Search
Mobile Site Caption Comp Monthly Poll Sudden Death Book Reviews Game Reviews Colour Key Statistics Cookie Usage
Federation Ships Other Ships A-K Fleets Weaponry Species Standard People Timelines Calculators Photo Galleries Temporal
Space Stations Other Ships L-Z Design Lineage Size Charts Battles Alternate People Science / Tech Styling Maps / Politics Temporal Ships
Articles Reviews Lists Recreation Search Site Guide What's New eMail Author Links / Awards Shops Forum
Standard
People
Jonathan
Archer
Reginald
Barclay
Julian
Bashir

Chakotay
Christine
Chapel
Pavel A.
Chekov
Zefram
Cochrane
Beverly
Crusher
Wesley
Crusher

Damar

Daniels

Data

Dax
Richard
Daystrom

Degra
Gul
Dukat
Michael
Eddington
Emergency
Medical Hologram
Admiral
Forrest
Elim
Garak

Gowron

Guinan
Kathryn
Janeway
Kahless the
Unforgettable

Kes
Harry
Kim
Kira
Nerys
James
T. Kirk
Geordi
LaForge

Leeta

Lore
General
Martok
Travis
Mayweather
Leonard
H. McCoy

Morn
Admiral Alynna
Nechayev

Neelix

Nog
Keiko
O'Brien
Miles Edward
O'Brien

Odo
Tomas
Eugene Paris

Phlox
Jean-Luc
Picard
Dr. Katherine
Pulaski

Q

Quark
Janice
Rand
Malcolm
Reed
William
T. Riker
Ro
Laren

Rom
Alexander
Rozhenko
Worf
Rozhenko

Sarek
Hoshi
Sato
Montgomery
Scott

Seska
Seven
of Nine

Shran

Silik
Benjamin
Lafayette Sisko
Jake
Sisko
Dr. Noonien
Soong
Ambassador
Soval

Spock
Hikaru
Sulu

Surak
B'Elanna
Torres

T'Pau

T'Pol
Deanna
Troi
Lwaxana
Troi
Charles
Tucker III

Tuvok
Nyota
Uhura

Weyoun
Winn
Adami
Natasha
Yar
Additional
People
Crew
Manifests
The Original
Series
The Next
Generation
Deep
Space Nine

Voyager

Enterprise
NotesImages

Neutron Stars

Name : Neutron Stars1

All stars are composed of a colossal mass of gas which is engaged in a delicate balancing act. On the one hand gravitational forces are constantly attempting to cause the star to collapse; however, as they do the atoms in their core are crushed together under intense pressure and temperature. This causes them to fuse together, releasing a great deal of energy. This energy inflates the star, balancing out the gravity. This stage of a star's life can last for many billions of years.

As a star nears the end of its life it begins to run out of fuel. It can no longer release energy via fusion, and the gravitational forces finally win out and cause the star to collapse. The result is a supernova, a blast which ranks as one of the most powerful natural explosions known to Federation science. The outer layers of the star are blown away in the blast, but the core is compressed so powerfully that all of the atoms collapse in on themselves; the negative electrons are crushed into the positive centre of the atoms which they normally orbit. In a sense, the entire core of the star becomes a single neutral particle - a neutron star.

After they are formed neutron stars tend to spin very rapidly, emitting intense beams of energy from their poles. These sweep the sky like the beam of a lighthouse, and many pulsars can be detected as stars which flash brightly - pulsars. As the stars lose energy their rotation slows and eventually stops altogether, leaving a normal neutron star.

Neutron stars are somewhat common, but pulsars are rather rarer since they do not last very long. The Federation has considerable experience in observing both neutron stars and pulsars; in 2366 the Enterprise-D spent some time at a pulsar when an alien life form abducted Captain Picard from the ship and imitated him to take his place. The aliens were investigating the concept of authority, and to that end the duplicate Picard ordered the crew to approach to within a dangerous distance of the pulsar. The crew declined and the impostor was unmasked.2 Later in the same year the Enterprise-D assisted Dr. Paul Stubbs in his mission to investigate Kavis Alpha. This system consists of a star in orbit around a pulsar. Every 196 years the pulsar approaches close enough to pull stellar material from the surface of the star and onto itself, causing a huge explosion and expelling neutronium at relativistic speeds.1

In 2368 the Enterprise-D was tracking a fragment of a pulsar which was due to pass near to Moab IV. When a colony was discovered on the planet the Starship was able to use a modified tractor beam to alter the fragment's trajectory so as to reduce it's impact on the planet.3

In 2369 The Enterprise-D investigated another system similar to Kavis Alpha; the USS Yosemite had been investigating the system and had become trapped in a streamer of plasma which was passing between the star and the neutron star. The Yosemite had been crippled in an accident, but the Enterprise was able to rescue some crewmembers.4

Other ships have also encountered pulsars. In 2374 Voyager's captain piloted the ship directly between two pulsars which were in orbit of one another, a highly dangerous manoeuvre which she used to force alien ships attached to Voyager's hull to withdraw.5
Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation

References
# Series Season Source Comment
1 TNG 3 Evolution
2 TNG 3 Allegiance
3 TNG 5 The Masterpiece Society
4 TNG 6 Realm of Fear
5 VOY 4 Scientific Method
Series: TNG Season 3 (Disc 1)
Source: Evolution
Series: TNG Season 3 (Disc 4)
Source: Allegiance
Series: TNG Season 5 (Disc 3)
Source: The Masterpiece Society
Series: TNG Season 6 (Disc 1)
Source: Realm of Fear
Series: VOY Season 4 (Disc 2)
Source: Scientific Method


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 1,522 Last updated : 1 Jan 1970