Can someone explain to me how a light beacon managed to be seen by ships, hundreds, if not thousands of light years away? and was somehow as bright as a star.

  • 1
    total speculation - but, in the TNG episode memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Rightful_Heir_(episode) - "Koroth reminds Worf of the story of The Promise: how when Kahless left, he pointed to the star around which Boreth orbits, and promised he would return there" - I wondered if the Light of Khaless beacon is nearby and if that is what is actually being referred to (remember, it was said in the episode to be estimated as centuries old) and thus Klingons would have some sort of observatory-esque system monitoring for just such an event
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 26, 2017 at 22:16
  • 4
    The Beacon probably transmitted through subspace as well as in visible light.
    – Tim
    Sep 27, 2017 at 0:20
  • Why is it also suddenly possible for ships to travel thousands of light years in a matter of minutes when it used to take hours or even days?
    – shim
    Sep 27, 2017 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


I believe it was established that the beacon was transmitting on subspace bands as well. See the quote below, emphasis mine.

SARU (ON COMMS): Captain to the bridge.


SARU: Massive photonic activity on the Klingon object, Captain. Output is over one billion lumens per square meter.

CONNOR: Optical sensors overloading.

GEORGIOU: Bring plasmatic filters on line.

CONNOR: Rerouting power.

GEORGIOU: Is that a weapon? It seems to be some sort of signal emitter. Where are my filters?

CONNOR: They're at 100%, Captain.


CONNOR: Initiating emergency shutdown. That noise is some kind of electromagnetic subspace wave-form. Narrowing channel range. Adjusting orientation to minimize dispersal.

GEORGIOU: Somebody turn it down.

CONNOR: Aye, Captain.

GEORGIOU: All the way down.

SARU: Acoustics are muted. That's the ship's superstructure in sympathetic vibration. It's a signal pulse.

GEORGIOU: Is there a message?

BURNHAM: This may be the message. Captain, what if they're calling for the same thing we are? Backup.

GEORGIOU: Long-range sensors to the maximum, Saru. If more Klingons are on their way, I want as much notice as possible.

There would be no need for long-range sensors if that signal were simply a light signal...

  • 1
    But Sarek does mention the appearance of a new star in the sky. So the light does appear to move faster than the speed of ligh
    – Edelk
    Sep 27, 2017 at 15:49
  • 1
    @Edelk I have to believe that he is referring to reports over subspace. It is not physically possible for the light to have reached him yet... Sep 27, 2017 at 16:45
  • 2
    The specific line appears to be "The quadrant reports a new star in the sky" which could be stretched to refer to something other than just light. It's also a report, so he's not saying he saw it himself.
    – ench
    Sep 27, 2017 at 19:44
  • 2
    In other words it ain't just a light it's tech-tech
    – IG_42
    Sep 28, 2017 at 12:58
  • 1
    Interesting that the bridge windows have only filters but no shutters. Oct 8, 2017 at 9:58

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