3

Has any episode, game or novel provided an in-universe answer?

This answer seems give an approximate size, but as the question states:

how much of Space is included in the Federation-explored region of the Star Trek Universe?

I'm referring the the universe as whole with and without the Federation.

  • Related but not a duplicate: How big is the known Star Trek universe? – Rand al'Thor Nov 28 '19 at 16:03
  • 6
    Once, yes: youtube.com/watch?v=1pWWC_58YTs – starpilotsix Nov 28 '19 at 16:07
  • 2
    There is an unstated assumption here that the Star Trek universe is different somehow than our universe, which I don't think should stand unsupported. – DavidW Nov 28 '19 at 16:08
  • 2
    See "Remember Me" for a size of the Trek universe (the figure may be a little off). Happy Thanksgiving! – Ham Sandwich Nov 28 '19 at 17:07
  • 1
    @BMFForMonica - Correct! – user123444 Dec 1 '19 at 18:29
9

As already pointed out in the comments:

There is an unstated assumption here that the Star Trek universe is different somehow than our universe

which AFAIK does not hold: there is no indication that the Star Trek universe at large is different from our own one.

Given that Gene Roddenberry in the introduction to his TNG writer/director's guide (aka The Bible) talks about "our galaxy" in realistic numbers, and that surrounding galaxies like Andromeda and Triangulum are common to both universes (Star Trek and our own), there is no reason to believe that the rest of the series universe is different. For what it may worth, Star Trek takes place neither in Middle Earth nor in The Matrix.

Arguably, the reason is that any such difference would be actually irrelevant for the series fictional world: for all its grandiose, Star Trek actually takes place in a relatively tiny vicinity around Earth, which does not even include the whole of our own Milky Way galaxy.

In TOS episode By Any Other Name, it is made explicit that even a trip to the nearby Andromeda galaxy is actually way off consideration, since it would take thousands of years for a Constellation-class starship of the era to make the trip, even if subsequent advances in technology would lower that time to only some hundreds of years at maximum warp.

Given this setting, it is only natural that any actual consideration of the whole universe's size or shape is actually absent from the show; even if we may be able to unearth some obscure slip-of-the-tongue relevant statement from some cosmic being like Q, admittedly one should not rush to take it at face value, in-universe or otherwise...

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    Highly related to your assumption: When did our universe and the Star Trek universe diverge? – Rand al'Thor Nov 28 '19 at 17:35
  • @Randal'Thor thanks, but it would seem that the linked thread is actually about the history, and not the universe (or Universe?) in the literal meaning of the word, as asked here – desertnaut Nov 28 '19 at 17:38
  • 1
    Right, but if the history of the universe is the same as ours up to a specified point in time, that strengthens the evidence for the assumption that the physics matches up with ours. – Rand al'Thor Nov 28 '19 at 17:43
  • 1
    I think Where No One Has Gone Before firmly establishes that the Star Trek universe is significantly different from ours, both astronomically and in terms of physics. (That's if you weren't already convinced by the nebulae.) – Harry Johnston Nov 28 '19 at 20:32
  • 1
    Star Trek has a lot of speculation about physics, and that's what the question is about. It's very possible that Star Trek canon contradicts what current scientists say about the size and shape of the universe. – Jetpack Nov 29 '19 at 3:21
1

With relation to size we learn, in VOY: Threshold, that the universe is infinitely large since it requires infinite velocity to occupy every point in the universe.

KIM: Nothing in the universe can go warp ten. It's a theoretical impossibility. In principle, if you were ever to reach warp ten, you'd be travelling at infinite velocity.

....

JANEWAY: It would appear that the theory of infinite velocity is correct. It may be possible to occupy every point in the universe simultaneously.

As to the shape of the universe, it would appear that the physical universe (consisting of all matter) is expanding into a infinite void and is roughly spherical.

We see it from the outside (at the ripe old age of about 2 seconds) in VOY: Death Wish.

enter image description here

|improve this answer|||||
  • 13
    I don't see how the quote implies that the universe is infinite in extent; even a finite universe could require infinite velocity to be everywhere simultaneously. Beyond that, the quote doesn't even imply that that infinite velocity is even required; it could be a sufficient but not necessary condition. – Daniel R. Collins Nov 29 '19 at 2:50
  • No. Just no. Not even the writers of "Threshold" consider it canon. – Jasper Nov 29 '19 at 13:55
  • @Jasper - You are mistaken. They consider it terrible, but not non-canon. – Valorum Nov 29 '19 at 17:20
  • @DanielR.Collins - The universe must be infinite in extent in order for infinite velocity to be a requirement. Otherwise a lower speed could be used. QED – Valorum Nov 29 '19 at 17:22
  • 2
    @Valorum. That's not true. E.g.: Say the universe has 100 particles and your speed is 1000 particles/sec (or whatever units make sense); then you're "at" each particle at best every 0.1 sec, not simultaneously. Change those to whatever finite numbers you like and you still get a finite delta between particles. Only infinite velocity serves to bring the time delta ratio to zero. (Or alternatively a universe with zero particles.) – Daniel R. Collins Nov 29 '19 at 22:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy