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"Why Time In The Star Trek Universe Makes No Freaking " Topic

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613 hits since 7 Jun 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse07 Jun 2018 3:32 p.m. PST


"For some inexplicable reason, it appears that the entire Star Trek universe has adopted Earth's system of time -- 24-hour days, seven-day weeks, and 365-day years. But why should a Romulan or Ferengi conceptualize the passage of time based on the rotation of one lone planet in the Terran system? Sure, there are "stardates," but those are a "complex mathematical formula" that's notoriously inconsistent and incorporates the season of whatever episode mentions the date. In short, they're not practical, and they sure don't explain a number of Trek's time-related quirks. Such as …"
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Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2018 6:58 p.m. PST

Is it just possible that the person who wrote this article is overthinking the "problem"?

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2018 8:07 p.m. PST

Time passes slowly in mom's basement.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

whitphoto07 Jun 2018 10:09 p.m. PST

Like my dad used to say "because it's in the script…"

billthecat07 Jun 2018 11:51 p.m. PST

…Umm, most things in the StarTrek universe make no sense…

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2018 3:02 a.m. PST

I think you can enjoy Star Trek and poke holes (or drill entire tunnel networks) at the same time as a purely intellectual exercise.

DyeHard08 Jun 2018 8:48 a.m. PST

I noticed in Deep Space Nine they have a 26 hour day:


Zyphyr08 Jun 2018 2:29 p.m. PST

Two words… Translation Convention. Those other groups don't use Earth time systems. Things just get translated for our convenience.

Gardensnake08 Jun 2018 5:37 p.m. PST

It's really simple. In universe, Star Fleet has it's headquarters in San Francisco on Earth and thus the Federation synchronizes with it's headquarters. Real world it's a show created here on Earth and the audience relates to real world times.


PaddySinclair08 Jun 2018 7:11 p.m. PST

There may be an argument for "years" being roughly comparable for humanlike species coming from Earth-like planets being down to the physics of the situation. Earth sized planets around G2 stars in the habitable zone would be at around the same distance from their star hence have a similar orbital period.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2018 7:35 p.m. PST

I recently tried to come up with a reasonable and logical "Stardate" formula, as the show didn't have one. (Reportedly, TNG's formula began with the current television season number, included random string of whatever-the-writer-thought-of numbers, and then ended with a "percentage of day" after the "dot." TOS had no formula at all, save for internal episode consistency.) I theorized a date could be based on galactic coordinates followed by local dating conventions counting millennia, centuries, decades, years and months, and ending with a percentage of day. But that produced some long Stargates. So I then tried a system that made the Stardate ship and mission specific, basically consisting of months since launch/last refit, followed by time on current mission in days then percentage of current day. And then I gave it all up as a confusing waste of time…

Oberlindes Sol LIC08 Jun 2018 8:42 p.m. PST

Gene Roddenberry explains star dates very well in The Making of Star Trek.

Research reveals this interesting data:


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse09 Jun 2018 11:33 a.m. PST



Mobius17 Jun 2018 5:49 p.m. PST

Zyphyr, has the answer. It's done in our minds. Like movies without subtitles, they are all speaking English so translate the date to GMT earth time as well.
Now, with FTL speeds there has to be a lot of confusion when they return from a mission before they leave. But, hey.

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