Cookie Usage Statistics Colour Key Sudden Death Monthly Poll Caption Comp eMail Author Shops
Ships Fleets Weaponry Species People Timelines Calculators Photo Galleries
Stations Design Lineage Size Charts Battles Science / Tech Temporal Styling Maps / Politics
Articles Reviews Lists Recreation Search Site Guide What's New Forum
The Original Series
Cast Crew Episodes list Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Best of trek Worst of trek
The Next Generation
Cast Crew Episodes list Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7 Best of trek Worst of trek
Deep Space Nine
Cast Crew Episodes list Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7 Best of trek Worst of trek
Cast Crew Episodes list Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7 Best of trek Worst of trek
Cast Crew Episodes list Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Best of trek Worst of trek
The Animated Series
Cast Crew Episodes list Season 1 Season 2 Best of trek Worst of trek
Films List The Motion Picture The Wrath of Khan The Search for Spock The Voyage Home The Final Frontier Undiscovered Country Generations First Contact Insurrection Nemesis Star Trek Star Trek Into Darkness Star Trek Beyond
Encyclopedia Chronology TOS Tech Manual TNG Tech Manual DS9 Tech Manual TNG Companion DS9 Companion VOY Companion The Klingon Dictionary Mr Scott's Guide Inside Star Trek The Art of Star Trek Star Charts TOS Nitpickers TNG Nitpickers DS9 Nitpickers Quotable Star Trek
Gods of Night Mere Mortals Lost Souls
Taking Wing The Red King Orion's Hounds Sword of Damocles Over a Torrent Sea Synthesis Fallen Gods
Starbase Vanguard
Harbinger Summon The Thunder Reap The Whirlwind Open Secrets
Other Books
All books
Episode statistics Actor statistics Writer statistics Director statistics Rating system

Neutron Stars

Universe : Prime Timeline
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

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


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

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 18,234 Last updated : 1 Jan 1970