6

At the end of the Star Trek reboot film, the Red Matter "ignites" and collapses into a singularity. This is occurring, if not in Earth orbit, then nearby and yet nobody seems concerned by this.

I could envision that it would be the least of their concerns at the time as they were busy trying not to be destroyed and, thinking about the science, the same mass should continue in orbit in the same manner. Yet in Into Darkness there continues to be no acknowledgement of the fact there's a black hole in orbit now. I would think this would be quite a concern or at the very least a massive inconvenience.

Did everyone just forget about it?

4
  • 3
    If I remember correctly, black holes (or singularities) vary in stability depending on size, or mass rather. Small black holes evaporate quickly.
    – Steam
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 18:24
  • 2
    Further more, I believe that the intense gravitation commonly attributed to singularities only occurs at and beyond the event horizon. Before that point, gravitation works normally. In fact, if you were to replace the Sun with a black hole of equivalent mass, the orbit of the planets would be largely unaffected.
    – Steam
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 18:27
  • FYI - The black hole generated from the red matter on the Romulan mining ship was after they had warped to an unknown distance.
    – Jared
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 21:34
  • Black holes also don't allow people to travel backwards in time. I don't think they were worried about scientific accuracy. ;) Commented May 23, 2013 at 23:06

3 Answers 3

4

I think that we can ascribe this to poor (or at least unclear) writing. The original screenplay seems to act like the black hole is within Earth's solar system, yet huge enough to have an effect on nearby stars(!). No mention is made regarding the effect on Earth, nor of the black hole's fate.

EXT. SPACE - CONTINUOUS

The JELLYFISH TILTS, earth receding far behind it -- Spock veers to avoid being blown apart -- Nero's ship gaining -- firing --

[next scene]

EXT. NARADA AND JELLYFISH - CONTINUOUS 226

SMASH! THE JELLYFISH EXPLODES, SPOCK SEEMINGLY KILLED -- AND IN THE BLAST, THE RED MATTER IGNITES! A MASSIVE BLACK HOLE STARTS TO FORM, THE BIGGEST ONE YET! STARS DRIFT TOWARD ITS CENTER, PULLED INTO THE SPHERE BY THE GRAVITY WELL AS IT STARTS TO EXPAND --


In the film's official novelisation, written by veteran sci-fi author Alan Dean Foster, almost the exact opposite occurs. Spock is described as having taken the ship out of the solar system (and into deep space) and the black hole is described as being a small, localised phenomenon which is heading away from Earth.

“The plasma drill has been severed and the platform has crashed into the surface!” This news was followed by an even more startling report.
“Ambassador Spock’s ship has been stolen and is heading outsystem!”

and

On screen and behind them, the last vestiges of the warship Narada collapsed inward and upon themselves as they passed the gravitational point of no return and vanished into the mini–black hole.

and

Nothing. The ship’s position relative to the system-departing anomaly did not change.

12

Prior to that, both the Jellyfish (Spock's ship), and the Narada warped away from Earth. So that singularity is in the vague 'vicinity' (measured in however far they traveled at warp) of the Sol system, but no where near Earth orbit.

3
  • 2
    Warp in the new Star Trek seems to be a somewhat fluid notion (much like TOS) since they appear to cover in minutes or hours what in ENT or TNG would have taken days or weeks, such as Earth to Qo'noS. Of course, the location of Qo'nos in Star Trek is also a very fluid thing.
    – BBlake
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 18:33
  • 1
    The Jellyfish was a 24th century ship and the fastest of its time. It's safe to assume that ship was well capable of Warp 9.9. However agreed that the enterprise would be much slower and the travel time does seem fluid as you say.
    – Jared
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 21:37
  • They travel at the speed of plot. Commented May 24, 2013 at 3:44
-4

Didn't you notice? The black hole evaporates shortly after ignition because unlike purple matter, red matter is only good for a short, unstable singularity due to the lack of blue catalyst. Everybody knows that anything with blue matter in it is stable and unmixed red is not.

2
  • 2
    I think this answer is intended to be funny rather than a serious attempt to answer the question asked.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 21:56
  • Oh Em Garfunkel, are all you eggheads this dull? Censure me! Ostracism! To the galleys! Get a life you freak shows!
    – Crackpot
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 5:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.