Author Topic: Why the Blue Glow?  (Read 15364 times)

Offline Edymnion

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Why the Blue Glow?
« on: April 14, 2009, 07:09:37 PM »
We've seen nacelles without blue glowie bits (pretty much no federation ship before TNG had them), but it seems every ship after that had glowing blue nacelles.  Even the older ships like the Mirandas eventually got an onscreen upgrade to the blue and red nacelles.  Other than the fact they look cool on screen, was there ever a reason given as to why they're there some times, but not others?

I could almost see it as being part of the explanation for change in the warp speed scale (as in, whatever advancement required the scale to be changed included blue glowie stuff), but the NX-01 had blue nacelles as well.  Seems odd that you'd start with tech, abandon it for a couple hundred years, and then go back to it?

Offline Data007

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2009, 08:26:02 AM »
What changed between Enterprise and TNG was the introduction of what looks like fully enclosed nacelles for a time, such that a blue glow, in that period, wasn't visible. As it stands, the nacelles in Ent seemed to be able to open to space for cooling, among other reasons. Maybe cooling systems during TOS caught up with warp drive to the point where open nacelles weren't necessary. It would seem that TNG, and in part, the movies, there was a progression back towards grilles for maybe two reasons. Maybe cooling wasn't able to stay up to snuff, and materials developed allowed the open design to used in conjunction with artificial cooling, adding a level of redundancy.
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Offline Stoo

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2009, 10:14:54 AM »
Space is a horrible conductor of heat, I don't think just being open to it would help cooling all that much.

Offline Edymnion

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 11:26:56 AM »
Well, for pure thermal heat, yes.  I would think in this context though the term "cooling" and "heat" would refer to some other form of energy that needs to be bled off for whatever reason.

The interesting part though is that the blue glow intensifies when going to warp, and it appears to be "fuzzy", as if there were a type of fog around the nacelle.  Perhaps they aren't actually glowing with a visible blue light, but a form of harmless radiation that excites the retina directly.  Sort of like how real life astronauts see flashes of light when cosmic rays pass through their retinas.

Perhaps for a period it was feared this radiation was harmful, so it was blocked off and/or redirected.  Who knows, maybe a "warp trail" and the residual "warp signature" is actually lingering radiation from the blue glowie stuff.  Come to think of it, weren't the warp trails that were shown on consoles typically colored blue (or sometimes in sparkles)?

Offline QuantumData

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 05:28:33 PM »
Actually they could've had the blue glow with the original Enterprise. Have you seen the nacelle?s that point towards each other?

Check out this image from Ex Astris Scientia here:

http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/scans/mechanics/eo1a.jpg

And you'll see the left engine is why I believe they could've had the blue glow. There is a strip of something (I;m not sure what it is)on the side that faces the other nacelle.

Not to mention the glow from the front of the nacelles.

So just because they didn't have the blue glow does not mean it never could've or should've happen.

Offline Edymnion

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2009, 10:18:07 PM »
Entirely possible that Gene wanted the glow from the start but couldn't afford it (TOS is famous for it's shoestring budget).  But its still a case of should have, could have, would have, didn't.

Offline ZardoZ

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2009, 12:43:21 PM »
Even in TMP was a bit of blue glow (watch when the Enterprise go to warp speed, or when Spock, Kirk and McCoy speak in a room where we can see the warp nacel glowing in warp speed).

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Offline Edymnion

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2009, 12:32:15 PM »
Trek Remastered Trouble With Tribbles special effects comparison page has some good shots of the TOS Enterprise's nacelles:
http://trekmovie.com/2006/11/05/the-trouble-with-tribbles-screenshots-debut-new-cgi-enterprise-model/

The best views are on the remastered CGI ship, of course, but there are enough original shots to show that the remastered version is accurate.  There definitely is something on the inside of the nacelles, but its definitely now glowing.

Offline QuantumData

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2009, 10:38:38 AM »
Hey thanks. This shot:

http://trekmovie.com/wp-content/uploads/tribbles/new_k7_approach_2.jpg

Shows exactly what I was trying to point out.

But upon being able to have a clearer shot, then perhaps I was mistaken somewhat.

But I still think they could've had that blue glow in the nacelles because of the glowing "orbs" in front of the nacelles.

And from an aesthetic look, the glow does go well with the engines.


Offline Talon Lardner

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2009, 06:37:50 PM »
Hey thanks. This shot:

http://trekmovie.com/wp-content/uploads/tribbles/new_k7_approach_2.jpg

Shows exactly what I was trying to point out.

But upon being able to have a clearer shot, then perhaps I was mistaken somewhat.

But I still think they could've had that blue glow in the nacelles because of the glowing "orbs" in front of the nacelles.

And from an aesthetic look, the glow does go well with the engines.



I'm willing to vote this way too. I'm willing to bet that the blue glow in-universe is most likely some sort of stylistic choice, a way of showing a ship to be of "Starfleet Shipyard" heritage as opposed to being of a civilian or otherwise heritage.

Offline Species 3.14159...

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2009, 10:02:26 PM »
 I was thinking something similar regarding the Colour Blue!
Why, when the/A Star-ship is travelling at Warp or even impulse speed, aren't Stars shifted to the Blue end of Spectrum and Red after they fall astern? ::)

Offline Edymnion

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2009, 05:15:43 PM »
I was thinking something similar regarding the Colour Blue!
Why, when the/A Star-ship is travelling at Warp or even impulse speed, aren't Stars shifted to the Blue end of Spectrum and Red after they fall astern? ::)
Actually, the streaks we see at warp speeds are not supposed to be stars going by, as the ships simply don't move *THAT* fast.  They're supposed to be interstellar debris (micrometeoroids, stray bits of dust, etc) that the navigational deflector are moving out of the ship's path.  Since the ship is going so fast, the deflector is imparting a great deal of energy to these particles to move them out of the way in time, which in turn makes them bleed some of that energy off as visible light.  And since they are moving around the ship relative to the ship's speed, they don't red/blue shift.  By the time they are behind the ship, they're out of the deflector's influence, and they stop glowing at all.

The real question regarding what you see at warp speed is how we can see anything *AT ALL*.  Logically, if you're moving faster than light, then no light from behind you should ever be able to catch up, hence everything behind you should be pitch black.  While at the same time, you're plowing into the light in front of you at such speeds, it would appear to compress well outside of the visible spectrum, meaning that to the naked eye it should appear black as well (but would in actuality be blindingly bright in the microwave direction of the spectrum).  Only a ring around the middle should have any visible light at all.

Offline Species 3.14159...

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2009, 03:06:06 AM »
Oh, so that's it!  ::)
 I didn't know that Micro-Meteors and dust existed inside a warp bubble!
 btw,Those "glowing" particles ARE visible behind the ship as seen from the Miain Confrence room! 

 Getting back on Topic,  Red or Blue light on Fed ships Nacelles?
 Well, the Borg and Romulans use Green,
The Jem Hadar like Purple!
The Ferengi prefer Orange! 
 And Species 8472's bio-ships YELLOW

 The real answer,in M.H.O is that back in TOS daze Red was the colour of all things cocidered fast. (Or Gene's fav Colour!) 

N.b, I know Borg Cubes don't Use Nacelles but they still prefer Green, .... It must be soothing!

 
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 11:05:16 PM by Species 3.14159... »

Offline Xero

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2009, 04:34:46 AM »
^^^ Ok, what?
"Well Steve, I think it's more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it." - Bill Gate's response to Steve Jobs' accusation of theft.

Offline Species 3.14159...

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2009, 04:48:09 AM »
^^^ Ok, what?

 Color is Cultural!

It has naught to do with Heat exchange, Warp factors or .....what-ever!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 05:36:09 AM by Species 3.14159... »

Offline Bernd

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2009, 03:35:57 PM »
A good fictional explanation (from Jason Hinson) is that there is energy from subspace flowing back into the nacelles, hence the plasma conduits are behind a grille as a window to be replenished. The original Enterprise either didn't take advantage of this effect, or it was designed with nacelle cowlings that are "transparent" to the subspace energy without being visibly transparent.

Offline Edymnion

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2009, 02:02:28 PM »
I don't know if I like that answer, but it does give me an idea for basically the opposite.

That the nacelles generate subspace radiation, and that a substantial amount of shielding is required to block it.  In ye olden days, they didn't worry about, hence glowie stuff on the NX-01.  By TOS, starfleet engineering went through a period where they thought the radiation was in fact harmful, so they added the additional shielding.  By TNG era, they had enough data to conclude that no, the radiation is not harmful, so they stripped the heavy shielding back off.

Offline Bernd

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2009, 03:50:22 AM »
That's a good explanation too. Under the assumption that the same shielding would block subspace radiation just as visible light.

Offline lt ponytail

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2009, 09:52:59 AM »
my guess is the reason different races use different colors is they started out using different manufacturing techniques, which resulted in different crystal structures in the warp grilles or something like that, so that gives different colors.
The reason the different races have all not adopted the same technique is because of unspoken agreement that they won't

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Offline Edymnion

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2009, 01:01:53 PM »
Well, its not so much about why different races have different colors, its more about why Federation ships had glowie nacelles at first, then did not, then did again.

Offline jgallaway81

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2009, 01:27:07 PM »
I thought it was plainly simple... the TOS tech people couldn't afford/design blue glowie lights into the nacelles of the model. ::) :P

Offline Edymnion

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2009, 03:42:52 PM »
Yeah, we covered that farther up in the thread. :P

Offline lt ponytail

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2009, 12:10:51 PM »
for the shielding-what if they thought the subspace radiation was actually "sucking" energy out of the plasma conduits in the TOS era, and then they realized that it actually enhanced the warp drive somehow around TMP?
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Offline Edymnion

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2009, 02:27:48 PM »
I'm personally leaning towards it being some sort of Cherenkov radiation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherenkov_radiation

Offline ZardoZ

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Re: Why the Blue Glow?
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2010, 11:52:50 PM »
The Enterprise refit in Star Trek The Movie, have a little blue glow when is at warp.
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