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Time Measurement in Star Trek

Spot_Data's_Cat

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Report this Jan. 28 2011, 1:15 am

Why is it that in Star Trek they seem to use Earth time measurements (hours, years, minutes etc.), despite the fact that there are numerous other species whose worlds would almost definitely use completely different time measurements? Would this not also cause problems encountering new species?


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miklamar

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Report this Jan. 28 2011, 1:36 am

Yes, the Federation uses Earth-based measurements of time: hours, minutes, etc. It is very egocentric. In reality, I think they would either use a compromise unit, based upon several worlds' time divisions, or each world would use whichever system where they were, such as a Vulcan day.

Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

Vger23

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Report this Jan. 28 2011, 6:56 am

I would imagine it is so the audience has a frame of reference that makes sense and doesn't distract you from the story telling.

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Beershark

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Report this Jan. 28 2011, 7:41 am

Well, it's pretty simple really. Origins. Starfleet and The Federation are based in San Francisco,Cal.,U.S.A.,EARTH because they are human creations. We conceived them and invited the rest of the galaxy to join us. This gives validation to the Klingon claim that "The Federation as always been a homo-sapiens only club". Basicly, Our ball=Our rules.


As an aside, I've often wondered how Archer's Enterprise could have been part of Starfleet at a time when the Federation was non-existent. Starfleet is part of the Federation. In the TOS episode Tomorrow is Yesterday, Kirk tells Cpt. Christopher that his authority is the United Earth Space Probe Agency. Shouldn't this then have been the NX-01's authority?


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tribblenator999

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Report this Jan. 28 2011, 8:52 am

starfleet=humans. So basically yeah earth time or the highway.

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switcherdawna

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Report this Feb. 01 2011, 1:08 pm

But... they don't start episodes of TNG or TOS saying Captain's log July 31, 2361... The Federation I believe has it's own calender, because it existed before Earth developed warp drive. I'm not into the dogma that much to have figured that out, but maybe someone else who knows or tell what all the Stadates mean. I believe Stardates were pretty random in TOS, but there was some standard base for it in other shows (except of course ENT).

Dendodge

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Report this Feb. 01 2011, 1:17 pm

Maybe the Universal Translator converts units of time?

On DS9, they used a 26-hour day, because that is the length of a Bajoran day.

As for stardates, the system in the 24th century was:
First digit: 4, apparently representing 24th century
Second digit: The season number, counted as if it were TNG. Thus, TNG s1 was 1, DS9 s1 was 6, etc.
Four more digits, which advanced over the course of a season, followed by a decimal point and a single digit which advanced over the course of an episode.
Thus, 1000 stardate units are roughly equal to one year (this doesn't really work, because it can only represent the first 9 years of a century, but the writers didn't think it through properly, and it was only a rough guide anyway).

It seems dates are given using stardates, but relative times (such as, "I'll meet you in one hour") use more familiar Earth units, for some reason - presumably because most of the characters we see interacting over the course of the series are human.

lostshaker

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Report this Feb. 01 2011, 1:34 pm

Quote: Dendodge @ Feb. 01 2011, 1:17 pm

Maybe the Universal Translator converts units of time? On DS9, they used a 26-hour day, because that is the length of a Bajoran day. As for stardates, the system in the 24th century was: First digit: 4, apparently representing 24th century Second digit: The season number, counted as if it were TNG. Thus, TNG s1 was 1, DS9 s1 was 6, etc. Four more digits, which advanced over the course of a season, followed by a decimal point and a single digit which advanced over the course of an episode. Thus, 1000 stardate units are roughly equal to one year (this doesn't really work, because it can only represent the first 9 years of a century, but the writers didn't think it through properly, and it was only a rough guide anyway).

The first digit doesn't represent the 24th Century, at least not as TNG, DS9, and VGR progressed. Star Trek: Nemesis, for example, had a stardate of 56844.9, yet the movie took place within the 24th Century. The first digit seems to equate to a decade with the rest being as described.

Dendodge

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Report this Feb. 01 2011, 2:12 pm

I'm going by the writers' guide, written around the time of "Encounter at Farpoint", which states:



A stardate is a five-digit number followed by a decimal point and one more digit. Example: "41254.7." The first two digits of the stardate are always "41." The 4 stands for 24th century, the 1 indicates first season. The additional three leading digits will progress unevenly during the course of the season from 000 to 999. The digit following the decimal point is generally regarded as a day counter.



From Memory Alpha


lostshaker

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Report this Feb. 01 2011, 2:30 pm

Quote: Dendodge @ Feb. 01 2011, 2:12 pm

I'm going by the writers' guide, written around the time of "Encounter at Farpoint", which states:

A stardate is a five-digit number followed by a decimal point and one more digit. Example: "41254.7." The first two digits of the stardate are always "41." The 4 stands for 24th century, the 1 indicates first season. The additional three leading digits will progress unevenly during the course of the season from 000 to 999. The digit following the decimal point is generally regarded as a day counter.

From Memory Alpha


Ah... got ya. Thank you for the source. That makes a difference. And it decisively, though ironically, bans the show's bible from being a canonical source.

tribblenator999

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Report this Feb. 01 2011, 4:32 pm

stardate discussions are funny.


stardate 1312.4 is 2264 (where no man has gone before) startdate 5943.7 is 2269 (all ours yesterday) so this is a 5 year period coinciding with kirk's 5 year mission the motion picture 7412.6 TWOK 8130.3 Star Trek Vi 9521.6 over the span of the original series which is from 1312.4 to 9521.6 (~ 30 years) this means that span of 8000 stardate is 30 years.


TNG encounter at farpoint 40759.5. Nemesis which takes place 2379 is on stardate 56844.9  a span of 16085.4 is....60+ years.  a span of 8000 means that 30 years has gone by. 15 years is around 4000 stardate. O.o


 now TNG screwed up since if we were to follow the TOS pattern encounter at farpoint should take place on stardate 28454.9 lol


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Data Logan

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Report this Feb. 03 2011, 11:03 am

Stardates were never ment to mean much anyway. Roddenberry just made them up so that he wouldn't have to pin down the date of the show. It wasn't until Star Trek II that the century was even pinned down. And a more definite date wasn't pinned down until the last episode of TNGs first season, which aired in 1988 and stated the date as 2363. I don't think the startdate motif from TOS was ever ment to relate to the TNG and later system.

tribblenator999

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Report this Feb. 03 2011, 4:13 pm

Quote: Data Logan @ Feb. 03 2011, 11:03 am

Stardates were never ment to mean much anyway. Roddenberry just made them up so that he wouldn't have to pin down the date of the show. It wasn't until Star Trek II that the century was even pinned down. And a more definite date wasn't pinned down until the last episode of TNGs first season, which aired in 1988 and stated the date as 2363. I don't think the startdate motif from TOS was ever ment to relate to the TNG and later system.


just putting my 2 cents in

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OkiePackerFan10

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Report this Feb. 03 2011, 7:19 pm

If they were going to stick with Earth Time why not just say the real Earth date instead of the blasted star dates, that was the only thing Enterprise was good for, a series w/o stardates.

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tribblenator999

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Report this Feb. 04 2011, 8:21 am

Quote: OkiePackerFan10 @ Feb. 03 2011, 7:19 pm

If they were going to stick with Earth Time why not just say the real Earth date instead of the blasted star dates, that was the only thing Enterprise was good for, a series w/o stardates.


the new movie is good in dates. they use the year and the day as decimal

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