starship close to BH.

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Ronald Held, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ASssume a ship falls out of warp close to the event horizon. It is not moving close to the speed of light. Can the ship escape only on impulse drive?
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Seems likely that it could.

    - Impulse drive is powerful and can be sustained for a long time. Insert suitable numbers, and assume a reasonable black hole, and you get an escape. Or at the very least a stable trajectory that doesn't place the ship in jeopardy while the crew repairs and re-engages warp.
    - Structural integrity fields and inertial dampers can deal with high accelerations. Again insert suitable numbers and you negate the effects of tidal forces.
    - Subspace communications don't seem to suffer from proximity to gravity anomalies. Perhaps they do, but until this is demonstrated, we may assume the crew just calls for help, and escapes assisted.

    Our showstoppers would be incompatible numbers. In "Doomsday Machine", sustained impulse combat is a drain on (impulse?) fuel. Would a steady struggle out of BH orbit drain a ship too soon? We see few prolonged impulse accelerations...

    ...OTOH, we never hear of anybody shutting down or even throttling down an impulse drive for any reason other than total equipment failure. TNG era impulse engines glow all the time...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My concern is that the inertial dampers might not work,so only Newtonian forces would be available for propulsion. Tidal forces then might be critical.
     
  4. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As long as you are only close to the event horizon and not actually within it, a ship could escape on thrusters, couldn't it?

    The EH is the "point of no return", after all (for conventional physics)
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Tidal forces in turn would depend on the nature of the hole. A big one would be easy going, but OTOH getting far from one would take ages, and there'd be bigger radiation/jetsam troubles. A small hole with a steeper gradient might tear the ship to shreds and pose radiation hazards of a different sort, even when the actual pull wasn't all that severe.

    But losing inertial damping would be hell in any case. Not just because of the tidal forces, but because the passengers of these ships aren't built to take the stresses of impulse accelerations, and OTOH the ships aren't built to take into account the frailty of the passengers and probably don't work well at artificially low accelerations. An escape at one-1024th impulse might stumble on overheating issues or whatnot.

    As for "conventional physics", our VOY heroes appeared surprised that their sensors weren't easily going through the event horizon of that singularity in "Parallax". If normal singularities don't pose problems for FTL signals, then falling beyond the event horizon of a sufficiently big and gentle black hole shouldn't be much of a problem for a starship. They could always signal for help, which would arrive in a jiffy, from their own time-dilated viewpoint, and then encase them in a warp field and propel them back to safety in no time flat.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Timo, not certain about some of this In principle you could warp out of a large black hole inside the event horizon. Uncertain about being able to create a warp bubble near or inside the event horizon.
    Close to EH you need a large fraction of c to escape. Thrusters will not do it and Newtonian propulsion should fall short.
     
  7. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The trouble is, a warp field is a fictional construct so its relationship to real-world physics is an unknown.

    We do know that in Tomorrow Is Yesterday the Enterprise was able to pull away from a "black star" by putting all engines in full reverse.

    And in Parallax Voyager is able to punch through a rupture in what they call the event horizon of a singularity - although to be honest, that episode features even less accurate science than the TOS one!
     
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  8. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Assume a warp Bubble changes the local shape of space-time. Too close to the event horizon and part of the bubble is below the event horizon.
    Not canon, but the black star was not a black hole.in at least a DTI novel. Trying to ignore many Voyager events(Warp10).
     
  9. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Funny enough, TMP kind of gave some cover to TOS with this line:
    DECKER: Voyager VI ...disappeared into what they used to call a black hole.

    Maybe "black star" was the official TOS term for what we think of as a "black hole". Enterprise, TNG, Voyager and Abrams Trek still use the term "black hole" though. :)
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, the big issue here is that Trek has a smorgasbord of phenomena to choose from: if the exact properties of a phenomenon don't satisfy our needs, we can always argue it's slightly different from the one seen last week, or found in Scientific American. Janeway's bunch has to go to the trouble of defining their "Parallax" nemesis as a "Type 4 quantum" singularity, say.

    Whatever shortcomings warp drive has, being shy of gravity (or of gravity gradients) isn't one of those. Ships warp close to or indeed within planets and stars, wrestle with the pull of black holes and supernovae, and crash through distortions of spacetime that would probably make the results of the most complex dances of multiple spinning singularities of the real world look plain as interstellar emptiness.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Commodore Commodore

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    In the novel Federation, both the Enterprise and Enterprise-D spent a significant amount of time inside the even horizon of a black hole, and had to defeat the 'prisoner's paradox' to escape.

    So I guess the real question is this: does the plot of your story require a Trek ship to operate inside a black hole, or for that matter beyond the known boundaries of the universe? (Remember- we've seen that a few times too, like with Wesley Crusher and his bud 'The Traveller'). If yes, then proceed beyond the event horizon with impunity. If not, then that black hole remains a deadly phenomenon!!
     
  12. XCV330

    XCV330 Commodore Commodore

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    You have to yell MURFF! really loud through the Event Horizon's bookcase to escape, realizing you'll return so much later due to time dialation your series will be cancelled and you'll have to work in as stuffy radio-therapist in Seattle.