All throughout Star Trek one hears of exploration of various quadrants. I assume these are of the Milky Way galaxy. Does anyone know how the travels of the Enterprise relate to our universe in physical space? Was the entire series limited to our galaxy, or did the crew ever visit other galaxies?

In short, what area of the universe was Star Trek exploring?

  • 2
    shouldn't that be astrography?
    – Ferruccio
    Feb 17, 2011 at 13:57
  • Probably! I knew geography wasn't accurate, but I wasn't sure what word would be. Thanks.
    – JYelton
    Feb 17, 2011 at 17:33
  • How 'bout "galactic cartography"?
    – DarenW
    Mar 13, 2011 at 21:35
  • 13
    Or "stellar cartography", as that room is named on the Enterprise-D in Star Trek: Generations
    – KeithS
    Sep 29, 2011 at 15:44
  • While the protagonists never left our galaxy (except for the two episodes mentioned by Bert F), some extragalactic visitors are shown, such as the Nacene, the Kelvan and the Ornithoids
    – Junuxx
    Nov 22, 2012 at 11:17

2 Answers 2


Star Trek was almost entirely set in our Milky Way galaxy.

  • Earth was in the Alpha quadrant along with most of Federation space and the home planets of the Ferengis, Cardassians and Bajorans. One end of the Bajoran wormhole (featured in Deep Space 9) is also in the Alpha quadrant.
  • Some Federation space was also in the Beta quadrant, together with the Romulan and Klingon homeworlds.
  • The Gamma quadrant contained the Dominion space and the other end of the Bajoran wormhole.
  • The Delta quadrant contained the Borg homeworld and is where most of the Voyager series was set.

A pretty clear overview can be found on the map displayed in the main screen of Elite Force:

An image of the four quadrants of the galaxy.

More details on Wikipedia and Memory Alpha.

  • @Paperjam, thank you for improving my answer! I didn't add this image in case it would be a copyright violation. Is it ok to add? Oct 23, 2011 at 15:27
  • I don't know, seems like fair use to me, especially with a link back to their site.
    – Chad Levy
    Oct 23, 2011 at 21:05
  • 2
    @Wikis: If I remember correctly (and a fast Google search confirmed) that's an image from the game Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. It's displayed in the main menu.
    – Bobby
    Jul 22, 2012 at 15:24
  • Unfortunately, this image has to be taken as a rough approximation - for example, Voyager's starting point was more to the left, and they made a small arc going around the galactic core on the way back to Federation space.
    – Izkata
    Feb 16, 2013 at 1:48

(Edit: the mod pointed out that the site I pulled the info from and attributed may not be the original source of the material, which may have instead been this site: http://startrekfan.wetpaint.com/page/Milky+Way+(Alpha,+Beta,+Delta,+Gamma+Quadrants) )

In short, what area of the universe was Star Trek exploring?

Our galaxy, the milky way.

Was the entire series limited to our galaxy, or did the crew ever visit other galaxies?

I believe crossing the distance between galaxies is a big deal in the Trek universe - the Federation tech isn't there yet. I can think of two (also shown on the map below) where they had help:

Can anyone explain the Star Trek geography (i.e. quadrants)?

Our galaxy is labeled by cutting it like a pie into 4 pieces: Alpha (Federation location), Beta (Klingon/Romulan location), Gamma (ST:DS9 wormhole), Delta (ST:VOY setting).

Does anyone know how the travels of the Enterprise relate to our universe in physical space?

I like the map from here:

Star Trek Quadrants

Click for large version:

Don't miss:

  • The limits of explorer local space
  • ST:VOY Voyager's route
  • The ends of the ST:DS9 Bajoran wormhole
  • The Great Barrier from ST:TFF
  • The points where Enterprise and Enterprise-D left the galaxy
  • @Bert - I don't know if this is a problem, but you seem to have done quite a bit of copying from other sites, particularly (wholely?) startrekfan.wetpaint.com/page/… Feb 1, 2011 at 21:39
  • @Wikis - agreed - I tried to attribute it properly (e.g. where I said "Everyhing below is from that site"). I didn't realize I was referencing a site that wasn't the original source of the material. I certainly wouldn't like to violate anyone's rights or cause trouble for this site. If there's guidance, please point to to it, or if you prefer, I'm happy to delete the text and only reference it.
    – Bert F
    Feb 1, 2011 at 22:41
  • @Wikis - I went ahead and pulled the bulk of the text since there may be a problem. I had just wanted to add my own highlighting and I don't like links since they move and die all the time. I tried to attribute both sites since I don't know the original source. If you still feel uncomfortable about it, I'm happy to delete the post altogether.
    – Bert F
    Feb 1, 2011 at 22:57
  • @Bert - thanks for the reply. I really don't know if it (copy / pasting) is a problem, and I really, really don't know about the source! Perhaps best to ask on meta? Feb 2, 2011 at 7:54
  • @Bert: I like how you broke down the question into its subparts and even included a picture.
    – JYelton
    Feb 3, 2011 at 16:54

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