Warp speed and the 'star effect'

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by endouken, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. endouken

    endouken Ensign Newbie

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    Hi guys.

    This question has been bugging me for a while now, I have hunted for an answer so please don't flame me if this has been asked before:

    In star trek (almost any series) when the ship cruises at warp speeds the audience can often see the stars zooming by outside the window...well, even at high warp speeds such as warp 8, it would take 2 days to reach a nearby star from earth...therefore would the stars really fly past like they do in the special effects?

    For proof of my sources:
    http://www.startrek.com.sg/warp.html - details the warp speeds, and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLWuTkBvIG0
    the above video is apparently only warp 1!!

    or are these white flashes that look a hell of a lot like stars, in fact not stars at all?!

    Thanks everyone,

    Tom.
     
  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I've never thought of the "streaking stars" as actual stars, just some effect of warp drive. And really, I don't see why eevryone is so up on criticizing the streaks. Until warp drive is actually developed, we have no idea what it'll actually look like. And besides, I like the effect. It's simple and effective and conveys FTL travel.
     
  3. endouken

    endouken Ensign Newbie

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    I agree with you - the effect is a nice one. I'm not meaning to sound critical! Just pondering if it's a realistic effect 'tis all!

    Thanks,
     
  4. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Warp drive itself is pretty unrealistic, so I wouldn't worry if the way we see it is how it would realistically look or not.
     
  5. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    It's non canon, but in the book "Federation", Cochrane sees it as an effect of the warp field distorting Cerenkov radiation.
     
  6. endouken

    endouken Ensign Newbie

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    Ahhhh, that at least offers me an explanation. Thank you Admiral!
     
  7. neozeks

    neozeks Captain Captain

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    Yeah, something in that vein is the best explanation. Unfortunately there were times when the characters themselves talked about stars (Hoshi complaining how 'the stars are going the wrong way' when looking from her quarter's windows). I guess they were just being figurative.
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For some kind of tech explanation, the deflector reaches out ahead of the ship. It pushes to the side particulate matter, cosmic rays and free hydrogen, so that the ship doesn't hit these things at hundreds of times the speed of light. Basically tunnels a hole that the ship flys down. But the warp drive field extends hundreds of meters, maybe several kilometer to the sides of the ship, all this stuff pushed to the side by the deflector passes through the warp drive field and that's what we see as streaks, the matter interacting with the structure of warp drive field. Outside the field it's warp eight, inside it's slower.

    This explanation doesn't work for Where No One Has Gone Before unless the field is really really big.
     
  9. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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    Yea in First Contact it was weird that Cochrane also saw streaking stars despite not leaving the solar system at all.

    Of course it's all a moot point now since NuTrek has established it some kind of blue cloud instead around the ship :P
     
  10. drasche

    drasche Captain Captain

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    And in Nemesis, you can see those streaking stars between the ship and the camera (after the Enterprise left Romulus).
     
  11. endouken

    endouken Ensign Newbie

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    Exactly!

    Most likely the producer/s of TOS decided on the special effects and TNG, VOY, DS9 etc all stuck with it...except in the latest film, maybe they are trying to now address this issue?

    In my little FLT world, i like to imagine the effects seen on screen would happen in my adventures! haha
     
  12. ChadHydro

    ChadHydro Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Occasionally we see a ship (I'm thinking Voyager in particular here but I think it happens in most of the series) just cruising around at Impulse seemingly outside a solar system. I say they're at impulse because we're not seeing the warp streaks. I always thought this was strange because moving at impulse between solar systems is just not feasible to get anywhere. Anyone know what the deal is here?
     
  13. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    This happened a lot with Voyager! Perhaps the warp drive needs periods of rest or repair to work at peak efficiency?
     
  14. endouken

    endouken Ensign Newbie

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    It's possible the voyager crew had to carry out maintenance on their warp drive...they were using it all hours when not running into trouble after all. With the other series' the ships generally would repair between episodes. Failing that explanation, maybe they were gathering data, doing some long range scans to build their astrometrics database?
     
  15. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    That happens quite frequently in all the series, but Voyager is the most noticeable for two reasons:

    -We can tell they're not at warp because the nacelles are not raised.

    -They're trying to get home, and frequently travelling through deep space at impulse speed is not practical for achieving that goal.

    I figure when the stock footage was being done, TPTB wanted generic shots of the ship flying through space for promotional image purposes. But yeah, it does look weird and is something that frequently annoys me.
     
  16. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When you drive through a snow storm and the headlights illuminate the falling snow, it's kind of the same effect.
     
  17. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    I don't think Starfleet, by the time of Nemesis, had developed any ship capable of traveling at warp non stop for about 70 years.
     
  18. Kai Winn

    Kai Winn Captain Captain

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    i don't think so, not at this ludicrous speed could your eyes and brain single particles crushing into the warp field and passing by register, that might rather produce a constant glow. i believe the warp field produces an optical effect like a lens.
     
  19. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    [technobabble]Throughout space, there are lots of bits of dust and junk. that's why they have navigational deflectors.

    When you move rapidly towards an object, any light from it will be shifted in frequency. Thus, the radiation from the object of a lower frequncy than visible light will be shifted into visible light, causing it to become visible. Same thing for objects behind you, except it works on frequencies HIGHER than visible light.

    So you aren't seeing stars, you are seeing bits of space debris made visible by the speed you are going at. [/technobabble]

    In real life, the effect would be much weirder. The same doppler shift would occur, shifting everything into high frequency radition which would actually kill you. But because of relativistic effects, things behind you get twisted out in front of you. In fact, something in front of you would actually appear to be getting further away!
     
  20. endouken

    endouken Ensign Newbie

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    @Tiberius, I think my head just exploded :borg: