Spoiler alert

So the Enterprise is racing at warp speed across space in the direction of Earth when the Vengeance catches up and yanks it out of warp. IIRC, Sulu states that they are still something like 136,000 km from Earth, which is roughly 1/2 the distance that the Moon is from the Earth. So then this long action sequence occurs which climaxes when the Enterprise ends up suddenly caught in Earth's gravitational field and starts falling.

Hole #1 seems to be that 136,000 km is still so far from Earth that it would take a long, long time for Enterprise & Vengeance to drift close enough to Earth to begin falling in, even if they came out of warp with a substantial inertial motion.

Hole #2 seems to me to be that traveling at warp speed, even warp one (approximately light speed), the Enterprise should have been preparing to stop well before the point they were yanked out of warp. The speed of light is approximately 300,000 km/s so they were really only 1/2 second from earth at warp one.

So, is there anything I missed in these details that would explain these holes?

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    "suddenly caught in Earth's gravitational field and starts falling." Earth's gravitational field, just like the gravitational file of of the smallest speck of dust or largest galaxy, extends forever. So there is no possibility of it being 'sudden'. If the movie implies otherwise, it is a plot hole. – Andrew Thompson Jun 17 '13 at 18:23
  • Would the Enterprise need to "prepare" to stop? When you're traveling at superluminal or even transluminal speeds, there's no way human reaction time would be fast enough for object avoidance or precise stops. It would be up to a computer to calculate the exact moment to come out of warp. So what would you expect the Enterprise to do to while "preparing to stop"? – Lèse majesté Jun 18 '13 at 5:37
  • @Lèsemajesté I am just commenting on the fact that they did not seem to indicate that they were almost (less than a second) to their destination... it seemed as if they were just racing through hyperspace – zipquincy Jun 18 '13 at 15:38

No, you're not, and no, there really isn't.

This is a typical Star Trek issue, going all the way back to the 1960s: Star Trek nearly always ignores the realities of physics, except when it actually suits the plot to pay attention to them. Even then, as you've noticed, they still make physics do what they want it to do for story purposes, not what it would actually do. The fact is that the writers may be aware of these issues, but know that 90% of their audience aren't, and at least half of the ones who are still won't care because they know that Star Trek is not the place to look for accurate science!

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