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During the end credits of each Next Gen Star Trek (i.e. ST:TNG, ST:DS9 and ST:V) we move through a star field as names appear, but to the extreme left of the screen there is a strange blue glow and I've always wondered what this was.

Blue glow indication

Is it supposed to be glow of a spaceship engine? Or simply an artefact of how the effect was achieved?

These youtube videos show it quite well

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    Not sure what you are referring to. Some freehand red circles would be useful. If you're referring to the fuzzy background overlay, it's just poor title compositiing I would suggest. – Paulie_D Jan 4 '17 at 16:35
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    It's much more obvious when watching it on a TV. I've updated the image to indicate the region, it shows down the entire left side. – Matthew Wilcoxson Jan 4 '17 at 16:47
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    Given that the starfields are identical in all three series (up to Season 4 of Voyager when they presumably recycled footage from the First Contact film to make a new moving starfield), it was presumably something they just didn't feel strongly enough about to fix. – Valorum Jan 4 '17 at 16:48
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    @Valorum Interesting point. I wonder if they replaced it in the HD version of TNG – Matthew Wilcoxson Jan 4 '17 at 16:50
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    Yes, they did... – Valorum Jan 4 '17 at 16:51
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Are you asking about that blue line down the left and right sides?

When TOS, TNG, DS9, and VOY were filmed, they were filmed at the then-standard TV screen aspect ratio of 4:3. Most TVs and monitors (and YouTube) are now widescreen - 16:9. When watching older television shows on a wide screen, there's a black bar on the left and right because the older ratio doesn't fill the new screens perfectly. It fills the screen top to bottom but not left to right.

If you watch the stars as they pass, they don't really go all the way to the edge. They just go to the edge of the old screen aspect ratio. That blue line you're seeing is that edge, the boundary between broadcast and blank screen. It's not really blue; it's just a different black than the bars on either side.

  • Thanks for the answer but I'm not asking that. Besides those are black. There's a "blue glow" on the left of the "picture", the stars pass behind it. – Matthew Wilcoxson Jan 6 '17 at 10:45
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    If you watch the videos you'll see a blue blur at the outer edge of the frame. – Valorum Jan 6 '17 at 12:29
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    @Valorum But that blur has a hard edge on the left. Some might call it a border, or even a line. – miltonaut Jan 13 '17 at 8:38
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    @Miltonaut, sorry, no. I don't often use the word but you're just wrong. You're referring to the wrong thing, not the faint blue glow but the border bars. If you watch the video and stare at the bottom of the starfield you'll see what he's meaning. – Valorum Jan 13 '17 at 8:52
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    There is a faint vignetting effect, some king of edge blurring? – Aaron Gullison Mar 19 '18 at 3:20

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