussard collectors magnetically attract stray hydrogen molecules and pull them into the ship's ramscoop on the front of its necelles. It could be safe to assume that as the hydrogen molecules pass through the warp field they would be excited and begin to glow. Of course that doesn't explain all the streaks moving past the ship, but that's my best guess
But there's really no good reason that a starship would be gathering hydrogen atoms from space around them: there's almost no hydrogen out there, the rate of collection would be useless for the sorts of accelerations starships insist upon, and in areas of space like that around the Sun, they'd serve as much better brakes than anything else.
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Old October 1 2008, 11:20 PM   #29
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

Nebusj wrote: View Post
cobalt1365 wrote: View Post
A starships bussard collectors magnetically attract stray hydrogen molecules and pull them into the ship's ramscoop on the front of its necelles. It could be safe to assume that as the hydrogen molecules pass through the warp field they would be excited and begin to glow. Of course that doesn't explain all the streaks moving past the ship, but that's my best guess
But there's really no good reason that a starship would be gathering hydrogen atoms from space around them: there's almost no hydrogen out there, the rate of collection would be useless for the sorts of accelerations starships insist upon, and in areas of space like that around the Sun, they'd serve as much better brakes than anything else.
The hydrogen molecules could have many uses, not the least of which is raw matter for ships stores. The replicators need basic matter to transform into those colorful yet tasty dishes and Earl Grey teas.
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Old October 2 2008, 10:17 PM   #30
Ronald Held
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Re: So, what are all these dots we see the Enterprise passing?

Not enough gas/volume to be useful, and it would limit the maximum STL speed to ~.1 c.
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