TOS Enterprise Question...

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by MadMan1701A, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Actually, NEITHER Of those relates to the gravity well... though, obviously, one is at least in the same general family, while the other is unrelated.

    Mercury is a great real-world example of this. Most people don't know this, but Mercury doesn't rotate... AT ALL. So, one side of Mercury is incredibly hot (base-metal-melting hot),while the other side is really quite cold, heated only through conduction through the planet's mass, and radiating into space, so the "dark side" of mercury is very, very cold.

    Then, there is the fact that the Earth's rotation is believed to have slowed significantly over its history... I saw in a paleontology bit ("Dinosaurs of Patagonia," on Netflix) that it is widely believed (obviously, we have no PROOF) that the Earth's rotation, at the time of the biggest dinosaurs of that period, was barely over 23 hours.

    So... rotation of the planet has no relationship to an orbit, but mass of the planet does. Or rather, there's a fairly straightforward relationship between (a) planetary mass, (b) orbit distance, and (c) orbital velocity.

    In fact, there is only one distance from the center of mass of the earth where geosynchronous orbit is possible. (Geosynchronous meaning "always over the same spot relative to the terrain) and even then, that's only possible if the orbital path is directly over the equator... otherwise, the orbit will oscillate from north to south, relative to the ground.

    This is likely why Star Trek ships require power to maintain orbit over a landing party site... because they're in a lower orbit, which requires them to be moving at a higher orbital velocity, and thus would not be over the landing site most of the time. So, they perpetually have to provide "corrective thrust" to avoid falling from "orbit."

    A REAL orbit can be maintained essentially perpetually, without any need for power at all.

    Let's face it... the Enterprise in orbit over a planet will not be moving along anything we'd ever see as a "curved path," merely as a matter of scale. The modeling of the ship's "orbit" along a curved path was one of two things:

    1) A production falsehood, "tricking" us without any regard for real science, or

    2) The same "representational graphics" that cause us to see ships nearly brushing hulls when dialogue says that they're tens of millions of kilometers apart.

    I like #2 better. The path the ship travels is curved, just as we see it. But we're not seeing the tiny pinprick of light that you'd really see if viewing that sequence in-scale. Instead, you're seeing a "computer-augmented image" with the ship expanded for easier viewing.

    Just like a naval "fleet command" board uses ship models which would, in scale to, say, the pacific ocean theater, make those ships hundreds of miles long.
     
  2. DrBashir

    DrBashir Commander

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Actually, Mercury does rotate:

    From Wikipedia

    For many years it was thought that Mercury was synchronously tidally locked with the Sun, rotating once for each orbit and always keeping the same face directed towards the Sun, in the same way that the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth. Radar observations in 1965 proved that the planet has a 3:2 spin–orbit resonance, rotating three times for every two revolutions around the Sun; the eccentricity of Mercury’s orbit makes this resonance stable—at perihelion, when the solar tide is strongest, the Sun is nearly still in Mercury’s sky.

    The original reason astronomers thought it was synchronously locked was that, whenever Mercury was best placed for observation, it was always nearly at the same point in its 3:2 resonance, hence showing the same face. This is because, coincidentally, Mercury's rotation period is almost exactly half of its synodic period with respect to Earth.
     
  3. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Ah, fascinating... I had not learned this. When was this discovered?

     
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    CLB, I don't believe you understand what I'm saying. Hopefully, this will clarify things to everyone. (Yes, Mercury does rotate in the manner described by DrBashir.)

    I'll use a particular example with fixed numbers, then please reread everything I've said to make sure you see that this is what I've been saying.

    Suppose you know that the planet's sidereal day is 10 hours. Suppose you are orbiting the planet in the same direction as the planet's rotation, in the plane of the planet's equator, and you arrive back over the same spot every 6 hours. That information allows you do deduce your orbital period exactly.

    If you are orbiting to the East, then by assumption the planet rotates in the same direction, but it appears to pass under you moving to the West. Measure angular speeds to the East as positive. Let x be your angular speed. The sidereal day of the planet has an angular speed of 36 degrees per hour. Transforming your orbital angular speed to rest transforms the angular speed of the planet to negative 60 degrees per hour. Therefore,
    36 - x = -60 ​
    So, your orbital angular speed must be 96 degrees per hour. That means your orbital period must be exactly 3 hours and 45 minutes, which is the exact amount of time it takes to go around 360 degrees at the rate of 96 degrees per hour.

    So, while of course the rate of rotation that you observe has nothing causal to do with your orbit, how fast you observe the planet to be rotating beneath you constrains the parameters that your orbit can have.


    ETA: I see I have a minor typo in what I wrote before:
    Are you taking into account apparent the rotation of the planet and the length of its day?​
    should read
    Are you taking into account the apparent rotation of the planet and the length of its day?
     
  5. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Ah, that makes a bit more sense now... and is how I understood it all along. I thought you were saying something a bit different than it seems you were actually saying. Given that, I believe we are in agreement.

    I'm still surprised that I somehow managed to miss the re-evaluation of Mercury's rotation. I've found several online refs mentioning it, but nothing (so far) telling me when this error was determined. I can say for certain that back when I was in college, (granted, more than twenty years ago) this was the way things were. ( Actually, I graduated college in 1988, so it's more like 23 1/2 years now.)

    Clearly, this was discovered at some point between then and now, and I somehow managed to miss the re-evaluation.
     
  6. DrBashir

    DrBashir Commander

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Radar observations in 1965 proved that the planet has a 3:2 spin–orbit resonance, rotating three times for every two revolutions around the Sun; the eccentricity of Mercury’s orbit makes this resonance stable—at perihelion, when the solar tide is strongest, t
     
  7. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Location:
    SB-31, Daran V
    I like this idea.
     
  8. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Just a follow up to this post to confirm that you'd see very minimal change in the background if the camera was moving in a straight line motion as suggested by CarbonCopy. You'd see the planet recede slightly, but the difference would be difficult to detect in the original FX. So the camera's speed relative to the planet could range from stationary to moving at slightly over 15,000 ft/s.

    [​IMG]

     
  9. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    Excellent. Thank you for checking this. :techman:
     
  10. J.grey

    J.grey Ensign Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Hi, new to the board but not to Trek. I'm also interested in what the 4 glowing things are. Having read the relevant parts of the thread my take is that TOS was pretty poor in terms of continuity and design. I prefer to consider the later works as building on that canon which means that whatever those things are they have to have some kind of relevant evolution in later incarnations of starship. The most obvious conclusion is that they serve the same function as the lighted areas on the refit. The top and bottom have openings directly beneath the bridge and on top of the lower sensor dome which are lit. In semi-canon literature is usually identified as the sensor array. So these could well serve the same purpose, especially as a subspace array where the concept of direction is irrelevant in that the sensor is digging into a completely separate domain which doesn't follow the same dimensional rules as this level of the universe. Making them sensors makes a lot of sense having the additional planetary sensor dome at the bottom being lit in the same way. Perhaps sensors need to be lit for some reason, either the light is a shield of some kind to deflect harmful radiation or particles or sensors in TOS period simply give off light as waste energy. Talking of energy, they could also be part of the shield system or even something to do with the transporters considering that no other external detail deals with this function when everything in TNG did have some kind of detail to represent this important system.
    I like to think of them as sensors because it's the only thing that makes enough sense. The dome under the saucer and the four squares lit (I believe they were meant to be lit, just like there was meant to be a grid which was only penciled on) strongly indicate that they function as some kind of sensor network. I also like they idea of them serving as a high energy transmitter, perhaps part of the shield working in tandem with the domes which also nicely explains why the weapons are fired so close from the dome. You already have a high energy power source there and it would be easier to fire energy through directly along the plane of the shield transmitter. The only argument against this is that there is nohigher energy system than the deflector and engines and they don't glow at all (although they were intended to but couldn't due to budgetary restraints. To deal with this to a degree, in TMP they only glowed when functioning at warp as a kind of suggestion that they were glowing on the older version but we just never saw it.) So that kind of upsets the theory of a shield network because they're always glowing and high energy systems aren't glowing at all. The only thing in TOS that always glow is the sensor dome so that's where my vote goes.
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    I do feel the issue to be a little more complicated (but definitely favor the skylight interpretation).

    In my post # 664 here I illustrated the differences of the upper side of the saucer hull (11' VFX model) between Pike's Enterprise from "The Cage" and Kirk's Enterprise in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (unfortunately the VFX footage of the revised upper side didn't make it into the episode but we - now - know what was there!).

    It think it's safe to assume that the EVA platforms (like in TMP) would have been these rectangular, yellow patches (which the 11' VFX model kept at least near the impulse engines' cover hatches).

    The Pike Enterprise had no illuminated rectangular windows and lacked the four upper side white / illuminated rectangles.

    The moment the windows were illuminated those four rectangles were added. Considering that these windows apparently generate some "milk glass" effect (i.e. you can't see what's behind them but you probably can look out through these), I'd assume the same would apply for the skylights.

    According to the TMP novelization the new rec room seen in the film on the starboard stern of the saucer used to be the sports area on the TOS Enterprise and probably included the gym from "Charlie X".

    The gym, however, is a rectangular room that would look odd in the room arrangement of the saucer hull. To assume the white rectangle to be a skylight not only corresponds with the nearby location of the gym but would also justify to have a rectangular room at this location.

    Bob
     
  12. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2001
    Location:
    West Hollywood, Calif., USA
    Lots of very interesting thoughts above, and my thanks to all.

    For my part, I would slow down and look at what we do absolutely know. These are areas that either generate light (and also possibly other parts of the EM spectrum), or allow light (and other parts of the EM spectrum) to pass through from beneath. There are three. A fourth is apparently held in reserve or is seldom used.

    So they could be skylights, yes (spacelights? ) but what else do we know of from canon that generates energy. Sensors and communications have been mentioned, but both seem to depend on the subspace spectrum, and I'm loathe to think that ordinary photons play a part. We also have deflectors, shields, transporters and tractor beams. Unfortunately, I don't see why any of these would need three big, glowy squares only on top of the primary hull, but all would fit in with holding a fourth "in reserve."

    Or maybe the business ends of transporters, for example, are beneath the primary hull, and we're seeing the butt-ends peeking out on top? Just thinking out loud.

    Maybe they're art. :)
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    One of my friends who's a lot in jet fighters came over last night and I confronted him with the issue. He told me that jet fighters (like other planes) have position lights but over enemy territory these are (understandably) switched off. However, to avoid collision with your other jet fighters in formation flight they have lateral, flourescent "lightsheets" that are only visible to the wingman next to you.
    Of course, leaving the lights on in these rooms with "skylights" (or "spacelights") might serve the same purpose, IMHO.

    As for the sensor theory I have the impression these are within the hull and indicated by the three segmented circular lines (two at the saucer's bottom stern, one at the saucer's upper bow - at least on the 'pilot' VFX models), that look like visual warning stripes to me, something along the lines of "Warning! Sensor Emitter Radiation".

    Bob

    P.S.
    I should also point out that there's a similar white and illuminated rectangle on the bow of the pilot Enterprise's elevated bridge dome structure. Personally, I'd like to believe this one to be a panoramic window of the original circular briefing room from "Where No Man Has Gone Before" - which unfortunately we couldn't see in the episode because the camera was facing / shooting the other way. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  14. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2000
    Location:
    Out there... thataway.
    The squares are push buttons for Apollo's giant green hand thing. Pressing one makes the ship play a sound clip.
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    That's an interesting theory, Greg, but I remember Apollo's fingers to be rather big and the squares apparently don't stick out far enough to be pushed.

    Considering that many Star Trek designers had very fond memories of Nemo's Nautilus from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (including Andrew Probert and Greg Jein), we might rather be looking at an electro-shock mechanism that prevents interstellar life forms from attaching themselves to the upper side of the saucer - and blocking the main screen view. :D
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    That never stopped the designers of today's cell phone interfaces... :klingon:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Something to think about--If spacesuited folks need to use a touch screen in space with Apollo like spacesuits, it will be nice for the app to allow large buttons for spacesuited fingers.

    I know you were talking about the god Apollo tho'