Warp drives are supposed to be devices that alter the shape of space to facilitate very quick travel of very large distances. Now what happens if you take this fantastical potentially legitimately possible machine and direct it immediately at some heavenly body and either contract or expand some or all of it drastically?

Does reality just not notice the stretching? can you literally core out a moon? Could you destabilize a star?

closed as off-topic by Ward, The Fallen, Izkata, Stan, John O Apr 4 '14 at 3:17

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    This is not a "too broad" question - this is off-topic due to the science nature - seeking real-world explanations. – The Fallen Apr 4 '14 at 2:51
  • Wasn't there a very specific episode of TNG that dealt with this exact thing? I think "too broad" in this case is problematic because different canons have "warp" affecting the universe in different ways. What one might do, another wouldn't. Where one's benign, the other could be cataclysmic. – Zibbobz Apr 4 '14 at 13:17

I'm going to take a wild stab at this with my limited knowledge and hope that I make sense. Have you ever seen light distorted around the edges of a black hole when it is viewed from a certain vantage point? When an incredibly dense object bends the fabric of space, it creates an immense gravitational pull around it that essentially sucks in every particle of anything ever, and all those particles become a part of the incredibly dense object at the "bottom" of this black hole. It destroys everything nearby because it creates this pull.

When we warp travel, however, we don't alter any gravitational fields. We have theoretically harnessed the power to bend space (possibly aided by antimatter as in Star Trek) like a black hole might. We can jump across large distances by wrinkling up space and moving across these divots. Before warping, space captains often plan their trajectory to avoid hitting anything that might be in the "cracks" of the divots they hop across. We have to assume that the objects that are moving within the fabric of space are at least somewhat fixed in their positions when we bend space. They are not affected by the warp, but they do not necessarily "ignore" it, or else we would just smack into unmoved objects.

Imagine a drawing on a piece of paper. We crumple the paper, but the drawing remains relatively intact on the paper. This is theoretically how objects in space would behave if we warped space without changing gravitational fields.

I really hope this doesn't sound ridiculous.

  • Have you ever seen light distorted around the edges of a black hole when it is viewed from a certain vantage point? - No, personally I can't say that I have. Do you have something to share with us? =) – Izkata Apr 4 '14 at 4:01

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