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ToSeek
2002-Jan-31, 01:20 PM
On last night's episode of Enterprise, several crew members are onboard a ship that is sinking in the atmosphere of a gas giant (I assume - I missed the first few minutes), getting so deep that there's the danger of the ship's being crushed.

They come up with an approach to "raising the ship to a higher orbit," as one of the crewmembers puts it. Um, if they're in the atmosphere, that's not much of an orbit, is it?

SeanF
2002-Jan-31, 01:57 PM
I was thinking the same thing myself. Technically, you can orbit a body within that body's atmosphere, but you'll need to continuously adjust in order to compensate for atmospheric drag. The ISS actually orbits within the outer edges of Earth's atmosphere and has to occasionally burn the engines to speed up after the atmosphere has dragged it down a bit.

I would say that ship was "floating in a thick atmosphere" more than "in orbit around the planet."

As a non-astronomy-related aside to this episode, I was particularly disappointed to see Hoshi point that phaser right at Malcolm's chest when she handed it back to him at the end of the prologue. Don't these people get *any* basic weapons safety training?


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SeanF

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SeanF on 2002-01-31 08:58 ]</font>

Garrette
2002-Jan-31, 02:05 PM
As a side question, was their plan at all feasible?

For those who didn't see it, to arrest their descent deeper into the atmosphere, they fired torpedoes to explode near the ship with the hope that the shock wave would push them higher.

I'm just skeptical of shock waves anywhere tossing things around, especially something with as much inertia as the Klingon starship they were on.

Silas
2002-Jan-31, 03:47 PM
Oh, it's *feasible*, so long as your ship (or shields) are mighty, mighty tough...

(Remember the old plan for a spacecraft using nuclear warheads and a big "pusher" plate?)

If they were smart, they'd MIRV the torpedoes into a large number of smaller bombs, and set them off in a sequence -- more closely approximating a continuous burn than a single big wham....

If they were good enough (I dunno Trek tech well enough to know) they might be able to form the rear shields into a concavity, more closely approximating a rocket nozzle... (At the same time, they could form the forward shields into an aerodynamic -- or gas-trodynamic -- shape -- a nose-cone, to reduce drag.)

Silas

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Jan-31, 04:15 PM
TO be blunt: it's not an orbit at all. They were in an atmosphere so thick they were in danger of being crushed (they mentioned a number that translates into 15 atmospheres early on, which isn't much, but that was still while they were high up). You just can't orbit in something that dense. The friction and ram pressure would make it impossible, or at least so difficult as to be indistinguishable from impossible. This same mistake was made in "Event Horizon".

They should have just mentioned that damage to the ship's engines meant the couldn't quite compensate for the large gravity of the planet, so they were slowly sinking.

Also, they don't have shields, I believe, just really strong hulls. Shields are still a ways off in technology. However, one of the words Hoshi translated may be construed as shields; T'Pol figured it meant hull but she couldhave been wrong. Interesting; the Fed may have been pretty close to some advanced tech there!

ToSeek
2002-Jan-31, 05:07 PM
On 2002-01-31 11:15, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
Interesting; the Fed may have been pretty close to some advanced tech there!


There were definitely a couple of "teasers" that suggested that the Klingons had more advanced technology than the humans, but that the Federation acquired/developed later. I particularly liked the engineer's comment "Photon torpedoes - what the heck are those?"



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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ToSeek on 2002-01-31 12:08 ]</font>

SeanF
2002-Jan-31, 05:24 PM
On 2002-01-31 11:15, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
Interesting; the Fed may have been pretty close to some advanced tech there!


Hey, I get to correct the BA on something! How often does that happen?

At the time of Enterprise, there is no "Fed" -- this series takes place before the United Federation of Planets is formed.

Unless, of course, you meant that our intrepid crew is somehow connected to Alan Greenspan . . .

CJSF
2002-Jan-31, 05:34 PM
Don't the ships in "Trek" continuously run their warp drives? Don't warp fields make the apparent mass of the ship very small and distorts space around the ship - so maybe they actually CAN orbit in an atmosphere thicker than otherwise??? maybe?? perhaps?

CJSF (who is trying to rationalize a PLOT device)

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Jan-31, 05:42 PM
Hey, I get to correct the BA on something! How often does that happen?

At the time of Enterprise, there is no "Fed" -- this series takes place before the United Federation of Planets is formed.

Nuts. I meant "Starfleet". Oh well.

ToSeek
2002-Jan-31, 06:24 PM
On 2002-01-31 12:34, Christopher Ferro wrote:
Don't the ships in "Trek" continuously run their warp drives?


I don't think so, but then it's a Klingon ship that's stuck in the atmosphere, so who knows.

moonbuggy
2002-Jan-31, 11:36 PM
The quote with reply doesn't seem to be working ATM.


>Don't the ships in "Trek" continuously run their warp drives?


I am not a Trekkie but I seem to remember that they also have an "Impulse" drive system that, I think technologically, was developed before warp drives so they most likely had it on Enterprise.

Pete


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: moonbuggy on 2002-01-31 18:38 ]</font>

Russ
2002-Feb-01, 12:19 AM
I've got the tech manuals for STOS & STNG, so I'm "in the know" /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

Warp drive is used exclusively for super luminal travel. You are correct that the warp field creats a condition where the ship has no mass WRT space. So you just keep projecting warp fields out ahead and pushing yourself into it. The faster you do that the higher the warp factor. There are some charts and graphs that make the concept clear but I'm not taking the time to put them up here. Sorry. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

WHarris
2002-Feb-01, 12:00 PM
A warp field can be extended from the ship to an external object, and that can be used to reduce the object inertial mass. This was done in the TNG episode "QLess", the one were Q was stripped of his powers.

Tars Tarkas
2002-Feb-07, 04:06 PM
Weren't the aliens that get people pregnant by putting their hands in buckets of sand hiding out in warp fields? So the field would have to extend some distance from the ship itself.

Cerowyn
2002-Feb-12, 04:43 AM
On 2002-02-07 11:06, Tars Tarkas wrote:
Weren't the aliens that get people pregnant by putting their hands in buckets of sand hiding out in warp fields?

At the risk of elevating the Trekkie factor of this thread, I don't believe they were using warp fields to hide; just some form of cloaking (the episode, "Unexpected," aired October 17, 2001).

I missed the episode discussed in the OP, but don't many gas giants have high speed winds? Jupiter's, IIRC, are 600+ km/h and Neptune's can reach 2000 km/h! Not exactly orbital speeds, of course.

Tars Tarkas
2002-Feb-12, 08:56 PM
I looked it up and the Hand-Preggers aliens were hitchhiking cloaked while gathering plasma exhaust to refuel their engines.


Not that this has anything to do with the OP, but i digress...

Azuth
2002-Feb-21, 01:15 AM
What do you mean no sheilds at that time. In episode #1 they talk about aligning the deflector array "or the first bit of spae dust we hit will blow a hole in the ship the size of your fist"

Hauteden
2002-Feb-21, 03:31 AM
On 2002-02-20 20:15, Azuth wrote:
What do you mean no sheilds at that time. In episode #1 they talk about aligning the deflector array "or the first bit of spae dust we hit will blow a hole in the ship the size of your fist"



Correct if they didn't have a deflector array you could find many holes in the hull. However a Star Trek Deflector array is not the same as a Star Trek Shield. As I understand it the Deflector Array is only meant for small debris (e.g. dust) its purpose is to "deflect" dust around the ship. I know that a shield does basically the same thing the difference is 'What is it meant to stop?'

The Enterprise does not have sheilds . . . yet. They 'Polarize' the hull to allow more damage to be absorbed without negative effects. There are other races that do have sheilds as you can tell from the SFX.

Hope that cleared up some questions

Hautden

WHarris
2002-Feb-21, 11:14 AM
Those are the navigation deflectors, designed to move dust and smaller bits of debris out of the way.

Deflector shields don't exist yet on "Enterprise".

Azuth
2002-Feb-27, 08:24 AM
OK, Thanks for that info. I seem to recall a TNG episode where Riker tells the Captain that the ship that has just threatened to fire upon them uses "lasers that would not even penetrate our navigational shields". I assue this is the same sort of thing. You'd think if they're talking about deflecting energy with them, not just dust, that shields can't be a huge leap in Enterprise.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Azuth on 2002-02-27 03:26 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-27, 10:05 AM
I've been known to deflect some lasers with my skin.

But then, I'm from Wyoming. The only thing that makes me weak is another wyomingite. I can see through thick lenses, read through vast amounts of intractable prose, and make large leaps of logic. I'd wear spandex, but I have to work off some cellulite first.

David Hall
2002-Feb-27, 11:57 AM
On 2002-02-27 03:24, Azuth wrote:
OK, Thanks for that info. I seem to recall a TNG episode where Riker tells the Captain that the ship that has just threatened to fire upon them uses "lasers that would not even penetrate our navigational shields". I assue this is the same sort of thing. You'd think if they're talking about deflecting energy with them, not just dust, that shields can't be a huge leap in Enterprise.


Well, of course the NCC-1701D might not be using the same technology as it's predicessor. It also probably has a lot more power available at it's disposal and travels faster anyway, requiring stronger deflectors. Maybe the D-class used shield-based deflectors, while the old(new) Enterprise has a more primitive system. I would bet the navigational shields on this Enterprise probably wouldn't have been able to deflect the lasers on that alien vessel.

Speaking of which, how's this for moving the thread back into the real world? What would it actually take to remove a mote of dust in space from the path of a moving ship? Could a magnetic field do the job alone if it was strong enough? When does an object become too large to deflect at all?


Oh, and Grapes, please don't wear any spandex, ok? How about a long black trenchcoat and sunglasses instead?

David Hall
2002-Feb-27, 12:08 PM
On 2002-02-11 23:43, Cerowyn wrote:
I missed the episode discussed in the OP, but don't many gas giants have high speed winds? Jupiter's, IIRC, are 600+ km/h and Neptune's can reach 2000 km/h! Not exactly orbital speeds, of course.


I remember seeing a documentary not long back that discussed the findings of the Voyager probes. One of the surprising things they discovered was that as you move further out in the solar system, the wind speeds of the gas giants increases. They had thought that high winds needed more energy, either from the sun or from internal heat. But they finally decided that what really made the speeds so fast was that the cold environment creates less turbulence, thus allowing truly frightening wind speeds to develop. I found this quite interesting.

James
2002-Feb-27, 12:20 PM
On 2002-02-27 07:08, David Hall wrote:


On 2002-02-11 23:43, Cerowyn wrote:
I missed the episode discussed in the OP, but don't many gas giants have high speed winds? Jupiter's, IIRC, are 600+ km/h and Neptune's can reach 2000 km/h! Not exactly orbital speeds, of course.


I remember seeing a documentary not long back that discussed the findings of the Voyager probes. One of the surprising things they discovered was that as you move further out in the solar system, the wind speeds of the gas giants increases. They had thought that high winds needed more energy, either from the sun or from internal heat. But they finally decided that what really made the speeds so fast was that the cold environment creates less turbulence, thus allowing truly frightening wind speeds to develop. I found this quite interesting.



Well, that would certainly explain wind chill. <font color=light blue>*brrr*</font color>

ACM
2002-Mar-06, 01:36 AM
(Dont know how to partial quote)
David Hall posted:
"Speaking of which, how's this for moving the thread back into the real world? What would it actually take to remove a mote of dust in space from the path of a moving ship? Could a magnetic field do the job alone if it was strong enough? When does an object become too large to deflect at all?"

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From what I know of trek-o-logy, the deflector sheild is a form of magnetic feild which deflects interstellar debris, any thing this sheild cant move I have to assume the ship would avoid.

And to clear something up that came up earlier, Starfleet does NOT have Sheild technology as of yet in Enterprise, however the Klingons, Vulcans, Suliban, and most of the other races introduced thus far DO have sheild technology. 100% trekie /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif