# warp Speeds

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by MAGolding, May 3, 2021.

1. ### MAGoldingFleet CaptainFleet Captain

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Dec 11, 2015
As we all know, the creators of Star Trek: The Original Series eventually decided on an official, though never canonical warp seed scale, and the creators of Star Trek: The Next Generation created a different warp speed scale.

The Making of Star Trek
Stephen E. Whitfield & Gene Roddenberry, 1968, Part II: An Official Biography of a Ship and its Crew, Chapter 2. The U.S.S. Enterprise, says:

"Warp Factor One is the speed of light. Warp Factor Three is 24 times the speed of light. Maximum safe cruising speed of the Enterprise is Warp Factor Six, or 216 tines the speed of light. At Warp Factor Eight (512 times the speed of light) the ship's structue begins to show considerable strain due to theinability of the ships field mechanisms to compensate. Warp Factor Six is therefore exceeded only in instances of extreme emergencey."

I believe that the later editions of the TOS writer's guide also say something similiar.

I note that one is the cube of one, 216 is the cube of six, and 512 is the cube of eight. So the speed of a warp factor can be deduced to be the speed of light mulitpiled by the cube of the warp factor.

So warp factor 1 should be 1 times the speed of light, warp factor 2 should be 8 times the speed of light, warp factor 3 should be 27 times the speed of light (and not the 24 which is written), warp factor 4 should be 64 times the speed of light, warp factor 5 should be 125 times the speed of light, warp factor 6 should be 216 times the speed of light, warp factor 7 should be 343 times the speed of light, warp factor 8 should be 512 times the speed of light, warp factor 9 should be 729 times the speed of light, warp factor 10 should be 1,000 times the speed of light, and so on.

And if the creators of TOS were careful about doing the math, they would have designed the warp scale to agree with the travel distances, warp speeds, and travel times in previous episodes, and they would have been careful to make the travel distances, warp speeds, and travel times in following episodes agree with the warp scale.

What did people know about what Isaac Asimov called "galactography", the geography of the Milky Way Galaxy, back inthe 1960s? Astronomers knew a lot, and most people knew a lot less.

Back in the 1960s, educated people should have known three different terms for three vastly different scales of space.

1) The Solar System in particular, or a star system in general;

2) The Galaxy in particular, or a galaxy in general.

3) The Universe, all of outer space and every object in it.

And many people, then and now, often confuse star systems with galaxies, or confuse a galaxy with the entire universe. And possibly some people even confuse star system with universe.

Fortunately, there are astronomers, and even ordinary people, who know a lot more about astronomy than the average person. They may be a tiny proportion of people, possibly about one in a thousand, and so the USA shold have many thousands of men, women, and children who are interested in astronomy and/or science fiction and so have learned a lot more about astronomy than the average person.

I happen to have a copy of Exploration of the Universe Brief Editon, George Abell, 1964, 1969, as an example of the type of information available to the public in the 1960s.

Chapter 19 describes the Milky Way Galaxy The disc of the galaxy is descried as being about 100,000 light years (LY) in diameter, and the sun is described as being about 10,000 parsecs or about LY from the center of the galaxy. The galaxic disc is described as being flat, but the globular star clusters and many isolated stars are thinly scattered in a more or less spheroidal halo around the galaxy.

Chapter 16, The stars in general, section 16.1, says that in the neighborhood of the sun the average separation between stars is about 2.1 parsecs. about 2.1 parsecs equals about 6.8 light years.

So if the average separation between nearby stars is about 6.8 light years, the usual minimum possible distance for an interstellar voyage or communication should be 6.8 light years, and an interstellar voyage or message could travel a much longer distance than that. So if a message or ship travels an interstellar distance in a fraction of an Earth year, the speed of travel will equal the distance in light years, usually at least 6.8 LY, divided by the fraction of a year's time the trip takes. If a starship or a subspace message travels 100 light years in 0.1 year, the speed should be 1,000 times the speed of light, for example.

And if the galatic disc is about 100,000 LY in diameter, and the average separation of stars is about 6.8 LY, the galactic disc should be about 14,706 stars wide. And that means that if two voyages (or two interstellar messages) are made at the same speed within the galactic disc, their durations can only differ by about 14,706 times.

So if any interestllar voyage of at least about 6.8 LY takes only one second, the longest possible interstellar voyage within the galactic disc at the same speed would take only about 14,706 seconds, or about 4.08 hours, or about 0.17 days.

And if a voyage of 100,000 LY from one edge side of the galactic disc to the opposite edge takes 100 years, at a speed 1,000 times the speed of light, the shortest possible voyage of about 6.8 LY at that same speed of 1,000 times the speed of light will take at least 0.0068 years, or at least 2.4837 days.

And the same is true about interstellar signals and messages. If they travel at the same speed, the longest possible trip within the galactic disc will take about 14,706 times as long as a trip between close neighboring stars.

In chapter 19, section 19.3, it is calculated that the mass of the galaxy is approximately two hundred billion or 200,000,000,000 times the mass of the sun.

"Presumably, mostof the material of the Galaxy is in the form of stars. If the mass of the sun is taken as average, we find that the Galaxy contains some hundreds of billions of stars."

Many astronomy books contain tables and lists. Two in Exploration of the Universe are typical of most astronomy books. Appendix 12 The nearest stars, and Appendix 13 the twenty brightest stars.

Appendix 12 lists all of the then kown single and multiple star systems within 5 parsecs (16.307 LY) of the Sun. Many of them have names familiar in science fiction, from stories set on planets of the nearst stars: Alpha Centauri, Barnard's Star, Wolf 359, Sirius, 61 Cygni, Procyon, Epsilon Indi, Tau Ceti, 40 Eridani, etc.

Appendix 13 lists the twenty brightest stars as seen from Earth. Some of them are relatively nearby stars which seem bright from Earth because they are actually extremely luminous.

The stars which appear very bright because they are very near include the nearest star, Alpha Centauri,1.31 parsecs distant, the fifth closest star, Sirius, 2.7 parsecs distant, Procyon 3.5 parsecs distant, Altair 5.1 parsecs distant, and Vega 8.0 parsecs distant.

The stars on the 20 brightest list which are intrinsically the most luminous are Deneb, 430 parsecs away, Rigel ,250 parsecs distant, and Betelguese, 150 parsecs distant.

And other astronomy books available at the time also had tables listing the nearest stars and/or the stars appeaingr brightest as seen from Earth.

Clearly there is a vast range of luminosity and distance among the stars which are most famous. And there should be billions of stars in our galaxy for each star with a name familiar to the average person. So the odds against some sort of space voyage or "star trek" often going to stars with famous names would be "astronomical".

So in following posts I will discuss various examples of the speeds of starships and subspace radio in TOS.

Last edited: May 4, 2021
Henoch and ZapBrannigan like this.

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I was hoping you'd do this.

By the way, I have the 1964 edition of that Abell book. My father took his course at UCLA, and I still have the homework notes.

Abell used to joke, asking that all the students burn the books after using them so subsequent students would have to buy new textbooks. According to my father, Abell was not a very good instructor.

publiusr, Henoch and ZapBrannigan like this.
3. ### MAGoldingFleet CaptainFleet Captain

Joined:
Dec 11, 2015
The first scene in the first Star Trek pilot "The Cage" show the Enterprise receiving a (real or fake) distress signal from the SS Columbia at Talos IV:

Pike later decides to divert to Talos IV to look for survivors, at high speed:

Later, in an illusionary picnic, PIke tells Vina:

So apparently the Enterprise traveled about 17.5 to19.5 light years (LY), or about 153,405 to 170,937 light hours, in about 22 to 26 hours, at a speed of about 5,900.1923 to 7,769.8636 times the speed of light.

The line about 24 hours since Pike talked to Boyce in PIke's cabin was cut from the version of "The Cage" in "The Menagerie", But "The Menagerie" retains the line which PIke says in the illusion of the fight on Rigel VII:

Assuming that two weeks equals 10 to 18 days, and that 0 to 18 days pass between the fight on Ribel VIII and receiving the distress call, the voyage to TAlos IV after receiving the distress signal could last from 0 to 18 days. Make that 0.5 to 18 days.

Since the journey was 17.5 to 19.5 light years, or about 6,391.875 to 7,122.375 light days, the speed of the Enterpirise at "time warp factor seven" would be about 355.1041 to 14,244.75 times the speed of light.

The Enterprise was heading from Rigel VII to the Vega colony when it received the signal from Talos IV. It is usually assumed that Rigel VII is a planet orbiting the star Rigel, or Beta Orionis, which is probably at least 800 light years from Earth, and that the Vega colony is on a planet orbiting the star Vega, or Alpha Lyrae, about 25 light years from Earth.

Exploration of the Universe
Brief Editon, George Abell, 1964, 1969, Appendix 13, says that Rigel is about 250 parsecs, or 813.59 light years (LY) distant, while The Guinnness Book of Astronomy Facts and Feats, patrick Moore, 1979, 1983, in the list of stars of the Constellation Orion, lists Rigel as being about 280 parsecs, or 913. 23 LY distant. According to Wikipedia, Rigel is about 860 plus or minus 80 LY distant, or somewhere between about 780 and 940 LY.

In short, the distance to Rigel has been known to be about 500 to 1,000 LY during the 1960s and for a few decades before then.

As for Vega, it was one of the first three stars to ever have their distance measured, way back in the '30s. Not the 1930s, the 1830s, over 120 years before "The Cage" was writen and filmed. Furthermore, the direction from Earth to Vega is at more than a right angle to the direction from Earth to Rigel, making Vega slightly farther from Rigel than Earth is.

Since San Francisco is familiar to some of the creators and ans of TOS, imagine that inf a ficitonal world a civilization spreads from San Franciso to other parts of California and neighboring regions. Supose that an airplane travels from San Francisco to someplace in Baja California, somewhere between Tijuana and Cabo San Lucas on an exploring expediitton. Some expedition members are injured and the expediiton heads to the colony at Benecia, about 25 miles northeast of San Francisco, to take them to a hospital.

That voyage does seem a little illogical.

Anyway, the straight line distance from Rigel to Vega should be at least 800 light years. Assumng that it would take less than one year for the Enterprise to travel 800 light years from Rigel VII to the Vega colony, the Enterprise should have an average speed of at least 800 times the speed of light. If the distance to rigel is less precisely known and could be 500 to 1,000 LY, the speed would be at least 500 to 1,000 times the speed of light.

At a speed of 14,244.75 time the speed of light, the Enterprise could travel 142,447.5 to 256,405.5 light days or 390 to 702 light years, in 10 to 18 days, and up to 14,244.75 light years in up to one year.

In both "The Cage", and "Menagerie Part 2", PIke tells his Talosian captors:

Pike is probably lying to his unknown alien captors, but if Pike is not lying to the Talosians Talos IV must be beyond the central point of the Milky Way Galaxy as seen from Earth. Since the central point of the Milky Way Galaxy, at the supergiant black hole at Sagittarus A West, is believed to be about 27,000 light years from Earth, a journey from Earth or from the comparativley nearby Rigel, to the other end of fhe galaxy" should be at least 27,000 light years long.

So at a minimum the Enterprise traveled at least 27,000 light years or 9,861,750 light days in a straight line from Rigel to Talos which would be right beyond the supergiant black hole (even though that would be a dangerous and unlikely region to find planets with life). in two weeks or about 10 to 18 days. Thus the speed of the Enterprise would have to be at least 547,875 to 986,175 times the speed of light.

At speeds of 547,875 to 986,175 times light speed, the side trip to Talos IV would take 0.0000177 to 0.0000355 days, or 1.52928 to 3.075154 seconds.

Of course, back in the 1960s sources might indicate that the center of the galaxy was about 25,000 to 30,000 light years from Earth, thus making a voyage there about 0.9 to 1.11 times as long as 27,000 LY and the speed correspondingly slower or faster. But a difference of a fraction of a second in THE voyage time isn't worth calculating!

Of course a planet "at the other end of the galaxy" could be tens of thousands of light years beyond the central point of the galaxy, which would make the speed of the Enterprise on the voyage to Talos IV much faster.

Thus I believe that Pike was probably lying to the Talosians when he said he came from "the oher end of the galaxy" from Talos IV.

But there is no proof that the Enterprise was travelling in a stright line from Rigel to the Vega Colony. It could have been taking a more roundabout route and thus have had a much greater average speed than 800 times the speed of light.

So the available evidence indicates that the Enterprise traveled 18 light years to Talos IV at a speed of about 355.1041 to 14,244.75 times the speed of light.

And a line in "The Cage" but not in "Menagerie" indicates that the Enterprise had an average veloicty of about 5,900.1923 to 7,769.8636 times the speed of light.

Pike's line about coming from the other end of the galaxy, if not a lie, would indicate an average speed of at least about 547,875 to 986,175 times the speed of light.

Last edited: May 4, 2021
4. ### Search4CaptainCaptain

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You are dramatically over thinking things.

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No he's not. He's just number crunching. It's fun, and he's very good at this kind of thing. I appreciate it.

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I appreciate your calculations. However, it is highly unlikely that the Rigel and Vega described in Trek are the actual Rigel and Vega. The names were chosen because they would be more familiar to the audience than esoteric strings of numbers, but of course, they are astronomically impossible for lots of reasons.

The common explanation is that there are sectors named after Rigel and Vega for whatever reason but don't necessarily include these stars. Which makes sense -- we partition whole swathes of the sky into constellations which make no sense except from an Earthbound perspective. So perhaps the Rigel and Vega colonies are "out Rigel" and "out Vega" way.

And since you're comfortable assuming Pike is mistaken/lying about one statement, I think it's fair to also accept other stated "facts" may not/cannot be true on the face of things.

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By the way, per "Planets, Stars, and Galaxies" by A.E. Fanning (revised 1966 ed., originally published in 1963), Rigel is 650 Light Years from Earth and Vega is 27 Light Years from Earth.

In 1966, it was believed that Rigel represented the edge of the normal main sequence, the hottest, youngest star you could get. These days, it is believed Rigel is in the final stages of solar evolution. Either way, we knew it was 20,000 times as luminous as the Sun.

Neither type of star is conducive to a solar system capable of harboring life. Though ironically, the zone around the star capable of supporting terrestrial temperatures is much larger than around a dwarf star.

Vega's probably too hot and new, too, but less of an extreme case than Rigel.

Last edited: May 4, 2021

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The stars would be unlikely to feature conventional planetary companions in a natural way. Unnatural is a separate issue, though: if a civilization acquires the means to create planets, the best place to put them would be these energetic stars with lots of room and lots of output the planets (with appropriate filters) can benefit from. It would not be relevant that the star only provides a hundred thousand years of goodness, or even just ten thousand: if the planets were created and put to use in a geological eyeblink, the reverse could also be achieved.

A civilization that creates planets would probably be beyond anything we could consider evolution. They would not be markedly smarter after the ten thousand years, say, or dependent on what the systems provide; the artificial planetary systems would be mere hobby projects, perhaps paradise condos for the Makers, perhaps just ant farms for their children to play with. But once the Makers were gone or stopped caring, mere mortals could move in. Again, no need to wait for Darwin: you just arrive one day, pitch your tent and (if the local ecosystem isn't already to your liking) let your thistles and rats spread and take over the planet.

So the Trek convention where stars with familiar names are important real estate is not necessarily off the mark, even when familiar name necessarily equates bright and violent nature.

All that said, since Trek now offers us a separate Rigel closer to Earth, it might do us good to decide that the timid Pike has been assigned a task fairly close to home, and him botching this milk run then doesn't send him on an epic journey across the galaxy back to civilization - but has him continue the assigned dull near-Earth patrol, with the Vega clinics a mere next stop on the patrol circuit.

Why he ends up near Talos when nobody in the previous decades did is a question worth pondering. We now know the place isn't really out in the sticks, despite our heroes musing about "us" having no "ships or Earth colonies that far out". A neglected direction for Earth, even when the Federation reaches farther? Do the Talosians telepathically keep nosy explorers off their lawn when they aren't actively abducting them? Are the heroes simply in error, due to Talosian mind powers?

Timo Saloniemi

9. ### MAGoldingFleet CaptainFleet Captain

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The second pilot film was "Where No Man Has Gone Before".

The mission of the Enterprise was to probe beyond the edge of the galaxy. Am of course the galaxy doesn't actually have a shape edge. The stars just get fewer and fewer with incresead distance from the center of the galaxy, and also with increased disance "above'or "below" the plne of the galactic disc.

The main parts of the Mikly Way galaxy are a central core, hub, or nucleus a few thousand light years wide, where the distances between stars are less than in orther regions, a galactic about 100,000 light years (LY) indiamter, a more or less spherical corona or halo at least a hundred thousand light years in diamter containing thinky scattered stars and a number of globular star clusters, and unseen dark matter speard out over a much larger volume than even the corona.

And as I said the density of stars falls off with increasing distance. Isaac Asimov once got Samuel Peeples, scriptwriter of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" that there is no evidence for any sharp edge to the galaxy. .

But perhaps in the Star Trek future when warp drive enables astronomers to map the stars from widely scattered planets with much greater accuracy than the present, astronomers will discover and unexplained gap in the distrupbion of stars, a layer where there are now stars at all, despite there being stars inside and outside of that layer. This could be caused by the galactic force field which the astronomers don't know about.

So where could this empty layer, gap, or discontinuity be found?

It could be around the central core or nucleus of the galaxy. But then the Enterprise's mission would be to get inside the central nucleus, not to get outside of the galaxy.

It could be around the spherical halo of the galaxy, And thus at least 50,000 light years from the central point of the galaxy, and possilby much farther. Since the Earth was considered to be about 25,000 to 30,000 light years (LY) from the center of hte galaxy, the nearest point to Earth of that gap around the spherical halo would be at least about 20,000 to 25,000on light years from Earth.

Or that discontinuity in stars caused by the galactic barrier could be wrapped around all of the "surfaces" of the galactic disc, The galactic disc is is about 100,000LY in diamter but but usually said to only be about 1,000 light eyars thick between it's "upper" and "lower" surfaces.

The Earth is situated near the central plane of the galactic disc, so the shortest possibl voyage to the "upper" or "lower" surface of the galactic disc should be only about 500 light years long if the galactic disc is only 1,000 lightyears thick.

So if the voyage to the edge of the galaxy takes less than one year, the average speed of the Enterprise should be 500 times the speed of light for each 500 light years straight "up" or "down" the Enterprise has to travel to reach the gap caused by the galactic barrier. And if the Enterprise doesn't travel stariaght "up" or "down" to reach the galactic edge,,the speed will have to be much faster. And the shorter the voyage, the lfaster the speed will have to be.

As the Enterpise is about to enter the starless region, the department heads meet on the Bridge:

So this seems to be Captain Kirk's first meeting with the beautiful young Dr. Dehner.

Aldebaran is a well known star, Alpha Tauri. The direction from Earth to Aldebaran is close to the Mikly War, and Alberbaran is relatively close to Earth.

Exploration of the Universe Brief Editon, George Abell, 1964, 1969, Appendix 13, says that Aldebran is about 16 parsecs, or 52 LY, from Earth, whileThe Guinnness Book of Astronomy Facts and Feats, Patrick Moore, 1979, 1983, lists Aldebaran as being about 21 parsecs or 68.5 LY from Earth. Wikipedia lists Aldebaran as being about 65.1 plus or minus 1.0 LY from Earth.

So even if the Enterprise travels straight "up" or "down" to the galactic edge, starting from the Aldebaran colony will not make the distance much shorter. So if the Enterprise traveled from Aldebaran to the edge of the galaxy before Kirk met a new female officer, it must have travelled at least 500 LY in a relativey short time.

Maybe the time was less than a month, and the speed was at least 6,000 times the speed of light.

Maybe the time was less than a week and the speed was at least 26,089 limes the speed of light.

Maybe the time was less than a day and the speed was at least 182,625 limes the speed of light.

And of course it is possible that the spot where the Enterprise crossed the edge of the galaxy was tens of thousands of light years from Earth or Aldebaran, and the speed of the Enterprise was millions of times the speed of light.

[Added 05-04-2021. Post number 11 & 20 suggest that possibly Dr. Dehner came aboard at a colony OF Aldebaran instead of at a colony AT Aldebaran, and so the journey to the galactic edge could have been a lot less than 500LY and thus the speeds a lot less than calculated above. Also that planet might have been named Aldebaron, a slightly different name than Aldebaran,]

When Spock listens to the recorder from the Valaiant:

Maybe the Valiant used an old form of warp drive called "impulse warp", and Kirk shortened it to "impulse". Maybe the Valiant had impulse enginges capable of faster than light (FTL) travel instead of warp engines. If the Valiant had impulse engines capable of FTL. it is possible that some TOS era ships also had impulse engines capable of FTL

After the Enterprise hits the galactic barrier and retreats:

So if "days" means 1 to 7 days, and "years" means 1 to 10 years, the former speed of the Enterprise should be between 52.17 and 3,652.5 times the post-accident speeds.. If the Enterprise under impluse power could travel between 0.1 and 1.0 times the speed of light the former speed of the Enterprise would be between 5.217 and 3,652.5 times the speed of light.

If the Enterprise was still capable of FTL travel its former speed could be much faster.

With a pressent speed of 10 times the speed of light, the former speed would be between 521.7 and 36,525 times the speed of light.

With a pressent speed of 100 times the speed of light, the former speed would be between 5,217 and 365,250 times the speed of light.

With a pressent speed of 1,000 times the speed of light, the former speed would be between 52,170 and 3,652,500 times the speed of light.

And so on.

I note that if it took a speed of at least 6,000 times the speed of light to reach the "edge" of the galaxy, the reduced speed of the Enterprise after encountering the glactic barrier would be at least 1.64 to115.00 times the speed of light.

Sometime after stardate 1312.9 there is a meeting where Kirk decides to head for Delta Vega.

So there seem to be no more than 0.2 stardate units between the decision to go to Delta Vega and reaching that planet. Considering the apparent relationship between stardate units and time on the surface of Delta Vega later in the epsiode, it seems like the Enterprise traveled "a few light days", perhaps 1 to 7 light days, in much less than a day aboard ship.

This seems to imply that the Enterprise reached Delta Vega in much less time than a light ray travelling at the speed of light would have. So posssibly the Enterprise before the accident could have travelled thousands of times the speed of light, or at least reached a destination in less than 0.001 of the time it would take light rays to do so.

In "The Cage" and "Menagerie" Pike says:

And Lt. Tyler says:

So this implies that warp engines use a time warp.

In "Where No Man Has Gone Before" Kir says:

This implies that the warp drive uses a space warp.

So possibly the warp drive uses both a time warp and a space warp, and usually uses them together to get a faster speed than using only one could achieve. If the warp engines aer no longer able to create space warps, maybe the time warp capability can still created FTL speeds though much slower than the full warp abilities.

Or maybe:

Means that the warp engines can still funciton, but their power generattors don't work, and they have to feed the energy from the much less powerful generators for the impulse engines into the warp endgines, producing amuch slower FTL speed than usual.

In both of the above suggestions, the Enteprise would se travel fTL to Delta Vega in much less time than a few days,perhaps in the fraction of a day suggested by the stardates.

Another possibility is that the Enterprise takes days, weeks, or months to reach Delta Vega, but the ship's time warp capability is used to slow down time aboard the ship drastically, so that Gary Mitchell won't develop his powers as fast as otherwise.

Another possibility is that the Enterprise uses impulse power to accelerate to almost the speed of light and takes a few days to reach Delta Vega, but the timet dilation aboard the ship at such speeds slows down time aboard the ship greatly, so that Gary Mitchell won't develop his powers as fast as otherwise.

The flaw with the last suggestion is:

If time passes at about 0.01 to 0.1 the outside rate on the Enterprise due to time dilation, the ship must be travelling very,very, very close to the speed of light, taking incrediblely vast amounts of energy to accelerate and then decelerate the ship.

If the Delta Vega system was any reasonable or plausible star system, the escape velocity necessary to break out of orbit from both the planet and its star would be a very, very, very tiny fraction of the energy needed to accelerate and decelerate the ship on the voyage to Delta Vega. Unless the Delta Vega system included a supergiant black hole which the planet orbited right above the event horizon of.

And if that was the case, why would anybody mine on Delta Vega? It would probably take a lot less energy and money to transmute elements to synthasize the materials desired than to life them out of such a terrible gravity well. And extremrly massive blackholes are very rare and the nearest one should be very distant, so the Enterprise would have to travel very fast to reach the efge of the galaxy close to such massive black hole.

In any case, the first two suggesitns assume that stardates record the progress of time in the outer universe when that is different from the rate of time aboard the ship, while the second two suggestions assume that stardates record the passabe of time aboard the ship when that is diferent from the outside universe.

So Judging from the time it may have taken to get from Aldebaran to the Galaxy "edge", the speed of the Enterprise in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" may have been somewhere between about 6,000 and many million times the speed of light.

[Added 05-04-2021. But posts # 11 & # 20 discuss the polssibility that the journey to the galactic edge didn't start from Aldebaran but from somwhere which might possibly have been a lot closer to the galactic edge.]

After striking the galactic barrier, the speed of the Enterprise was drastically reduced. The normal speed of the Enterprise shoudl have been somewhere between about 52.17 and 3,652.5 times the limited speed available after strking the galactic barrier.

Since it is uncertain whether the reduced speed of the Enterprise would be slower than light (STL) or faster than light (FTL), it is uncertain what the speed range of the Enterprise would have been before encountering the galactic barrier.

If the normal speed of the Enterprise was at least 6,000 times the speed of light, the reduced speed after encountering the galactic barrier wuld be at least 1.64 to115.00 times the speed of light.

Last edited: May 4, 2021
10. ### MAGoldingFleet CaptainFleet Captain

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Speaking of Rigel and Vega, you might possible have heard of Jack Vance's Demon Princes series.

In the first novels of the series the protagonist was based on a planet in the Rigel Concourse, 26 habitable planets orbiting Rigel, but he later moved his base of operations to a planet in the Vega system. Vega is amuch lass massive and thus much longer lived star than Rigel, though not long lived enough for its hypothetical planets to become habitable.

And apaprently Vance decided tha the Rigel Concourse was not natural:
.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_Princes

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The usual ambiguities:

An "Earth colony" isn't assumed to be in Delaware. Possibly an "Aldebaran colony" would be found close to the edge of the galaxy? Much like a "Rigel colony" apparently is in "DDM".

Kirk thinks no old Earth ship should be in the vicinity. The magnetic storm mentioned in the logs is presumed responsible for whisking the Valiant at and past the barrier specifically. No explanation is given for the "in the vicinity" part in the logs, so it's natural to assume that the whisking part accounts for that, too, which is why our heroes stop wondering. Magnetic storms elsewhere in Trek mainly account for sensor obstruction, and for unusual transporter behavior, but OTOH it's a magnetic effect that gives the Galileo an interstellar boost in "The Galileo Seven".

The hero ship is essentially drifting after her encounter with the barrier: not only are the main engines down, Tyler hasn't even tried to activate the supposedly secondary impulse ones yet (or the ship would have blown to bits). Even though repairs to impulse appear possible, those to main drive do not, unless one visits Delta Vega. Covering "a few light days" on drifting mode doesn't seem viable since, speeds aside, at least a major course change is implied - that is, the ship isn't said to already be on course for Delta Vega. Could a planet "slightly smaller than Earth" trap an impulse-capable ship? Well, without a stardrive, Kirk is trapped, whether at Delta Vega or in deep space. Perhaps Kirk just hates being trapped in orbit specifically, for some reason, and the bit about being unable to "blast back out" is an odd way of phrasing the fact that he can't blast back to civilization, from any location or situation.

Postulating that there exists the alternative of just keeping on going is fine and well, even if this never truly crops up in dialogue. Perhaps the repairs to impulse drive won't allow for a shutdown and restart. Perhaps jury-rigging of time warp or space warp has that effect. But being trapped without the power necessary for getting back home is another way to interpret it all, "orbit" having little to do with it.

Of course, "orbit" could be irrelevant in another way, too. The impulse capabilities might be strained in an attempt to match velocities with the star that Delta Vega orbits; blasting back to the original course from that star system could be impossible even if leaving planetary orbit would be trivial, and getting stuck in the star system would be no different from getting stuck in orbit (since where else in that system would Kirk go?).

Timo Saloniemi

Joined:
Nov 3, 2001
Location:
55 years ago
Ah, yes. I did read The Star Kings. I gave it 2.5 stars in '64.

Joined:
Nov 3, 2001
Location:
55 years ago
I generally like your interpretation of what days and weeks mean (and where you then confine your calculations to minimum and maximum ranges). In the case of "days" becoming "years", I think Kirk's log is not precise enough to actually extrapolate...well...anything. One might as well insist that Noah's rain really lasted forty days and forty nights (forty was just the ancient number representing 'a lot'.)

The one thing we might get out of this is that this is one of the episodes that suggests an impulse-powered vessel can go faster than light (Balance of Terror, The Menagerie, Doomsday Machine)

The inconsistencies in stellar cartography are ones I would be incensed with as a reader and embarrassed of as a writer (I write space science fiction for a living), but I also recognize the 60s were less enlightened times and time pressure is a bitch. With Trek, unless something is very explicit, I tend to squint my ears to make things work.

Last edited: May 5, 2021
14. ### Scott KelloggLieutenant CommanderRed Shirt

Joined:
Apr 9, 2021
I never did much care for the notion that the Warp Speeds correspond to the (^3) Cube of the stated Warp.

That's because the way they use them in the show is as if they are linear speeds.

They're pursuing a ship at warp 5, and jump to warp 6. The enemy also jumps to warp 6 and so on until they reach warp 8 and finally start gaining on the enemy. Now, if you're going 512 times the speed of light and your enemy is only travelling at a pokey 343 times the speed of light, you'll have passed him before you've had the time to say "We're gaining on him."

However which way you analyze the math, the writers are still treating it as if it's 2 cars going 70 mph vs 80 mph.

Scott Kellogg

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15. ### Scott KelloggLieutenant CommanderRed Shirt

Joined:
Apr 9, 2021
Cool! What do you write?
I write & draw a science fiction comic myself.

Scott Kellogg

Joined:
Nov 3, 2001
Location:
55 years ago
Very cool! I'd love to see. Kitra is the first book in a series (I'm actually finishing the first draft of the sequel this week!) It's done pretty well. You can get it online or, probably, at a local independent bookstore.

Scott Kellogg likes this.
17. ### Scott KelloggLieutenant CommanderRed Shirt

Joined:
Apr 9, 2021
Neat! I'll have to check it out. (I tried looking at your Galactic Journey website, but it's blocked from work)
My comic: "21st Century Fox" is located here:
http://techfox.comicgenesis.com/
I upload once a week. (The characters are just arriving home from a pretty wild adventure.)
The story starts here:
http://techfox.comicgenesis.com/d/20180702.html

Scott Kellogg

Last edited: May 4, 2021
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18. ### valkyrie013CommodoreCommodore

Joined:
Jun 15, 2009
Always thought the Galactic Barrier "Edge" was also above and below, so from Earth just point the ship up or down, and go. As for Delta Vega being "Light Days" away, if the ship is going 0.5 of light speed, if it was 2 light days out, they would get there in 4 days, which does coincide with Doomsday Machine math with I belive 4 days worth of Fuel, which is in itself a bit "WTH?" in that an emergency fusion generator burns through your fuel supply that quick? Sheesh.

One thing that I have a bugaboo for is there deallings with Inertia.
Lets take this example, the Delta Vega run, in real space terms, they get up to .5 warp, and then coast right? No fuel being used, except to power to keep the lights on. But its put on screen like, they have to be under constant thrust like there on an ocean or something.
So with the Delta Vega run, it doesn't make much sense unless there fuel supply or other power generation systems were screwed up by the barrier.

Joined:
Aug 26, 2003
Why not do constant thrust? It's faster, and speed is survival. Or, more exactly, travel time is inversely proportional to survival.

The ship wasn't supposed to be short on fuel for impulse travel in "Where No Man"; at most, her impulse engines were two steps away from blowing up, even after Kelso's well-advised repair. It was the main drive that was out of oomph and awaiting refreshments from Delta Vega. So accelerating all the way would make the best sense.

Or accelerating halfway and then decelerating the other half. But Trek ships never do that. There instead exists some sort of a magical braking system that can perform negative acceleration a thousand times better than the impulse engines can do positive acceleration. Perhaps a drag chute you can deploy into subspace or something? Real space is symmetric as regards acceleration and deceleration; a fixed frame of reference in the form of subspace would nicely break that symmetry and make braking easier than accelerating.

Timo Saloniemi

20. ### MAGoldingFleet CaptainFleet Captain

Joined:
Dec 11, 2015
Are there native intelligent beings on a planet of Adebaran? If so they could have a colony a lot closer to the edge of the galaxy, thus reducing the speed necessary for the Enterprise to reach the edge soon eough for Dr. Dehner to need an introduction.

But if there are no native intelligent beings on Aldebaran, human or other Federation citizens would have to have coloized Aldebaran, and then have become advanced and numerous enough to have colonized another planet, a colony of Aldebaran, in just a couple of centuries.

I note that the transcript of the episode says:

http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/2.htm

However, an image of her file from the episode transcript says Dr. Dehner went to "the Aldebaron Colony".

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Aldebaron_III?file=Dehner_profile_esp.jpg

And there is a slight spelling difference between AldebarAn and AldebarOn.

I note that Memory Alpha has articles on "Aldebaron Colony" and "Aldebaron III".

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Aldebaron_Colony

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Aldebaron_III

And the Aldebaron III article says:

So some fans may consider Aldebaran and Aldebaron the same star, and others may consider them to be two different stars.

Are inserts like Dr Dehner's briefly glimpsed file as canon as scripted elements? Wasn't there a recent disccussion of that topic?

Did Dr. Piper say "Al-deb-ar-an" or "Al-deb-ar-on"? Do actual copies of the various script drafts say "Aldebaran" or "Aldebaron" or both?

Last edited: May 4, 2021