|Quadrants of the|
Milky Way (clickable)
History[edit | edit source]
- For a detailed list of historic events, see Chronology and related articles.
The Milky Way is estimated to be between 12 and 13 billion years old, based on the analysis of some of its oldest structures.
The history of sentient life in the Milky Way started four billion years ago, when the Preservers came into existence. They were the first known sentient species in the galaxy and subsequently seeded many worlds with the potential to develop life in their own image. Ever since, the Milky Way has seen the rise and fall of many powerful empires, including the T'Kon and the Iconians about 200,000 years ago.
In more recent history, interplanetary empires have formed in all corners of the galaxy and cross-galactic diplomatic relations have been established, connecting all four quadrants via wormholes, gateways and subspace networks. While such extensive travel between areas of the Milky Way is fairly new in recent history, several older cultures have been able to cross the Milky Way in the distant past, among them the Iconians and the Voth.
Political organization[edit | edit source]
The explored galaxy is known to be governed by several dozen interstellar powers. The Alpha and Beta Quadrants are dominated by the Federation, Romulans, Klingons and, to a lesser extent, Cardassians. There are several smaller powers across these quadrants but the major three powers cooperate in the for on an Alliance. In “Surface Tension” the Alliance forces are called by the Iconians "The Heroes of the Milky Way".
The known Delta Quadrant, traditionally under a strong Borg presence, is divided between major different species and, in 2410, was being overrun by the Vaadwaur. The Alliance extended its influence into the Delta Quadrant in the form of the Delta Alliance, unifying many local species against the threat.
The Gamma Quadrant near the wormhole is primarily controlled the Dominion. They are typically antagonistic towards the Alpha Quadrant powers since first contact, but they aided the Alliance during the events of “Midnight” which was the first known time forces from all four quadrants united against a common enemy.
In “The Temporal Front” it was revealed that by the 28th Century most major powers would become part of a Galactic Union. The Union, either by direct membership or its influence on others, ensured all major powers in the Milky Way would sign the Temporal Accords.
Astrogeography[edit | edit source]
The Milky Way is roughly 100,000 lightyears in diameter and between 900 and 3,000 light years thick. It contains an estimated 100 - 400 billion stars, as well as nebulae and various spatial anomalies.
The galaxy is commonly divided into four quadrants, the Alpha Quadrant, the Beta Quadrant, the Gamma Quadrant and the Delta Quadrant. The border of the Alpha and Beta Quadrant runs right through the Sol System. At Milky Way is bounded by a "Galactic Barrier" that, until the 23rd century, prevented passing in and out of the galaxy by starships.
There are two known permanent pathways which connect distant parts of the Milky Way. The Bajoran Wormhole connects the Alpha and Gamma Quadrant, crossing almost 70,000 lightyears. The Iconian gateway network connects the Beta and Delta Quadrant via the Jenolan and Solanae Dyson Spheres. The network also leads to the Andromeda Dyson Sphere, presumably located in the Andromeda Galaxy.
Galactic Neighborhood[edit | edit source]
The Milky Way is part of the so-called "Local group", a structure of several galaxies bound by gravity. Of these galaxies, the Milky Way is the second largest one, with the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy being almost 160,000 lightyears in diameter. Contact between cultures of the Milky Way and other galaxies has been sparse, mostly due to the immense distances between galaxies.
Sectors and Star Systems[edit | edit source]
Only a small fraction of the Milky Way has been explored, and just a specific section playable in Star Trek Online. Each quadrant is broken down into sectors which then contain one or more star systems (and other areas such as nebula or space stations. Travel between star systems takes place in sector space. System Descriptions are seen in sector space upon close approach to a system or station.
The Alpha and Beta Quadrants are the home-quadrants of the majority of factions. The Delta Quadrant has six accessible sectors for higher level players. The Gamma Quadrant, as of Victory is Life is home to the Gamma Quadrant Battlezone.
There is one further area of space that can be explored, and that is the 23rd century Beta Quadrant. This area is only available to 23rd Century Starfleet players prior to playing “The Battle of Caleb IV”.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The layout of sectors and star systems in-game is largely based upon the book Star Trek: Star Charts, created by Geoffrey Mandel in the early 2000s. A few cases of artistic license are encountered, however.
- The traversable section of the Beta Quadrant spans approximately 200 light years.
- The traversable section of the Delta Quadrant would span close to 40,000 light years, going by the Star Charts and on-screen evidence seen in Star Trek: Voyager. It spans territory from the Northwest Passage as seen at the end of Voyager's third season, up to Vaadwaaur space, encountered in the show's sixth year. At that time, the U.S.S. Voyager had crossed vast distances of space several times. This huge section of space has been heavily condensed for playability.