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Coordinates

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Constitution helm console with viewer
Destination coordinates were laid in at the helm console
Regula I transport console
Transporter coordinates on the transporter console

Coordinates, also known as galactic coordinates or spatial coordinates, were a set of two, three or four numbers used to indicate the location of a star, a planet, an asteroid field or any other object or position in space. When setting a heading for a starship, the course was laid in to the destination coordinates at the helm console. (ENT: "Stratagem"; VOY: "Unity"; Star Trek Into Darkness)

A set of coordinates was also used to indicate a specific location on a planet or a planetoid. Surface or underground coordinates were used as transporter coordinates when beaming up from or down to a planet with the transporter. A set of two or three vector coordinates were used to determine a location. These coordinates could be automatically obtained by locking onto a communicator signal or by tying into the ship's sensors. They could also be manually input into the transporter console. (TOS: "A Piece of the Action", "Day of the Dove", "The Mark of Gideon") These coordinates were labeled as vector coordinates in the lambda, psi and phi axis on the transporter console. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Examples of galactic/spatial coordinates

Constellation class tactical station
Maxia Zeta system at coordinates 16453/452.45
  • 21 alpha prime/936 zeta: The spatial coordinates of the USS Voyager in the Delta Quadrant in 2372 on stardate 49123.5621. (VOY: "Relativity")
  • 121-mark-6: A location inside Sector 38 in the Delta Quadrant near Tak Tak space. USS Voyager was found adrift at these coordinates in 2373 after the crew had been infected by a macrovirus. (VOY: "Macrocosm")
  • 140-mark-317: A location of space in the Delta Quadrant. A Kazon buoy dropped at these coordinates was used by Seska to relay a communication to the USS Voyager in 2372. (VOY: "Basics, Part I")
  • 227-mark-359: Coordinates of Iconia, inside the Romulan Neutral Zone. (TNG: "Contagion")
  • 237.101: A location of space near the planet Vagra II. After experiencing an onboard systems failure, the drifting shuttlecraft 13 of the USS Enterprise-D was caught in the planet's gravity at these coordinates and crash landed in 2364. (TNG: "Skin of Evil")
  • 314-mark-21: Coordinates of a small Kazon raider in the Delta Quadrant moments before it attacked the USS Voyager in 2372. (VOY: "Basics, Part I")
  • 370.236: A location of space in the Zed Lapis sector. Shuttlecraft 13 experienced an onboard systems failure at these coordinates in 2364. (TNG: "Skin of Evil")

Examples of surface/underground coordinates

Gravett Island, map
Gravett Island at coordinates 18/136/128

Appendices

See also

Background information

According to Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, (page 36) spatial coordinates are used to establish a standard galactic X, Y and Z position.

According to Star Trek Maps, the XYZ spatial coordinates 0,0,0 used by the Federation are those of a central navigation beacon located near the core worlds of the Federation. The galactic XYZ values are in a grid in relation to this central beacon. Units in the grid are parsecs. The first value X is the distance towards (positive) or away from (negative) the center of the galaxy. The second value Y is the distance towards the left "Alpha Quadrant" direction (positive) or the right "Beta Quadrant" direction (negative). The third value Z is the distance in the galactic north direction upwards (positive) or galactic south downwards (negative) away from the galactic plane. Based on the various canon references, the system of coordinates used in Star Trek appears to be more complex than this.

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