Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Falconer, Aug 25, 2021.
Yes but when were those terms first used as directions in the Milky Way? Traveler used 'coreward,' 'rimward,' 'spinward,' and 'trailing' as general directions in the MW. There is probably fiction that predates the game's publishing date (1977) that uses some of the terms in that manner.
If they had just written "Robert L." APRIL that would have made the most sense.
Thank you. Well, that warrants revision at the Wiktionary, at least.
Oh, I can top that...
The Traveller influence is strong in the FASA Trek materials, no question about it. Of course FASA got its start as a Traveller licensee.
At first FASA seemed to just use the universe according to Star Trek Maps, but eventually they made a lot of changes. They moved some stars around. They shrank the scale by a factor of 3:8. And they moved the Federation as demonstrated in this graphic:
Now, I’m pretty sure ALL other Star Trek maps before and after FASA have the Federation in the 6 o’clock position. FWIW, Star Trek Maps has the spirals rotating in the opposite direction, which means the Federation is actually in the same position. However, in the STM conception, the Klingon Empire would be Rimward rather than Coreward.
Hmh? Wouldn't it just mean STM looks at the galaxy from the other pole?
"The same position" would be a matter of rotation around the core, from one arm to another, and supposedly all maps glue Sol to the Orion or Sagittarius Arm. Such as there is one; we still know shit about how the Milky Way really looks like, especially on the other side of the core, and it might be spurious to speak of any "arms" other than the Perseus and Centaurus ones.
Or, since their coordinate system mistakes Earth's axis for Milky Way's axis, the Klingons would be off to one side of the disk. Which might be true of "modern" maps, too, these just failing to dwell on the 3D-ness of the situation...
With many coordinate systems to choose from, it might make good sense to describe one in terms of the galaxy (rim, core, spin, antispin) but another in analogous yet clearly separate terms (say, aestival, brumal, vernal, autumnal). And only a regular Herbert like ComSol would care for the latter, Sol-centric viewpoint.
Oh boy, that FASA map is a mess. Not only do they have the Sun too far from the center of the MW but the rotation of the galaxy is wrong. The Sun is actually in the 9 o'clock direction with the orientation they have used.
Compare with this.
Well, even in the eighties, there would have been scant access to any sort of understanding on the structure of the Milky Way. The idea that there would be a bar in the center would have been fairly recent, say, and not really confirmed until this millennium.
Any map seen in a Trek graphic, be it onscreen or on a gaming table, still remains a fictional rather than factual depiction of the Milky Way, and we may well end up in a situation where we have to sharply distinguish between the Trek Milky Way and the real deal. Indeed, we already have a rather pressing need to do so: the Trek version has a sharp, distinguishing edge to it, colored purple...
Even in a fictional universe, I would expect NYC to be on the Hudson and not the Mississippi. And the former to flow into the Atlantic and the latter the Gulf.
The image they used isn't a generic representation of a galaxy. And Star Trek purportedly takes place in ours, not some other one far, far away.
The Milky Way does have a structure. with specific parts, even though each part is a bunch of star systems and other astronomical objects instead of a solid object.
There really aren't any other kind available, tho.
That the structure of the Milky Way within the nearest 5,000 ly or so is more or less established, barring near-future surprises, only means that the map is like those drawn in Europe back when Europe was the whole universe: the rest is speculative. And even the nearer parts looked very different twenty let alone fifty years ago to the eye of the trained astronomer or the artist drawing a best approximation of the Milky Way.
The STM galaxy is a 1980s guesstimate, the Star Charts etc. one another from the late 1990s-early 2000s; the "real" images we see in the actual show range from coarse and utterly generic (as late as VOY) to reprints of NASA online art.
Only to the same extent that Star Trek events take place in our history, though. Deviations would be part and parcel of that. In terms of history, there would be deliberate adventures that never happened in our timeline, assorted errors that create divergence, and general ambiguity that makes it in no way desirable to insist that an error is an error or pretend that an adventure happening was not a divergence. In terms of astrography... Well, we have to accept that stars that shouldn't have planets in fact do have those. And that extremely dense and bright and tiny nebulas are to be found everywhere. And that there are wandering black holes passing through the Sol system, and assorted spatial rifts and purple cordons and whatnot. It thus isn't a Boolean issue at all, but a quantitative one: "How different?" is the one pertinent question.
When and how could we learn "the truth" on this issue? Well, the folks inside the Trek universe have been outside the Milky Way on occasion, and may have taken authoritative photos. Assorted probes and missions have spanned the galaxy from the inside, but those would face the same visibility problems Earth-based astronomers do, only from a number of differing vantage points. Perhaps the nature of the Milky Way is known in ENT already, with Vulcan star charts featuring the wisdom of elder species; perhaps it first becomes known towards the tail end of TNG. In our reality, we'll probably have to wait for a few dozen millennia still to get glimpses of what lies on the other side of the core, by peeking around it. Or then only a few centuries or decades or years until somebody invents the ultimate X-ray vision that penetrates the mists, or a computational model that establishes for certain that which cannot be seen.
I have read many astronomy books written at various dates, and most of them have top down and/or sideways images of the Milky Way Galaxy, sometimes rough diagrams, sometimes elaborate paintings or computer graphics..
Astronomy books even before the era of TOS described the Milky Way Galaxy as having a thin disc with a great diameter, and a central bulge in the center of the disc. And with a spherical halo around it. of thinly scattered stars and globular clusters.
Radio astronomers charted the spiral arms of the Milky Way Galaxy thorugh hydrogen emmission and made maps showing the spiral arms much farther than optical s astronomers could trace. I have seen such maps in astronomy books dating to the 196os.
So anyone interested could not have easily learnd the basics about the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy back in the 1980s or even the 1960s.
And that's the point. The vague concept you describe above is the "generic" representation rather than an accurate portrayal of the Milky Way - it fails to recognize the currently known bar structure at the center, say. Only very recent depictions of the Milky Way get that "right" (for the current value of right), and it directly follows that the Centaurus arm as currently known is in fact a piece of speculative bullshit, a "generic" guess and nothing more.
It also then follows that most Trek-related art, on screen as well as in RPGs and backstage books, is "generic", failing to take into account current knowledge of the shape. Again, the center bar is a telltale, a prominent thing that simply wasn't properly incorporated in old art.
What to make of this, in-universe? It's hardly worth speculating that the Milky Way of Trek would keep changing its shape in a timescale of mere fictional decades. But it's simple enough to assume that in-universe Trek artists would also go for "generic" because their computer graphics would only ever be used by people who sail back and forth in our very local corner of the Milky Way; guesswork about other arms, let alone the other side of the disk, be damned.
Only VOY and DIS would have any excuse to actually show the full 24th century knowledge of the Delta/Gamma side in any detail. And happily enough, these are among the newer shows, so they have fairly good late 20th and early 21st century guesswork there - although VOY also has its share of utterly genetic Milky Way art that doesn't even try to present the vicinity of Sol in a realistic manner ("Pathfinder", say). But there is always demand for back-of-the-cigarette-pack presentations in any universe, since even VOY and DIS fail to feature actual travel across the areas depicted - for large scale travel, they feature direct hops from A to B instead, with the "terrain" between A and B utterly irrelevant to the plot.
It's as if FASA took a map of Europe, turned it so that Italy was pointing left and moved Rome to the suburbs of Madrid....
I would have flipped the FASA map with Fed space rimward…to reach the galaxy edge faster..adjoined Klingon and Romulan space coreward with Cardassia and Ferenginar “behind” them…and the badlands in the triangle
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