Warp Speed and the Universe as Your Personal DVR

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by STR, May 9, 2010.

  1. STR

    STR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So you can go faster than light, warp speed, hyperspace, the exact mechanism is irrelevant. This has the obvious advancement of opening up the stars, but it has drastic impact in other ways. It diminishes the past. How? Because you can turn the Universe into your own personal historical documentary. Let me explain

    If it's the year 2300, and you want to know who really killed JFK, all you need to do is book a starship and fly it out a mere 337 light years. Then park it, and use a telescope to watch it unfold in real time. Shift angles if something is blocking your way, or you want a better angle.

    If a battle broke out between 2 ships, which may precipitate a war, and you need to find the truth, you don't need to examine the wreckage. If it happened an hour ago, park your ship a light hour away. Best thing about this, is that the medium doesn't decay, so you can come back in a year or a thousand years.

    On an intimate side, if you just lost a relative, and have been thinking about that trip to the beach you hold so dear now, but never recorded, you have a chance. In fact, you could possibly spend the rest of your life reliving your past.

    The applications are infinite, limited only by imagination and...ehem...roofs. I can only guess at the magnitude of how this would change people conceptions of history.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Crewman47

    Crewman47 Commodore Newbie

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    I thought about something like a while back and was wondering if Starfleet would even have a department for it. As you said all you have to is set up camp on a planet or outpost light years (or less) and just observe your specific area to witness the events. The question is though, what kind of equipment would be best for the task as even the Hubble telescope can't scan down to a planets surface and it would have to have enough scanning resolution and storage capacity to be able to do this no matter the distance.
     
  3. Marten

    Marten Captain Captain

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    Doesn't light, like, spread out, making this impossible?
     
  4. Verteron

    Verteron Lux in tenebris lucet Premium Member

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    Telescopes are getting better, though.

    One technique we use today is called Aperture Synthesis which involves using a grid of telescopes and some clever techniques which produces images (currently only in the radio spectrum) that are as good as if you'd built a telescope with an aperture the entire size of the array.

    Now imagine if you put out a grid of starships spaced at large space-sized intervals (millions of km or light years apart communicating via subspace radio) each armed with one element of a truely enourmous telescope, you might be able to see things at a very great distance in surprising clarity :-)
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I posted an idea like this a few months ago. I thought it would insanely cool to lock a camera on a planetary nebula, then fly backwards at warp and watch the stellar explosion suck itself back into the star in reverse motion.
     
  6. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Reminds me of the old game Star Trek: A Final Unity. At one point you needed to find a pulsar. But at the given coordinates there was only a black hole. To solve the puzzle, you had to travel 30 or 50 lightyears to receive the light of the original pulsar.
     
  7. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That was my thought too! I played that game years ago but couldn't remember the title. Thanks for posting it
     
  8. STR

    STR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If you can travel faster than light, building a capable telescope (which is within the reach of current technology) shouldn't be a problem.
     
  9. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If all that were possible and actively done, how large and intrusive would DTI be?
     
  10. STR

    STR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If DTI stands for temporal investigations, it wouldn't come into play, since you can't interact with the past, only observe it. You're just running in front of, and then stopping to wait for the light coming from the event to catch up to you.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2010
  11. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Not sure what you mean by spread out.
    Go outside at night and look up. How spread out is the light from any one of those stars?
     
  12. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I had Starfleet do exactly this in a fanfic. Essentially, they needed to figure out what had happened on a particular planet sixty years ago, so they went down the list of "friendly" races in the right range and wound up asking the Cardassians to take long-range telescope images of the planet from various points along its history. Since they could only image the system from a distance they couldn't get alot of detailed information, but it was enough to figure out what had happened, if not how.

    I imagine it's something that would be fairly common in deep space exploration missions. Every time you find a relic of a thousand or two thousand or five thousand year old civilization, all you'd have to do is call another starship in the right position and have them aim a telescope that way and see what the system looked like back then. Starfleet sensors being what they are, they might be able to get some pretty good info that way.
     
  13. Crewman47

    Crewman47 Commodore Newbie

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    I just actually thought that if Starfleet did have something available to them then it would've meant that any episodes that featured an unsolvable mystery on a certain planet would've been easily solved had they travelled back from the planet a few light weeks away, like for example the first Borg incident at Jouret 4.
     
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Likewise, the outposts destroyed along the neutral zone, the disappearance of the Maquis ship in "Caretaker", the destruction of the SS Vico, and that whole business with the Husnok in "The Survivors."
     
  15. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I expect a quantum resonance field around those incidents kept Starfleet from doing that.
    Yeah, quantum...
     
  16. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wouldn't it have been easier to just do the time travel slingshot-around-the-sun trick with a starship and monitor the planet in question from high orbit? "Cough... Gary Seven ...Cough".
     
  17. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Problem is that as soon as you time travel, you change the past. Just looking at a planet's past through a telescope has the virtue of non-interference.
     
  18. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That explains much about Season 3... ;)
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    I used this idea in a story I wrote 20-some years ago. FTL communication with a planet had gone out, and an FTL ship was sent to investigate. The ship went sublight about 5 light days away from the planet, and looked at the light and radiation emitted just before the planet went silent. They were able to see the place get attacked, but the enemy knew this trick, and used counter-tactics to make sure their ships could not be identified (approaching in the cone of the planet's umbra, etc.).
     
  20. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You don't change the past if you don't interact with the planet at all. They don't ever detect you and you don't interact with any substantial matter in the planetary system. I don't think that the ship interacting with particles in the star's solar wind would effect a planet's history.