Telescopes in the late 24th century

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Voth commando1, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    So in TNG telescopes are used for observation and spying(same in ENT). But with the advances of technology in Star Trek by the end of Nemesis(and into the novelverse or STO) how advanced would telescopes be?

    Could they observe the farthest galaxies in the most minute detail, chart every world and star in the Milky Way, etc...

    Thoughts?
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    They'll see as far as the plot needs.

    Which means, on a clear day they won't ever think to point one down at the planet when an away team is missing.
     
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  3. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    Yes yes plot driven stories and all but how about In-Universe
     
  4. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    How long is a piece of string?
     
  5. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know
     
  6. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    Well, there is your answer then.
     
  7. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    It's just an in universe question.
     
  8. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    How long is a piece of string "in universe" then?
     
  9. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know five inches? One Planck?
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I guess the telescope we're interested in is the realtime one, the one using Suuuubspace!!! to get the image to the eye of the observer before the observer's species evolves to the next level and perhaps two levels beyond that.

    In which case the writers have it made: they can say the telescope has fantastic range and resolution on a clear day, but subspace is prone to weather, just like Warp Drive and Communications and other stuff based on it demonstrate. Perhaps on a clear day, a subspace telescope can see as far as an ordinary optical one, say, but get an image that is only about a million years out of date rather than thirteen billion. On a bad day, seeing the surface of Romulus in real time might be too much to ask - especially as Romulans have those pesky jammers in operation, and in any case every passing starship stirs up subspace and blurs the image.

    I sort of suspect we'd better believe a good telescope in the late 24th century is still way bigger than the biggest starships, and cannot be brought aboard. The ships still seem to sense many things (especially things actively glowing in subspace) in near-realtime across a dozen lightyears or so, which should work pretty nicely for plot purposes even if ships get faster.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. matthunter

    matthunter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Starship sensors, including subspace "telescopes", have a range of about 15-20 light-years, if the TNG Tech Manual is a guide. So yes, orbital or planetary versions might have higher range and/or resolution. The Federation seems to know of likely M-class planets in areas that haven't been explored, so someone is doing long-range astrometrics somewhere.

    I like the idea that facilities like the Pathfinder Project in VOY might be repurposed to chart the further quadrants or even try to identify star systems in other nearby galaxies, like the co-opted Geth FTL telescope in Mass Effect: Andromeda that was used to identify possible inhabitable worlds in that galaxy (of course, in the 600 years the journey took even at the considerable FTL speeds in that setting, they'd become a bit less habitable...).
     
  12. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah I imagine federation scientists have charted star systems in the delta and gamma quadrants. Probably have observed Andromeda and the local group as well.

    So when the ships do arrive-they'll know which worlds are M-Class and have some idea what they are diving into.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    However, the information is unlikely to be up to date. Deciding that a planet is Class M can be done from passive analysis of emitted/reflected EM radiation, but for a world 2,309 ly away it will be 2,309 years out of date. It's highly unlikely that the Class of a planet would change in mere 2,000 years, though. But we know for certain that if a Doomsday Machine suddenly makes a planet Class E as in Extinct, the Federation telescopes will not reveal that fact within the next year or so.

    Is this because realtime telescopes can't see that far out? Or because realtime telescopes have other things to look at, in this vast galaxy, so taking a look at Systems L-370 through L-380 can only happen once per fifty milion years? The latter may appear realistic - but when Kirk spots L-370 and L-371 missing, shouldn't he call Starfleet and tell them to swing one of the telescopes to assist him in the search? Then again, flying to the next system may be faster than getting a telescope realigned...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Looking through a telescope on a starship in space will always yield better results than if you were on the ground, in an atmosphere which blocks, distorts and/or interferes with light from stars getting to the viewer. The telescope Georgiou had on the Shenzhou was far better compared to any telescope on Earth simply by virtue of not being on Earth. That, and the fact that it's a family heirloom makes its intrinsic usefulness kind of irrelevant anyway. :shrug:
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    One does wonder, though, what it would have to offer that the starship's standard instruments lacked. So the Klingons are jamming the optical sensors? Fine, burn through that jamming, filter it out, or just turn off the bits that are prone to jamming. The ship's own telescope is going to be superior to Georgiou's even without the jamming-prone bits, if only by virtue of being bigger, which is automatically always better.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    If I were to guess, likely because all those systems and actions are active and detectable. If the jamming is multi-spectral, nothing can get through. If Shenzhou pushed too hard through the jamming, they might attract unwanted attention so close to Klingon space. Whether they realized it or not, the recognized the jamming as a potential threat and acted accordingly. Using the telescope is passive and completely undetectable. When all else fails, the analog solution always works. However, I wouldn't have wanted to be looking through it when they flipped the switch on the "beacon". The light coming back from that through the telescope's lens if anyone happened to be looking through it at the time would likely have felt like a high-powered laser burning through the back of their brain-pan. :eek:
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's just that at the heart of an "optical sensor"; there's still necessarily a telescope of some sort, with lenses or mirrors or their equivalent to collect the light. Is the telescope built so that the end electronics cannot be bypassed? Or are the lenses and mirrors somehow virtual (made of sensitive forcefields rather than resilient matter, say) and therefore corruptible? But if the Klingons can corrupt actual components aboard the hero ship, then why don't they corrupt the weapons controls or the antimatter containment systems?

    It's the ages-old fallacy of scifi: if complex technology is vulnerable to enemy interference, then it automatically follows that primitive tech should be even more vulnerable, and human bodies should be more vulnerable than either of those. "They jammed my raygun, I'll have to draw my knife!" makes no sense, as the tech that can jam the supposedly robust raygun can by definition jam the hero's hand and heart, too. One has to invent a reason why the enemy fails to direct its jammer at the specific piece of tech or wetware that the hero is using. Or conversely, how does he know to jam the specific piece of high tech the hero uses, and not his knife, telescope or brain? Shouldn't he by default be using a jammer that covers multiple options, among these automatically also the knife, the telescope and the brain?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Perhaps the nature of the jamming devices is to prevent transmission of data from the sensors to the computer so their is nothing to display for the crew. Thus the ships telescopes and sensors might be fine, but their is no way to get the information to where it needs to go. But looking thought a purely optical device, can't be jammed unless one can blind the user, warp the optics, or imped brain functions.

    For disabling a electronic weapon (rather than a mechanical weapon), if one can somehow prevent the weapon's computer from acknowledging the users input on the trigger, than the weapon will not fire.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's the big problem here all right. If the Klingons can stop imagery from getting from the ship's big telescope to the ship's viewscreen by messing with the internal systems of the ship, then our heroes are utterly screwed - the Klingons control their ship now, and can make the guns fire into the engines, the transporters beam half the Cook into half the Captain, and the turbolifts crush the rest.

    (Conversely, if one can protect the gunnery control duotronics, it should follow one can protect the feed from a telescope to a viewscreen, and should.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But would you. Remember...this is Starfleet. They can't even put in a reasonable intruder defense system on the turbolift to the bridge. Why would they harden the electronics for their sensors?