Dyson Sphere

PLANETARY PROFILE
  • Planet Name: Dyson Sphere 1
  • Class: M (see below)
  • Moons or Rings: No moons
  • Gravity: 1.0 G
  • Climate: Standard atmosphere, 71% hydrosphere, moderate temperature
  • Demographics: No natives
  • Civilization: No remaining civilization except Federation researchers
  • Resources: Engineering theories

Located near Norpin Colony on the outskirts of Federation space, the first catalogued Dyson Sphere managed to evade visitors for several years after its inadvertent discovery in 2294, because the only ship that located it crashed there. Until the discovery of the sphere, the Federation had assumed such technology improbably difficult to implement. This discovery, of course, changed all manner of notions about engineering – and about what sorts of precursor races may have lived in the Galaxy.

Though the Jenolen crash landed on the Dyson Sphere in 2294, it wasn’t until the Enterprise-D arrived in the 24th century that any survivors were found – and only one, at that.

LOCATION

The Dyson Sphere encloses a yellow G type star in the Alpha Quadrant near the Federation’s Norpin Colony on Norpin V. The discovery of the Sphere was something of a shock; because it completely enclosed its supporting star, it was difficult to detect until astronomers knew what they were looking for. The Federation considers the location of the sphere inside of UFP boundaries to be a happy coincidence – many admirals dreaded the possibility of threat races stumbling across such a discovery and learning the engineering secrets thereupon.

CLIMATE

Although the Dyson Sphere is an artificial construct, it does have a class M atmosphere generated and maintained by internal equipment. The surface shows no signs of soil or attempts to lay down plant or animal life, though. Possibly such life forms died out, or were never placed.

GEOGRAPHY

“Geography” is a bit of a misnomer for an object of this type; the Dyson Sphere is 200 million kilometers in diameter, with an interior surface of several tens of trillions of square kilometers. The only distinctive geography takes the form of various mechanical conduits, doorways, and relays, the purposes of which have barely even begun to be mapped by Starfleet.

CIVILIZATION

Starfleet and Federation researchers still don’t know who built the Dyson Sphere, or why. It’s clear that the materials involved must have come from a great many worlds, but many nearby planets – such as Norpin V itself – show no signs of any strip-mining.

It is clear from the construction that the sphere was built by a species with the ability to terraform, and with the means and desires to build practical defenses. What sort of disaster could have decimated such a species before it could finish this feat, none can say. The fact that no other such spheres have yet been located seems to indicate that it was a solitary project for the builders – a feat of engineering to take the entirety of the race’s skill and resources. Perhaps the race was destroyed before it could complete the task – a possibility for a now-extinct race like the Iconians or Husnock – or perhaps the race transcended its physical form during the process and left the sphere abandoned.

HISTORY

As far as the Federation is concerned, the sphere is history – the final monument to an unknown race. The history most pertinent to Starfleet crew, however, concerns the sphere’s discovery and re-discovery. The USS Jenolen crash-landed on the sphere in 2294 while detouring to explore the mysterious feature. Only two crew members survived the crash, by remaining looped in a transporter pattern buffer. It was over seventy years later that the USS Enterprise-D discovered the sphere again and managed to retrieve a sole survivor from the buffer: none other than Montgomery Scott, former chief engineer of the Constitution-class Enterprise.

Since then, the Federation has kept the sphere under careful wraps, to prevent infiltrators from making off with its fantastic technology. A science team posted there with the aid of a specially-commissioned Nova-class vessel, the USS Freeman Dyson, continues to work on solving the puzzle of communicating with the sphere’s automation system.

PLACES OF INTEREST

In a sense, the Dyson Sphere is a place of interest: An artificially-built shell surrounding an entire star, with an interior surface area sufficient to hold most of the Federation’s citizens all at once. Until the Freeman Dyson’s staff makes a report on the safety of the shell, though – which probably won’t happen for several decades – any sort of colonization effort remains verboten. Instead, the sphere is a place for science and engineering architecture and marvels. Here, it’s proven that the “laws” of engineering really can bow to significantly dedicated minds.

In addition to doing research on the sphere itself, specialized computer science groups try to puzzle out the communications arrays of the sphere. Former attempts at communication led to the opening of various apertures that allowed ships like the Enterprise-D to enter the sphere, but also triggered defensive mechanisms. Since the scientists involved haven’t even isolated the computer system yet (which seems to be a grid distributed throughout the sphere’s area), this problem promises to be a long-term one.

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United Federation of Planets

Dyson Sphere

Star Trek Late Night StephenWollett