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Planet Classification


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Report this Feb. 22 2012, 3:41 pm

I occasionally read articles about some recently discovered planet, and its characteristics approximated by scientists.  It seems that with each new planet or moon discovered, the boundaries of what scientists believe get revised.  By the time the techology exists to get out there, we may need a bigger alphabet to designate planet classifications by a single letter such as Class M.


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Report this Feb. 23 2012, 12:26 pm

I thought the class was M, but however many numbers you might need would follow an unnamed planet, such as M-118.

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


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Report this Feb. 23 2012, 3:19 pm

I mean for the various types of planets, not each individual planet.  Scientists had basically only the planets in this sytem to look at for a long time, but as they develop new ways to study planets elsewhere, they keep finding a lot of different types.

Reliant Redshirt

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Report this Mar. 01 2012, 7:32 pm

I think the letter class is ok, you have M class for Vulcan and Earth which are "very" different, with Vulcan being closer to Mars than to Earth

so if you assign a letter for "hell" worlds like Venus, too hot and too high pressure on a rocky world, it ultimately is non important if it is half a AU from it's star or it is one tenth of a AU, you don't want to go there.

a class should't mean a planet with an avg temperature of 300 K, liquid water and a definite south californian look, just that you can beam a redshirt there to be probably eaten by the monster.



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Report this Mar. 02 2012, 12:50 pm

How about two categories? One for earth, the planet we are stuck on and will all die on. And a second category for all the planets we can only dream about going to.

Reliant Redshirt

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Report this Mar. 02 2012, 5:44 pm

the idea of classification of planets was used in the show to say "hey that is a planet where you don't want to go, how comes Sulu and Kirk are alive down there?"

in the show it gave dramatic tension, in real life, right now is as useful as a map of your home, probably in the future it will be useful to say "we could try a mission to Gilesse ### after all it fits the M type, but Betelgeuse ### is not"

besides, we have at least 5 classes here (mercury, too hot, no atmosphere)

venus (as close to hell as you'll find) Earth (booring exept for Star Trek re runs) Mars, almost like Earth, the gas giants, and pluto (well sort of, it's not a planet anymore)



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Report this Mar. 08 2012, 11:33 am

Two classes, Class M and Class K were habitaul by humanoids, with K reqiuiring pressure domes.(THe Star Trek Encyclopia, entry on Class K)  Class K were sometimes terra formed in TNG and newer series.  Ocassionally, a class J would show up (Jupiter), but theorically there would be others.

I agree with Broadstorm, with our sciencitists are stuck to our Solar system to set up the scale.

Presumily, since the  Federation is an area of 4750 parsecs in radius,(SF Technical Manual, page TO:02:07:02), other classes were discovered and classifiied.  THe Vulcans had covered and mapped a good portion of this by the time ENT starts.  It is human argance that our system is best (sic).


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Report this Mar. 09 2012, 1:46 pm

Star Trek has given the class of a planet regarding of it has breatheable atmosphere with the designation M. So going for- or backwards in the alphabet classifies the planets how much it has the discribed atmosphere.

The planets discovered & given a name means indeed how far these have been found in a scale until to the first ect.

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