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In the pilot episode of DS9, the station moves from it's orbit around Bajor XI to the wormhole. I was reading a related question and contemplating just how difficult it would have been for DS9 to move. This got me to thinking of where the wormhole is located in the Bajoran system.

I'm making the educated guess, based on the close affinity of the prophets and Bajor in the overall plot, that it at a minimum orbits the Bajoran star or something that orbits the star. But what, exactly, is it in orbit around?

  • That's... a really good point. If the wormhole doesn't orbit Bajor's star, then the distance from DS9 (keeping station [sic] with the wormhole) to Bajor would constantly change a great deal. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 10 '17 at 0:36
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit: Bonus question: does DS9 orbit the wormhole? Or have they simply calculated their orbit around the star to keep them close to the entrance? Does DS9 need to make orbital corrections? Perhaps I should just cut to the chase and ask if the wormhole entrance has mass and if so, how massive is it? – Ellesedil Jan 10 '17 at 0:50
  • @Ellesdil - no. DS9 doesn't orbit the wormhole (which has little or no gravity). The implication of the diagram below is that their distance changes considerably from over the decade. – Valorum Jan 10 '17 at 7:10
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The wormhole sits in the "Denorios Belt" between Bajor IX and Bajor X, which orbits the main star.

The Denorios belt was a charged plasma field located in the Bajoran system. This belt divided the system into an inner system and an outer system. It was located between Bajor IX and Bajor X.

Memory Alpha article on the Denorios Belt

  • So, the wormhole is simply orbiting the star at a distance that places it in that belt? In a charged plasma field, I gather there's no physical object large enough for it to orbit in that area. – Ellesedil Jan 9 '17 at 21:59
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    True, I'm not sure they directly state that the Wormhole is in orbit of the main star, just that it is in the belt, which clearly occupies an orbital position. It is also possible the wormhole doesn't orbit anything, given its peculiar physics, it may not even have any mass. – ench Jan 9 '17 at 22:19
  • I considered it not orbiting anything and that it's position is fixed. But then I got to thinking "fixed to what?" since it clearly stays in the Bajoran system. If I were a Prophet, I'd just make the appropriate conditions present and set it in a stable orbit so I wouldn't have to constantly use magic to steer the thing. But... Gods are weird and probably think differently then I do. – Ellesedil Jan 9 '17 at 22:22
  • Given the whole "non-linear being" thing with the prophets, interpreting motives is pretty hard. It is established that the Wormhole operates according to in-universe physics (though their knowledge of wormhole physics isn't exhaustive) as they modify or affect it several times, so it is unlikely to be purely "magic". – ench Jan 9 '17 at 22:32
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    If it wasn't in an inertial reference frame which a fixed position would imply, then ds9 would need to continually accelerate to station keep next to it. Since they dont seem to be continuously thrusting, It would have to be in an inertial reference frame such as an orbit. – John Meacham Jan 10 '17 at 1:33
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This is described in some considerable detail in the Star Trek Deep Space Nine - Technical Manual. In short, the wormhole orbits the local Bajoran Star (known as Bajor-B'hava'el) at an orbital distance of some 300 million kilometres.

The guide also offers a handy map in case you plan to travel there. The thick white line is the Denorios Belt, the thinner yellow line is the wormhole's orbit.

enter image description here

The wormhole terminus exists in the star system's distant plasma torus known as the Denorios Belt, some three hundred million kilometers from the sun. Bajor-B'hava'el.

...

The basic mechanics and properties of the wormhole have been studied thoroughly since 2369. when Deep Space 9 was first moved outward from its orbit around Bajor. It is known that the Bajor terminus moves with the Denorios plasma field in an orbit about the sun with a period of 13.5 years. The average orbital period of the belt is faster. 13.1 years, creating periodic density waves that can upset station operations. The orbital plane is inclined 38 degrees to that of Bajor. but only 11.5 degrees to that of the ecliptic created by Bajor IX. the largest gas giant planet in the system. Historical back-trace calculations indicate that the subspace inversion event each 50.23 years has been visible from Dahkur Province for at least the last thirty-five hundred years, and possibly as far back as thirty thousand years, with corrections for minor perturbations, axial precession, and tidal slowing.

  • Too lazy to make up labels for things; just type a lot of numbers. Except that one comet. It's important so we'll give it a Greek letter. This entire diagram has only six words! – ThePopMachine Jan 9 '17 at 22:45
  • @ThePopMachine - In fairness, the Federation isn't especially interested in planets that aren't class-M. It's something of an obsession of theirs – Valorum Jan 9 '17 at 22:46
  • "The guide also offers a handy map in case you plan to travel there." I'm booking my ticket now. – Ellesedil Jan 9 '17 at 22:51
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    @Valorum: Don't walk, run! – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 10 '17 at 0:38
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    @Miltonaut - The one next to Deep Space Nine. – Valorum Jan 10 '17 at 7:08

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