Author Topic: What's the difference between known space & explored space?  (Read 380 times)

Offline Shik

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What's the difference between known space & explored space?
« on: March 30, 2017, 03:22:14 PM »
No, seriously.

In the midst of revamping my writing with acceptable, semi-logical interstellar distances & volumetrics (which...don't even get me started...), I snagged myself on a semantic sandbar. The terms "known space" & "explored space" seem to be used interchangeably, but I don't feel they really are. In terms of exploration directives & knowledge ranges, they're different things, but I'm having difficulty setting down concrete definitions.

Currently, I'm leaning toward known space entailing all that's publicly accessible through knowledge; it may have been charted by subspace telescope or visited by probes, but the general layout is known. Explored space would be more detailed; actually visited by ships & crews, surveyed, plotted, mapped, all the bits sussed out. That seems a good layout...but.

Anyone care to opine?

Offline TNC

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Re: What's the difference between known space & explored space?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 05:05:13 PM »
I think that's a fair assessment.  "Known Space" would be anything that has at least been charted by a few probes or something and there's a decent understanding of the basics of what's out there, while "Explored space" has revived extensive surveys by ships.  Seems reasonable to me. 
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Online Fiery Little One

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Re: What's the difference between known space & explored space?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 05:17:48 PM »
Yeah, I think the way you're thinking is the right way to look at it. Afterall you could have characters who know about System A, but it could be something that hasn't been charted much, if at all, in the time since it was found.
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Offline Shik

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Re: What's the difference between known space & explored space?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 05:56:47 PM »
Yeah  I gotta work out the differences because...okay, in "Farpoint", they're at actual Deneb, some 2800 ly away from Sol. A few episodes, later, it's stated that in 3 centuries, humanity has charted 11% of the galaxy—that's 5.016 trillion cubic light-years. A year later, it's gone up to 19%, a total of 8.664 trillion lył. That's....an incredibly enormous volume.

Offline TNC

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Re: What's the difference between known space & explored space?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2017, 03:50:11 PM »
Sci-fi writers have no sense of scale.

I'd imagine it's not so much that humanity has charted 11-19% of the galaxy but that all the races in the Federation have charted 11-19% of the galaxy.  Granted there would probably be a lot of overlap between starcharts from the core member worlds.  Also we'd have to assume that the Federation might buy or trade for starcharts from friendly races, and Starfleet Intelligence might "acquire" starcharts from hostile races from time to time.  But yeah, this a huge amount of space.
“Battle is not a simulation. It’s blood and screams and funerals.” – Capt. Georgiou – Star Trek: Discovery – “The Vulcan Hello”