Starship Size Argument™ thread

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by WarpFactorZ, May 1, 2013.

  1. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sure, that other one where the ship is being constructed on the ground.


    In the next film, it will have wheels and roll around on empty plains.
     
  2. Captain_Q

    Captain_Q Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Scotty is a genius and can make anything work. He figured out how to put whales in a Klingon bird of prey without killing everyone. So tada.
     
  3. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Incorrect. It's actually about 55mm/s. Which is not at all insigifnicant, considering that force of gravity is sufficient to keep the moon in a circular orbit and not drifting off into space.

    Strictly speaking, they were never OUT of it. But since the Enterprise after defeating Vengeance would have immediately begun moving towards Earth on impulse power, then "caught" in gravity would simply mean the loss of engine power means what had been an eliptical orbit now transformed into an impact trajectory (see "The Naked Time", among others).

    They were at least 50,000km from the moon, so Earth's gravity was still dominant. And that assumes they started to fall from a stationary position relative to the Earth and the moon; in space, there's no such thing. Both ships were in motion relative to both the Earth and the moon; significantly, they were both in motion at about the same velocity, which is why the debris field between them doesn't move when Vengenace's systems are shut down.

    We don't know anything about their actual orbital characteristics when they drop to sublight, but they are definitely not stationary.

    Using bad science to nitpick bad science is fail.
     
  4. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed it is.

    And we can, in fact, have flying cars. It's not actually that hard to do. The reason we don't have a lot of STREET LEGAL flying cars is because it turns out they're not actually all that practical from a transportation standpoint.

    You know what else isn't practical? Hiding a starship on the bottom of an ocean. It's not actually that hard to do. It's just kind of silly, and your chief engineer is probably going to complain a lot about how stupid this is even if you think you have a good reason for doing it.
     
  5. gerbil

    gerbil Captain Captain

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    I'm curious why you'd address this point but fail address the concept of explosive decompression and a lack of maneuvering thrusters as a factor.
     
  6. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    I take Kirk hiding the Enterprise on the bottom of the ocean as another symptom of what Pike was talking about with Kirk not being responsible and being careless.

    I'd say it applies to the whole crew. They all needed a lesson in being adults, and STID was that lesson.
     
  7. cbspock

    cbspock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't remember this much BS going on over the Enterprise D going into the sun or through an asteroid. Why not complain that the crew should have been wiped out in Generations when the saucer crashed landed, or Voyager's crew should have been turned into goo when she crashed on the ice planet in Timeless, but holy crap put Enterprise underwater and the fans get all in a wad. :p


    -Chris
     
  8. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's insignificant in terms of the "boost" it gives them in moving toward Earth. A quick calculation shows that it would take on the order of 40 hours to fall to Earth from rest at that distance. Not 5 minutes. And it would require a SIGNIFICANT radial velocity to accomplish that, something you're just not going to get from "explosive decompression" (especially if you guys insist the Enterprise is 700m long).

    And before I go on, let me be clear: 'm not arguing they *won't* fall to Earth. I'm arguing they wouldn't do so in the time shown in the film (nowhere near it, actually).

    Already taken into account.

    Of course it's possible to be stationary with respect to the Earth. Many satellites are. The likelihood they would drop out of warp in this state, however, is slim. But since their position with respect to the moon doesn't really change during the entire encounter, and furthermore the Enterprise maneuvers to be co-moving with the Vengeance, it stands to reason they weren't moving in a radial direction toward Earth. Ergo, no significant initial velocity.

    It won't make a difference, unless they were already plunging toward Earth.

    Using Newtonian mechanics is bad science, huh. News to me. But who am I to argue.
     
  9. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That assumes a relative velocity of exactly zero with respect to the Earth's surface the moment their engines shut down. We don't even know if this is the case during the EVA.

    You don't know that. Even a relatively slow (by Trek standards) orbital velocity of 10 to 15km/s wouldn't be noticeable in the short timeframe we're seeing; at that velocity alone you wouldn't start to notice a change in the moon's position for at least an hour, and you would approach the Earth in about six hours.

    On the other hand, Enterprise would have been heading for Earth under impulse power at this point, using the usual subspace trickery to reduce its inertial mass and allow a couple of thrusters to push it along. How close was it to Earth when the field collapsed? Going by visuals alone, ALOT closer than 230,000km.

    You have that backwards: Vengeance maneuvers to be co-moving with the Enterprise, which was forced out of warp in a burst of gunfire.

    Exactly.

    Why are you so sure that they weren't? Especially since Kirk had earlier ordered Sulu to do exactly that?

    Vengence blows up, Enterprise heads for Earth at one quarter impulse power. Under normal circumstances that would be a five minute flight; under a sudden power failure and loss of vessel control that turns into more like twenty minutes of twisty-tumbling insanity.

    It's not that hard to explain. And the interesting thing is, it's such a breathtakingly cool scene that most of us don't mind looking for explanations. It would be one thing if it was a pointlessly concocted idiocy that served no purpose whatsoever (e.g. the dune buggy chase in Nemesis), but in this case we're forced to invoke the Rule of Cool.

    Only when you use it incorrectly.
     
  10. Opus

    Opus Commodore Commodore

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    Oh yeah, this is why I typically never click on this thread...

    ... anywho...
     
  11. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, that depends strongly on your assumed initial conditions, but be that as it may, 6 hours is still much greater than 5 minutes. So no matter how you slice it: they aren't falling to earth in the time shown. I had to edit my initial post for you to understand that, but apparently that was pointless.

    It was not. The warp and impulse engines were disabled, and the power fails pretty much immediately after the torpedoes disable the Vengeance. The Enterprise was dead in the water. Spock even says so earlier.

    There is nothing wrong with my analysis, nor my assumptions about what will or will not affect the calculation (your own numbers show that). Your use of faulty initial data, however, skews your numbers.
     
  12. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  13. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If you watch the scene, the Enterprise is always pointed toward the Moon while the imuplse engines are "on." That wouldn't push them toward the Earth (and moreover doesn't really push them at all).
     
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Warp drive, yes. Impulse, clearly NOT since it was exactly that which arrested the fall in the first place. The misalignment of the warp core was apparently a consequence of the ship being tossed around after the initial power loss and was just a "finishing touches" move for the repairs that brought the engines back online.

    Actually, it's closer to two to three minutes; time enough for Kirk to carry a hobbled Carol Marcus to sickbay and talk to bones about the torpedoes and the sleeping pods. We don't know EXACTLY how much times elapses because of the condensed pace of the Abrams movies; real world time, that's anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes.

    Spock says they "cannot flee." He doesn't say WHY, though the reason for this is pretty obvious.

    Really? You started by asserting that Earth's gravity is non-existent at 300,000km, which is DEAD wrong. You implied that Enterprise would have "fallen" from a stationary position at that altitude, which is impossible. You implied that their position relative to the moon was unchanged, which is ALSO impossible. And then with the simple fact that their actual motion throughout the encounter is unknown, you wave your hands and change the subject.

    Bad science remains bad science even if you're using it to criticize other bad science.
     
  15. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Gee she's more parallel to the moon and banks into the turn that puts her on the course for Earth. And describe it however you want, the impulse engines were firing.
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Incorrect. The moon remains close to the Enterprise's starboard side. Never close to the bow.
     
  17. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Bingo, when Khan starts shooting (the last one in this series of caps) she's running along side the moon, impulse engines full burn.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  18. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I said *effectively 0*, not *absolutely 0*, and for the purposes of this argument it's correct. When things are CLOSE to 0, you can TREAT them as 0 without any significant impact on your calculation (especially in this case, considering the bulk of the acceleration doesn't happen until the ship is very close to Earth). That being said, the figure of 40 hours I gave you assumes it starts to fall (from rest) at a distance r away from the Earth in a field GM_e/r^2 (non- zero). Giving the ship an initial velocity of 15, 20, even 100m/s won't bring that figure down to 5 minutes.

    You need to understand how assumptions can or cannot affect calculations. Based on your language and the level of your discussion, I'm going to guess you're either an undergraduate or beginning graduate student (probably the former). Take my advice: solid assumptions that don't necessitate explicit calculations are far from bad science. They're the way things are really done.

    I never changed the subject. I stated earlier (which you continue to ignore) that they would certainly fall toward Earth, but, without significant (read: very fast) initial velocity in the radial direction, they wouldn't in the time shown in the movie. And that is all correct, your order-epsilon blatherings not withstanding.

    You need to hit the books a bit more. In fact, scratch that. You need to get away from the books and really *understand* what it is you're talking about. A solid understanding of physics is knowing when you do and when you *don't* have to do the calculation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek has never put physics above the story. So why are some people busting Into Darkness balls over it?

    It's fucking silly.
     
  20. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    55mm/s is not close to zero in gravitational terms. A spacecraft at that orbit orbit still requires several dozen to several hundred m/s delta-v to reach escape velocity.

    But that still assumes their starting altitude was 237,000km. This, too, is not known.

    Actually I used to be a guidance systems technician in the USN before I got a teaching certificate. So no, unlike you I am NOT an undergraduate from the University of the Internet.;)

    More importantly, I never really expect Star Trek to give rigidly explicable depictions of the known laws of physics, because it rarely (almost never) does. There are times, however, when its depictions can be reconciled with the known laws of physics, and this is one of them.

    Since you don't know their radial velocity -- either before or after the ship dropped out of warp -- this is a bad assumption on your part. Nor do you know the performance envelope of their impulse engines, the ship's maximum acceleration or its behavior immediately after the explosion of the Vengeance.

    Really, this is just a repeat from 2009. "Earth to Vulcan in three minutes? Impossible!" Chalk it up to much editing and too little exposition.

    Says the guy who still insists the Enterprise is only 300 meters long.:vulcan: