List of Star Trek regions of space
Several films and episodes of the science fiction franchise Star Trek were set in distinct regions of space. Some of these fictional locations exhibited anomalous physical properties. Others were defined as sensitive buffer zones under political accords.
This list describes some of the more significant such areas which were the setting for Star Trek films or story arcs over multiple television episodes.
Located in Star Trek's Alpha Quadrant, the Badlands was characterized by constant plasma storms and funnel clouds. The Maquis used it in several episodes as a meeting or hiding place because of its treacherous navigation. It was also known to have a few planets hidden within the clouds and nebulae.
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Bajoran wormhole 
In the fictional Star Trek universe, the Bajoran wormhole is a spatial anomaly located near the planet Bajor. It appears as an aperture of swirling golden-white light surrounded by blue clouds, which appears whenever a vessel approaches or exits from it and disappears again afterwards. The wormhole can only be traversed by ships traveling at impulse (sub-light speed) velocities.
The wormhole is discovered in the first episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It is found to lead from the Bajor-B'Hava'el system in the Alpha Quadrant to the Idran system in the Gamma Quadrant, seventy thousand light-years away on the other side of the galaxy. Due to the strategic importance of such a phenomenon, the Deep Space Nine space station is moved out of Bajor's orbit and repositioned near the wormhole where it acts as a gateway.
Starfleet Commander Benjamin Sisko and Lieutenant Jadzia Dax are the first people to make contact with the wormhole's mysterious creators who dwell inside it. Though these incorporeal beings are simply referred to as "Wormhole Aliens" by the Federation, they are revered as Prophets in Bajoran religion, and the wormhole itself is referred to as the "Celestial Temple". It is the wormhole aliens/Prophets who provided the Orb-like energy artifacts (or "Tears of the Prophets") to the Bajorans, and these mystical artifacts are the basis of Bajoran religion. The wormhole is closed at one point, as a result of one of the Orbs being temporarily rendered inert by the Pah Wraiths, malevolent non-corporeal beings who are enemies of the Prophets. It is later restored by the discovery of an additional orb by Benjamin Sisko who is prophesized to be the Prophets' Emmisary.
The Briar Patch 
Regions called "the Briar Patch" featured in more than one series.
Briar Patch in Star Trek: Insurrection 
The Briar Patch was a fictional nebula in sector 441 in the Star Trek universe. It was first introduced in the 1998 film Star Trek: Insurrection. While the nebula's visual characteristics are reminiscent of astronomical photographs, many of its more interesting properties were invented to support the film's storyline.
Located in Federation territory, the Briar Patch was a region of space which starships usually avoided. Various radiation sources and energy fluctuations impaired communications systems, making it difficult for vessels inside the nebula to make contact with those outside the nebula. Cloud pockets of metreon gas, a highly volatile substance of unknown composition, made travel through the nebula difficult as well. Warp drive could not be used, and even impulse drive was reduced in utility. The planet featured in Star Trek: Insurrection was a class-M world unusual for its possession of an intricate planetary ring system. The Ba'ku established a colony on the surface, where the colonists rejected most forms of advanced technology and attempted to create a utopian society. Some time after their arrival, the colonists discovered that "metaphasic radiation" from the Briar Patch, concentrated in the planet's rings, continually rejuvenated their genetic structure. Unbeknownst to the outside universe, the Ba'ku planet was effectively a fountain of youth.
Briar Patch in Star Trek: Enterprise 
The Klingon system Klach D'Kel Brakt was also given the designation "Briar Patch" by Dr Arik Soong in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "The Augments". At least two inhabitable planets existed there; Soong and his band of Augments attempted to reach the system and use it as a hideout. In 2272 it was also the site of a dramatic Romulan/Klingon confrontation, which was led on the Klingon side by the future Dahar Master Kor, who would re-enact the battle often with fellow Dahar Masters and veterans Koloth and Kang.
One and the same? 
Whether the Briar Patch seen in "The Augments" and later mentioned in "Blood Oath" was the same one seen in the film Star Trek: Insurrection is a source of confusion and disagreement among fans. Some argue that it may be a different area of space with the same name, and that Admiral Dougherty's words in Insurrection (“They’re calling this whole area the Briar Patch”) implied that it was a recently-discovered location. Other fans believe that the show's creators would not intentionally sow confusion by deliberately reusing a name for two different locations in a fictional universe without specific relevance to the plot, pointing out that the two locations appeared identical, and that the fact that two habitable planets were mentioned within it was a specific reference to the Ba'ku planet in Insurrection. These fans suggest that perhaps the anomalies of the area were not known to Arik Soong or anyone else until much later, as well as the starship improvements needed to withstand them, and that Michael Sussman, who wrote "The Augments", merely forgot the details of Insurrection which indicated that it was a recent discovery.
According to the non-canon Star Trek Star Charts, which is based on official production materials and on-screen diagrams, the two areas were distinct. The Briar Patch of Insurrection was located in Federation space a few hundred light years from the Klingon border, while Klach D'Kel Brakt was positioned on the far side of Klingon space, near the Romulan border. It should be noted the Star Charts book was released well before Enterprise's first season and contains a number of mistakes. An updated version if released could conceivably combine the two references for clarity.
The  wiki concludes that they are one and the same, citing evidence from both "The Augments" and Insurrection.
Delphic Expanse 
The Delphic Expanse, commonly abbreviated as "The Expanse", was the setting for the entire third season of Star Trek: Enterprise, first screened in 2003 and 2004.
The Expanse was approximately 2,000 light years across, surrounded by thick thermobaric clouds. Its edge was located approximately 50 light-years from Earth. It was the home of the previously unknown hostile races collectively known as the Xindi, but the crew of the Enterprise (NX-01) discovered that the Xindi were being manipulated into their enmity against humanity by other forces with vested interests in the region.
Intense gravitational distortions, similar to quantum singularities, made travel through the Expanse extremely difficult as it appeared that space did not obey the known laws of physics in the region. Travellers risked injury, disfigurement, or death if their vessels were not lined with the protective metal Trellium-D.
History of the Expanse 
Thousands of years ago, a number of spheres the size of small moons were constructed throughout the Expanse by trans-dimensional beings as a prelude to invasion. These were cloaked and their purpose was to alter the fabric of space in the region to make it habitable for the Sphere Builders. One area of space, 700 million kilometers wide and centrally located within a group of spheres, was distorted into a bubbling particle soup with an organic appearance. The spheres used artificial intelligence and operated as a network, with several serving command functions.
Because the spheres were cloaked, their exact number was unknown. Triannons believe that there were thousands of spheres. Xindi scientists, including Degra, determined that there were at least 78 spheres.
In 2037, a temporally-divergent starship Enterprise from 2154 became stranded in the Expanse. It would become a generational ship, dedicated to countering the Xindi threat destined to arise in the 2150s.
In about 2133, a group of Klingons entered the Expanse, but returned anatomically inverted (and still alive). Unsuccessful attempts to explore the region were also made by the Vulcan ships Seleya and Vaankara. The Seleya was later discovered, with its crew driven mad due to exposure to Trellium-D, and subsequently destroyed.
On February 13, 2154, Enterprise destroyed the network of Spheres, reverting the distorted space to its natural form, and gradually dissipating the thermobaric cloud barrier. The Expanse thus ceased to exist—becoming a normal, non-threatening region of space.
Although Enterprise Captain Jonathan Archer was shown a possible timeline in which the Expanse becomes a major threat to the future United Federation of Planets, this eventuality appears to have been eliminated following the successful destruction of the Spheres.
- External links
- Delphic Expanse at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- Delphic Expanse and its spheres at official site StarTrek.com
Galactic Barrier and Great Barrier 
In the Star Trek universe, the Galactic Barrier, also referred to as the Great Barrier or Energy Barrier, was an energy field that surrounds the Milky Way Galaxy. The field completely encompassed the galactic disk and prevented conventional starship travel beyond the edge of the galaxy. It was not clear whether the energy barrier was a natural or artificially created phenomenon.
Although numerous attempts to travel outside the galaxy were made, with various degrees of success, the barrier usually damaged or destroyed ships that tried to pass through it. It also had psychoactive effects, as some personnel gained powerful telekinetic and telepathic abilities if traveling near the barrier (in second pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before").
The barrier appeared as a pink band of light and, upon entering it, a ship was surrounded by dancing clouds of colorful energy. Inside the barrier, a ship's power and engines shut down and navigational systems became erratic.
The Galactic Barrier made its first appearance in the original series episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before", in which the crew of the USS Enterprise had to deal with those affected by the psychic powers of the field - as did the crew of the ill-fated SS Valiant which had encountered the same barrier, two centuries earlier.
It was encountered again in the episode "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" where the Enterprise became lost within the barrier and was saved by the astounding navigational skills of an alien passenger.
The barrier had also damaged an alien ship from outside the galaxy in the episode "By Any Other Name", stranding the aliens in our galaxy until they tried to steal the Enterprise and return to their home galaxy.
A second barrier at the core of the Milky Way was first revealed in the motion picture Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Being the only encounter ever shown, the only known reference is the "Great Barrier". This energy barrier at the core was thought to be impenetrable like the one at the edge of the galaxy; however, it was revealed that only mankind's natural fear of the unknown was keeping them from entering it.
- Non-canonical explanations
Various books have tried to explain the existence of the galactic barrier, although none of these are canonical:
- The Star Trek: The Q Continuum series of novels explained the two barriers, stating that they were created by the Continuum 600,000 years ago to keep one omnipotent being (known as The One) sealed away at the center of the Galaxy, and to keep another (known as '0', whose powers can rival even the Q) locked out of our galaxy forever due to both aliens' rampages and destruction of species.
- In William Shatner's novel Captain's Glory, Picard mentioned the events of the Q Continuum trilogy, but stated that the barrier was built by the proto-humanoids shown in "The Chase" 4 billion years ago to protect their "children" (the races they seeded across the galaxy) from a dark matter entity known as the Totality.
- The novel Q-Squared reveals the Galactic Barrier to be Q himself, in a time-tossed and temporally discorporated state.
- External links
- Galactic barrier at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- Great Barrier at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
Galactic Quadrants 
"Galactic quadrants" within Star Trek are based around a meridian that runs from the center of the galaxy through Earth's solar system, which is not unlike the system of quadrants used by astronomers. However, rather than have the perpendicular axis run through the Sun, as is done in astronomy, the Star Trek version runs the axis through the Galactic Center. Also, rather than ordinals, quadrants are designated by the Greek letters Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.
According to StarTrek.com, "if the great plane of the galaxy is viewed as a clockface and the 6 o'clock position bisects the Sol system" (when viewed from the galactic north pole), then the four fictional quadrants are as follow:
- Alpha Quadrant is the quarter appearing between 6 and 9 o'clock.
- Beta Quadrant is the quarter appearing between 3 and 6 o'clock.
- Gamma Quadrant is the quarter appearing between 9 and 12 o'clock.
- Delta Quadrant is the quarter appearing between 12 and 3 o'clock.
In the original Star Trek, "quadrant" refers to an area interchangeable with a sector. However, beginning with Star Trek: The Next Generation, the term refers to a system of four Greek-letter Galactic Quadrants.
"Alpha" and "Beta" Quadrants 
The Alpha Quadrant and the nearby areas of the Beta Quadrant are the primary setting of Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Enterprise. According to the Encyclopedia, the Federation is largely on the Alpha Quadrant side, but with parts in the Beta Quadrant; whereas the Klingon and Romulan Empires are mainly in the Beta Quadrant but extend in part into the Alpha Quadrant. The Star Trek Star Charts have the Romulans and Klingons entirely within the Beta Quadrant, as well as the Gorn Hegemony, the Son'a Solidarity and the Metron Consortium. Star Trek Star Charts further located the First Federation, Breen, Ferengi, Tzenkethi, Cardassians, Bajorans, Talarians and Tholians in the Alpha Quadrant.
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country implies that the Alpha/Beta border runs through, or is relatively close to, Federation space. The Star Trek Encyclopedia attributes this decision to rationalize a line in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, in which James T. Kirk claimed that the Enterprise was the only ship in a quadrant. Maps produced by the art staff for the series show that the Alpha/Beta border runs through the Sol system.
Star Trek Star Charts claims that the core worlds Vulcan (40 Eridani), Andoria (Procyon), Risa and the Rigel (Beta Rigel) systems are in the Beta Quadrant, with Tellar (61 Cygni), Trill and Betazed in the Alpha Quadrant.
The "Gamma Quadrant" 
The Dominion—antagonists of Deep Space Nine—controls a large portion of this quadrant. The Alpha Quadrant comes in contact with the Dominion—ruled by the Founder class of the Changelings—through the Bajoran wormhole, which is the primary source of conflict and setting of the series.
The "Delta Quadrant" 
Most of the information about the Delta Quadrant and its inhabitants comes from the series Star Trek: Voyager. This quadrant is largely unexplored by the United Federation of Planets, apart from the voyages of the USS Voyager, the USS Equinox, the USS Raven, briefly the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D, and the Federation citizens assimilated or de-assimilated from the Borg. The Delta Quadrant is home to the Borg Collective, the Kazon, the Vidiians, the Talaxians, the Ocampa, the Hirogen, and the Malon.
Galactic Core 
On some Star Trek maps of the center of the galaxy, the galactic core is regarded as its own area, not part of any of the four Quadrants. The Cytherians, from the Next Generation episode "The Nth Degree," are located near this area. In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, a "God"-being is encountered from within what is called the "Great Barrier" (see above).
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Nekrit Expanse 
The Nekrit Expanse was a vast unpopulated nebular region in the Delta Quadrant, several thousand light years across. It was impossible to chart due to its constantly changing structure. As a result of its size, the Expanse functioned as a natural barrier, limiting contact between species on either side of the cloud. USS Voyager entered the expanse in 2373.
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Neutral Zone 
In the Star Trek universe, a neutral zone was a sort of "buffer zone" between the territories of two different powers. If either party entered a neutral zone it was an aggressive move and usually considered an act of war. The Federation had two neutral zones: one with the Klingon Empire and one with the Romulan Star Empire. Used on its own, "the Neutral Zone" generally refers to the Romulan Neutral Zone. A Neutral Zone in all but name also existed between the Federation and the Cardassians.
Cardassian Demilitarized Zone 
There was a Federation-Cardassian demilitarized zone created at the end of hostilities between the two powers in the mid-24th Century. The peace treaty ending the war, and subsequent border adjustments, resulted in several Federation worlds within the zone being ceded to the Cardassians. Militant Federation colonists called the Maquis formed a guerrilla militia to oppose the treaty and their new Cardassian administrators. They received assistance from sympathetic Federation citizens, including several Starfleet officers, and from Bajoran veterans of the long Cardassian occupation of Bajor. The DMZ ceased to exist at the outbreak of the Dominion War in 2373; the Maquis were subsequently dismantled as a functional resistance group by a joint Cardassian-Dominion task force.
Klingon Neutral Zone 
The Klingon Neutral Zone, sometimes known as the Organian Neutral Zone, appeared to be set up during the time of the Star Trek: The Original Series. Unlike the Romulan Neutral Zone, the Klingon Neutral Zone appeared to have some commercial traffic crossing it.
The Organians were non-corporeal beings from the planet Organia IV, which was strategically situated between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. When both parties, thinking them a pre-industrial people, attempted to occupy their world, they revealed their posthuman nature and imposed the Neutral Zone and a peace treaty between the two powers. In Klingon it was known as orghenya' rojmab (Organian Peace Treaty).
The Klingon Neutral Zone was abolished by the Khitomer Accords in 2293.
Romulan Neutral Zone 
The Romulan Neutral Zone was established around 2160 or 2161 by the treaty that ended the Earth-Romulan War, and was still in effect at the end of Star Trek Nemesis. In the 2009 film Star Trek, specifically the events depicted in the year 2387, Romulus is destroyed when a star goes supernova (what effect this has on the neutral zone is unclear). Like the Klingon Neutral Zone, any entry by either party was considered an act of war. It was not violated until 2266, when the Romulans crossed it; a war, however, was avoided. The Enterprise (NCC-1701) crossed the Neutral Zone three times: once to get to a starbase quickly when the crew was suffering accelerated aging, once when it was commandeered by a group of disestablishmentarians in their quest for paradise, and once more to steal a Romulan cloaking device.
The Neutral Zone remained uncrossed during a period of extended Romulan isolationism. In 2364, several Federation and Romulan outposts along their respective sides of the Neutral Zone were destroyed by unknown forces. The Enterprise-D was ordered to investigate. While visiting some of the Federation sites, Captain Picard encountered a Romulan ship which had crossed the Neutral Zone. Each side suspected the other of being responsible for the attacks. This encounter, the first for over 60 years between representatives of the Federation and the Romulan Empire, ended peacefully. (These events occurred in the The Next Generation first-season episode "The Neutral Zone".) It was determined several months later that the destruction had been caused by the Borg. The following year, the USS Yamato crossed into the Neutral Zone to prevent the Romulans from finding the Iconian home world, an abandoned planet that contained highly advanced technology. In 2366 the Romulan scout ship Pi crashed just inside of Federation space, and a Romulan ship crossed over to recover survivors. Finally, in the same year, a Romulan defected to the Federation, breaching the Neutral Zone, warning of a secret plan to attack the Federation; the Enterprise-D, along with three Klingon warships, in turn, crossed the Neutral Zone to investigate the claim.
Subsequent covert incursions of the Neutral Zone included Captain Picard's secret mission to Romulus to find Spock, and the Romulans' plan to invade Vulcan using disguised Vulcan ships. An overt but lawful entry into the Neutral Zone occurred when the USS Bellerophon participated in a Federation-Romulan conference on Romulus during the Dominion War.
In Star Trek Nemesis, Shinzon said that he wished to take down the zone.
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Sector 001 
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Spatial anomaly 
In Star Trek and other science fiction, a spatial anomaly (or, very often, a sub-space anomaly) is a very broad term for any sort of extraordinary disruption in the space-time continuum. It may take the form of irregularities in gravity, ripples in space that can damage equipment and personnel, alterations in the laws of physics, and areas of disruption inimical to the human brain.
Other episodes featuring spatial anomalies were the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which the USS Enterprise-D encountered a "multiphasic temporal convergence in the spacetime continuum", caused by "an eruption of anti-time"; and a rare "graviton ellipse" discovered by USS Voyager in "One Small Step".
- External links
- Okuda, Mike and Denise, with Debbie Mirek (1999). The Star Trek Encyclopedia. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53609-5.
- The Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - February 1998 Volume 92 Number 1
- Star Trek: Enterprise episode "The Augments"
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Blood Oath"
- "Star Trek Alpha Quadrant". Startrek.com. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- Okuda, Mike; Denise, Okuda with Mirek, Debbie (1999). The Star Trek Encyclopedia. Pocket Books. pp. 8 (Alpha Quadrant), 43 (Beta Quadrant), 111 (Delta Quadrant), 167 (Gamma Quadrant), 393 (Quadrant). ISBN 0-671-53609-5.
- Trimble, Bjo (1995). Star Trek Concordance. Titan Books. ISBN 1-85286-676-4.
- Mendel, Geoffrey (2002). Star Trek Star Charts. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-7434-3770-5.
- Booker, M. Keith (2004). Science fiction television. Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-275-98164-8.
- Fair Trade (Star Trek: Voyager) and subsequent episodes