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In VOY Homestead, Voyager has detected Talaxian life signs 4.9 lightyears away. In VOY Workforce, Kim finds life signs that are 'less than 3 days away at maximum warp', which for Voyager would probably mean 25 light years (source)

That struck me as being very far away. Their sensors would need to be extremely powerful, even accounting for the incorporated Borg technology.

But have we seen larger distances at which a Starfleet vessel has detected life signs (in canon)?

  • scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/54153/… I would refer you to this discussion – Vanja Vasiljevic Oct 27 '16 at 11:17
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    What's a "life sign" anyway? – ths Oct 27 '16 at 12:13
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    Are (active) scanners ftl? Or were there lifesigns 4.9 or 25 years, respectively, ago? – Alexander Kosubek Oct 27 '16 at 12:51
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    Interesting point. All episodes seem to suggest that the scanners are faster-than-light, because the detected life-signs are always there now. E.g. in the Workforce example there were (presumably) no human life signs at the delta quadrant planet 25 years ago. – dennis_vok Oct 27 '16 at 12:56
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    Related, not really a dupe; How Do Starfleet Sensors Detect Life Signs?. – Valorum Oct 27 '16 at 17:32

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