Spatial Anomaly Classification

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Bajoran wormhole schematic.jpg

UFS Spatial Anomaly Classification

Unlike Stars, Planets and Nebulae, Spatial Anomalies cannot be classified by a generic system because of the differences with each type of anomaly. However there are certain characteristics with each spatial anomaly that can be grouped together to provide a general overview of what a specific anomaly is. Extreme caution is recommended when investigating both a known and newly discovered anomaly as many ships in starfleet have been lost within certain anomalies. Type of Anomaly's have been grouped together here with examples which have been explained.

Class 1 - Rift Anomaly

Son'a.jpg

Known examples: Spatial Rift, Dimensional Rift/Temporal Rift, Tyken's Rift, Bassen Rift, Briar Patch.

Class 1a - Spatial Rift

Also known as: N/A

First Discovered: Delta Quadrant

General Explanation: A Spatial Rift is physical opening in the space-time continuum which usually allows passage from one point to another.

Threat Level: Low-Medium

General Size: Varies from small rifts to allow a person to travel or huge ship-wide rifts that exist in space.

Example: In 2372, the USS Voyager encoutered a Subspace Divergence Field in which two ships were created. Both ships were linked by a Spatial Rift that had formed on Deck 15 and could be accessed by either side however travelling this way caused the person to lose conciousness due to the shock of spatial transition. It was possible to rig a portal phase discrimator in order to protect the person from the effects of the spatial transition.

Source: Declassified USS Voyager Log - "Deadlock" - 2372

Class 1b - Dimensional Rift/Temporal Rift

Also known as: Interdimensional Rift

First Discovered: Alpha/Delta Quadrant

General Explanation: A Dimensional/Temporal Rift generally allows for transition between two seperate points in space, time or even dimensions.

Threat Level: Low

General Size: Large rifts in space to allow transition of starships.

Example: In 2377, the USS Voyager encountered a temporal rift which Admiral Kathryn Janeway from a future time created via a chrono-deflector. The rift was stable enough to allow passage of her shuttlecraft through time and space to the Delta Quadrant however the device was produced too much tachyo-kinetic energy and burnt itself out, making it unusable for a return trip. The rift was then sealed by the USS Voyager prevent two Klingon vessels from entering it.

Source: Declassified USS Voyager Log - "Endgame" - 2377

Class 1c - Tyken's Rift

Also known as: N/A

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: Tyken's Rift is a large spatial anomaly that absorbs energy from starships. Named after Bela Tyken, the Melthusian captain who first encountered it. When Tyken was trapped in the rift, his analysis determined that a massive energy release might overload and dislocate the anomaly. Utilizing his cargo of anicium and yurium, Tyken was able to detonate the explosion, and subsequently escape through the ruptured center of the rift.

Threat Level: High

General Size: Huge anomaly present in space.

Example: n 2367, the starship Enterprise became trapped in a Tyken's rift after discovering the missing Federation vessel USS Brattain, whose crew had all killed each other. Fortunately, the crew were able to establish contact with aliens that were also trapped at the other side of the rift. The alien's telepathy disrupted the crew's normal REM sleep patterns causing the crew members to gradually become disorientated however they managed to establish contact with Deanna Troi. The Enterprise and the Alien ship were able to use Hydrogen, emitted from the Enterprises's Bussard collectors to create an explosion powerful enough to escape the rift unharmed.

Source: Declassified USS Enterprise-D Log - "Night Terror's" - 2367

Class 1d - Bassen Rift

Also known as: N/A

First Discovered: Beta Quadrant

General Explanation: The Bassen Rift was a region of space between Romulus and the Romulan Neutral Zone composed of extremely dense areas of stellar gas. The Rift interfered with all long-range communications, making contact with outside vessels impossible.

Threat Level: Low-Medium

General Size: Huge area of space spanning several light-years.

Example: In 2379, the USS Enterprise-E entered the Bassen Rift on it's way back from Romulus. The rift became the site of a battle between the Enterprise and the Reman Warbird Scimitar that had ambushed the Enterprise in this region as they were unable to contact Starfleet here.

Source: Declassified USS Enterprise-E Log - "Nemesis" - 2379

Class 1e - Briar Patch

Also known as: Klach D'Kel Brakt (Klingon)

First Discovered: Beta Quadrant

General Explanation: Area of space in the Beta Quadrant that contained dangerous space matter including the remains of supernovae, false vacuum fluctuations, metaphasic radiation and at least two habitable planets, one of which is a Ba'ku settlement.

Threat Level: High

General Size: Huge area of space spanning several light-years.

Example: In 2375 the USS Enterprise engaged two Son'a battleships in the Briar Patch in an effort to escape and contact the Federation about the situation of the forced relocation of Ba'ku people. The Enterprise was successful at using the metreon gas in the patch to disable the persuing Son'a ships.

Source: Declassified USS Enterprise-E Log - "Insurrection" -2375

Class 2 - Wormholes/Subspace Inversions

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Known examples: Stable Wormholes, Unstable Wormholes, Micro-Wormholes, Subspace Corridors.

Class 2a - Stable Wormholes

Also known as: Bajoran Wormhole

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: A wormhole is unique "tunnel" in space that travels through subspace to connect two points in in space. A stable wormhole means that both points are fixed in the same place and are located there permenantly. The presence of wormholes are associated with intermittent tachyon emissions accompanied by graviton flux. Starfleet has concluded that a phase-conjugate graviton beam can collapse a stable wormhole with damaging it.

Threat Level: Low

General Size: Large openings allow for fleets of Starships to enter.

Example: In 2369, the crew from Deep Space Nine discovered the first stable wormhole at Bajor. Although this wormhole was later discovered to be artifical in nature, created to house the extra-dimensional beings known as the prophets, the wormhole is still considered the only stable wormhole known to exist.

Source: Declassified Deep Space Nine Log - "Emissary" - 2369

Class 2b - Unstable Wormholes

Also known as: Barzan Wormhole, Khitomer Wormhole

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: An unstable wormhole is generally considered more dangerous to travel through, if possible as both sides are in a constant state of flux, either switching locations or prone to collapsing while as ship is present inside it.

Threat Level: High

General Size: Various sizes and openings but generally considered unsutable for travel.

Example: In 2381, the USS Wraith discovered the Khitomer Wormhole, allowing starfleet access to the Delta Quadrant and the chance to set up a colony there. This colony was given complete autonomy to fuction independantly from Starfleet Command at Sol. This led to the formation of United Federation Starfleet in the Delta Quadrant, located in the Pinastri system near the Nekrit Expanse.

Source: Histroy of United Federation Starfleet - Admiral Mike Calhoun - 2381

Class 2c - Micro-Wormholes

Also known as: N/A

First Discovered: Delta Quadrant

General Explanation: A micro-wormhole, is a wormhole in an advanced state of decay. Scans conducted by the USS Voyager revealed that micro-wormholes also tend to the have an unusual phase variance that serves as a division in time as well as space.

Threat Level: Medium

General Size: Very small, some no more then a centimeter in diameter.

Example: In 2371, the USS Voyager encountered a micro-wormhole which they used to transmit a message to a Romulan Science vessel on the edge of the neutral zone. It was later discovered, upon beaming the Romulan to Voyager that the wormhole was also a gateway in time as well as space and that he had come from twenty years in the past. In 2376, Reginald Barcley, at Project Pathfinder was able to use the MIDAS array to create a micro wormhole from a pulsar so that communication with the USS Voyager could be established.

Source: Declassified USS Voyager Log - "Eye of the Needle" - 2371, Pathfinder Project Report - Lt Barcley R.

Class 2d - Subspace Corridors

Also known as: Subspace Corridor Network, "Underspace"

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant (Later in Delta Quadrant)

General Explanation: A subspace corridor is a naturally occuring anomoly that allows for safe passage of ships and other objects through a layer of subspace from location to location much faster then conventional warp drive. These "corridors" can be artifically created by use of both Transwarp and Quantum Slipstream drives that also push the vessel out of normal space and into a layer of subspace for faster travel. Accidental entry can occure in subspace corridors as they are attracted to warp fields however a resonance pulse to adjust the vessels shield harmonics has been known to "push" the vessel out of the corridors and into normal space.

Threat Level: Low

General size: Large subspace tunnel networks can stretch thousands of lightyears through subspace.

Example: In 2154, the Enterprise NX-01 attempted to enter a subspace corridor while on route to the Xindi Council. This anomaly was found to be naturally occuring in the Delphic Expanse which dissipated after the destruction of the "Sphere" network later that year. Unfortunatly due the damage that Enterprise had sustained, their impulse manifold produced a partical wake which led to the vessel emerging in 2037. It was also discovered that it was impossible for the crew to return to there own time, however history was restored after the original Enterprise encounted the Enterprise from the year 2154 before they entered the corridor and ensured that they were successful, breaking the loop. In the Delta Quadrant, the USS Voyager was also pulled in a subspace corridor which were once used by the Vaadwaur, who referred to it as their "underspace". Both the Borg and the Voth are known to use drives that create subspace corridors and the newly commissioned USS Aviator-A also possesses Starfleet Quantum Slipstream technology.

Source: Declassified NX-01 Log - "E2" - 2154, Declassified USS Voyager log - "Dragon's Teeth" - 2375, Borg Species Report, Voth Species Report, United Federation Starfleet USS Aviator-A Schematics.

Class 3 - Energy Based Anomalies

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Known Examples: Cosmic String, Quantum Filament, Particle Fountain.

Class 3a - Cosmic String

Also Known As: N/A

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: A cosmic string is characterised by a very narrow width and powerful gravitational fields that are capable of pulling a starship inside. Cosmic strings are no wider then a proton but possess the same powerful gravitational forces as a black hole. Cosmic strings can be detected by the presence of highly accelerated interstellar gases, which serve to outline the string and make it visible to standard sensors. A cosmic string emanates a characteristic set of subspace frequencies as atomic particles decay along its event horizon.

Threat Level: High

General Size: Cosmic strings are very tiny but are usually visable from the stream of interstellar matter around them.

Example: In 2367, the USS Enterprise observed a Cosmic String while being trapped in the flow of two-dimensional beings that lived in the Cosmic String. The Enterprise was able to escape by creating stronger vibrations then the string to confuse the beings and break their hold on the ship.

Source: Declassified USS Enterprise-D Log - "The Loss" - 2367

Class 3b - Quantum Filament

Also Known As: N/A

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: Quantum Filaments are very dangerous anomalies. They have virtually no mass which makes them very difficult to detect. When they collide with a vessel, they momentarily "charge" the ship as if it had come in contact with a live electrical wire. This can cause a dangerous polarity shift in the antimatter containment fields around the antimatter pods of the vessel, causing the field to drop at an accelerated rate.

Threat Level: High

General Size: Quantum Filaments can be up to hundreds of meters long.

Example: In 2368, the USS Enterprise collided with two Quantum Filaments that did extensive damage the ship and could have caused the antimatter containment fields to collapse however this was resolved when the containment field was stablised and main power was activated.

Source: Declassified USS Enterprise-D Log - "Disaster" - 2368

Class 3c - Particle Fountain

Also Known As: Particle Stream

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: Very little is known about these Anomalies as Starfleet has lost over a dozen ships attempting to study one in the Alpha Quadrant.

Threat Level: Very Hight

General Size: Can span several thousand kilometers.

Example: In 2376, while attempting the persue the self-aware vessel dubbed "Alice", the USS Voyager encountered one of these mysterious anomalies. Study of such an anomaly was deemed to hazardous and when the crisis was over, the USS Voyager departed.

Source: Declassified USS Voyager Log - "Alice" - 2376

Class 4 - Dimensional/Spatial Area of Effect/State-Altering

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Known Examples: Null Space, Fluidic Space, Chaotic Space, The Void, Graviton Ellipse.

Class 4a - Null Space

Also Known As: N/A

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: Null space is an abnormal region of space. The pocket of space is filled with the bright light of condensed turbulent magnetic and gravitational fields absorbing all electromagnetic energy from anything that enters the phenomenon. The fields also bend all outside energy around the pocket, making it naturally cloaked.

Threat Level: Low

General size: Can be several lightyears in size.

Example: In 2368, the USS Enterprise encountered a pocket on Null Space while they were attempting to contact a J'naii shuttle that had gotten lost in the system. The Enterprise used a series of photon pulses to chart the edges of the region before sending a shuttle in to locate the missing shuttle. Power absortion within the anomoly meant that the shuttle had problems in transporting aboard the survivors and then became trapped themselves. All shuttle power had to be rerouted to the transporter in order for the away team to escape with the survivors back to the Enterprise.

Source: Declassified USS Enterprise-D Log - "The Outcast" - 2368.

Class 4b - Fluidic Space

Also Known As: Domain of Species 8472

First Discovered: Delta Quadrant.

General Explanation: Fluidic Space is an extradimensional realm that can be accessed via a quantum singularity. Fluidic Space is made up completely of organic fluid with no evidence of stars or planets. The only indiginous lifeform is Species 8472 that are extreamly hostile due to their conflict with the former Borg Collective. "Rifts" to Fluidic Space can be caused by a resonant graviton pulse focused from the main deflector however the precise calibrations remain a mystery. Entry into Fluidic Space creates a compression wave that causes Species 8472 to be alerted to any intruders almost immediately.

Threat Level: Very High

General Size: Unknown

Example: In 2373, the USS Voyager travelled to Fludic Space during their initial encounter with Species 8472 during their war of purification against the Borg and eventually, the entire Milky Way Galaxy. The collective reconfigured Voyager's main deflector to sent out a resonant graviton beam that formed the singularity and provided Voyager with access to Fludic space.

Source: Declassified USS Voyager Log - "Scorpion" - 2373

Class 4c - Chaotic Space

Also Known As: N/A

First Discovered: Delta Quadrant (Borg Collective had observed this all over the Galaxy)

General Explanation: Chaotic space is an extremely energetic zone where the laws of physics are in a state of flux, causing an extreme hazard to navigation. Chaotic space would appear randomly and at unexpected locations, making it extremely unpredictable. Forces encountered inside the phenomenon included subspace flux, graviton waves and spatial sinkholes.

Threat Level: Hight

General Size: Two Lightyears Across.

Example: In 2375, the USS Voyager inadvertently entered a region of chaotic space in the Delta Quadrant through a trimetric fracture, subsequently becoming trapped. This zone was two light years across and emitted enough energy for a dozen stars. Initial attempts to navigate out of the zone were met with failure, as the graviton shear threatened to breach the hull. The crew attempted to drop a series of beacons to help them navigate, but discovered that, while apparently traveling in a straight line, they had actually been navigating in a circle, which brought them back to the location where they had dropped the initial beacon. Voyager managed to learn that chaotic space intersected the normal spacetime continuum at the eighteenth dimensional gradient, and that, by recalibrating Voyager's deflector dish, he could modify the ship's warp field to a paralateral rentrillic trajectory with which to escape. Routing the deflector through the sensor array, and activating the dish to maximum amplitude, Chakotay managed to find Voyager a route out of chaotic space.

Source: Declassified USS Voyager Log - "The Fight" - 2375

Class 4d - The Void

Also Known As: N/A

First Discovered: Delta Quadrant

General Explanation: The anomaly known as "the Void" was a closed structure in the Delta Quadrant, encased in an inert layer of subspace. It was impenetrable to matter or energy, resulting in a region wherein no gases, stellar bodies, or matter of any kind existed. Within the Void, funnels periodically erupted into normal space, creating massive graviton forces which would pull in any ship unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity. Inside, the same graviton forces acted to drain a vessel's power supply, making energy a highly-limited commodity. This resulted in a number of crews trapped within the Void turning to piracy and murder.

Threat Level: High

General Size: Approximately nine light years in circumference.

Example: In 2377, the USS Voyager was pulled into the Void, and immediately came under attack by vessels who preyed on new arrivals for food and supplies. The Voyager crew was able to fend off the attacks, and made contact with a species that was apparently native to the Void. Utilizing Borg sensors, the crew discovered that, when the graviton forces reached critical levels, the polarity suddenly reversed, pulling anything near the funnel inside. The crew developed a plan whereby they would enter a funnel just as it was forming, and jump to high warp immediately before the polarity reversed. However, as they had no way of compensating for the graviton stress, they were forced to construct a polaron modulator with the help of other crews who had agreed to cooperate in planning an escape. Eventually, their plan was successful, and Voyager and the other vessels were able to return to normal space.

Sources: Declassified USS Voyager Log - "The Void" - 2377

Class 4e - Graviton Ellipse

Also Known As: Spatial Anomaly 521 (Borg Collective)

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: A Graviton Ellipse is a stable pocket of normal space moved by a surrounding elliptical gravimetric distortion perimeter measuring millions of terajoules of subspace energy. Graviton ellipses travel through subspace, emerging into normal space and extra-dimensional realms only when they are in proximity of objects that emit electromagnetic energy, such as spacecraft and dark matter asteroids. The ellipses themselves generate an electromagnetic radiation field of dangerous levels to humanoids that make the anomaly react like a magnet drawn to another magnet, relative to its target. The Borg had discovered that cutting down power and simultaneously reversing the polarity of deflector shields will result in the anomaly no longer being attracted to the ship. The anomalies remain outside of subspace for some hours only.

In addition to the electromagnetic field, these anomalies emit level 9 gravimetric distortions through subspace to the space around them, creating severe turbulence. As an ellipse emerges from subspace, the initial target it was drawn to is already in range of the distortions and will no longer be capable of forming warp fields to escape. In addition, the target ship will experience a ship-wide power drain. An ellipse could overtake the ship even if it was traveling at maximum impulse.

The stress caused by the gravimetric interference is higher closer to the perimeter and can tear some starships apart. Some ships can, however, survive the ordeal intact. The actual elliptical perimeter of the anomaly is composed of gravimetric currents of increasing gravimetric shear intensity closer to the interior of the phenomenon. As the anomaly changes course or devours objects, it discharges gravimetric surges in the perimeter that travel outward and even affect objects thousands of kilometers away.

The core of a graviton ellipse is totally free of gravimetric distortions. The electromagnetic activity of the anomaly creates a natural luminescence, and the ambient temperature of the interior is −260 degrees. The pocket of normal space remains completely stable and calm regardless of what the speed, location, or movements of the anomaly are. The Borg have theorized it to be possible to dissipate the anomaly from within its interior. To that end, they developed shield enhancements to allow ships passage through the gravimetric distortions.

Threat Level: Medium

General Size: N/A

Example: In 2376, the USS Voyager encoutered a Graviton Ellipse which they attempted to investigate, allowing them to get the Enhanced Shuttle Delta Flyer inside the Ellipse where it encoutered that the Ellipse had been responsible for the destruction of one of the old Earth mars modules that had survived within it for several days after the Ellipse had returned to subspace.

Source: Declassified USS Voyager Log - "One Small Step" - 2376

Class 5 - Matter-Altering

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Known Examples: Distortion Ring, Molecular Reversion Field, Subspace Compression Anomaly.

Class 5a - Distortion Ring

Also Known As: Spatial Implosion

First Discovered: Delta Quadrant

General Explanation: A distortion ring is a type of spatial implosion that physically alters the state of the ship. The anomaly can cause parts of the vessel to become compressed and twisted, corridors and rooms can realign into a large, constantly realigning maze. It has been confirmed that an implimentation of a shock pulse will accelerate the anomaly which encompasses the ship.

Threat Level: Medium

General Size: Several thousand kilometers.

Example: In 2372, the USS Voyager encountered a distortion ring that encompassed the ship, collapsing the warp field in the process. The ring slowly began to crush Voyager and a shock pulse emitted from Voyager's warp core was only able to accelerate the rate of decay. The Captain came into contact with the anomaly which left her incoherent and was incapititated however the Ring passed over Voyager, causing no damage to the ship and downloading all of Voyager's database as well as uploading 20 million gigaquads of new information. It is currently under investigation as to if this anomaly is actually a lifeform or lifeforms live inside it.

Source: Declassified USS Voyager log - "Twisted" - 2372

Class 5b - Molecular Reversion Field

Also Known As: N/A

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: Not much is known about this rather strange anomaly but it generally considered that Molecular Reversion Fields (MRF's) have a rather unique effect on matter, change its genetic structure and reverting the object or person back to an earlier state of existence. MRF's can also cause additional problems with transporters as they are known to disrupt transporter targeting scanners.

Threat Level: Medium

General Size: Unknown

Example: In 2369, several Enterprise crew members passed through an MRF while travelling to the Enterprise in a shuttle. The field transformed them back into children although they had kept their skills and knowledge. It was later discovered that if the crew of the Enterprise did nothing, they would simply "grow up" again as their DNA was only reverted and not physically changed. The molecular reversion field obscured portions of their patterns, in particular the ribo-viroxic-nucleic structure of their DNA, and the transporter re-materialized all four without it.

Source: Declassified USS Enterprise-D log - "Rascals" - 2369

Class 5c - Subspace Compression Anomaly

Also Known As: N/A

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: A subspace compression anomaly is a rare subspace astronomical phenomenon, that miniaturizes objects that enter its accretion disk. These anomalies emit a flux of gamma radiation however it is not harmful to most ships or facilities with proper levels of shielding. The process of miniaturization is completely reversable from flying back into the anomaly.

Threat Level: Low

General Size: 10,000 - 15,000 kilometers across.

Example: In 2374, the USS Defiant was ordered to investigate such an anomaly that had been discovered on the edge of Federation space. The Starfleet runabout Rubicon was tractored into the anomaly and was reduced to a fraction of its actual size. It was believed that study of this anomaly might lead to the development of Transwarp Corridors however the information provided helped lead Starfleet into developing their first Quantum Slipstream Drive.

Source: Declassified USS Defiant Log - "One Little Ship" - 2374

Class 6 - Quantum Singularity/Black Holes

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Known Examples: Microsingularities, "Reflective" Quantum Singularity, Black hole,

Class 6a - Microsingularities

Also Known As: N/A

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: A microsingularity is a term that can be used for a very tiny Black Hole or one still in the process of formation. Microsingularities can exert a very powerful gravitation pull which a starship may not be able to escape from despite their small size. Microsingularities can also cause temporal shift due to their powerful gravitation forces that they exert, it can cause transporters to accidentally transport through time as well as location to location. Microsingularitys can also be used for communicative purposes, such as the MIDAS project which can communicate over very long distances. Starfleet has had many chances to study and understand this anomaly and therefore it is highly understood.

Threat Level: Medium-High

General Size: Can be as small as the size of one proton.

Example: In 2151, the Enterprise NX-01 rendezvoused with a Tesnian ship at an asteroid field, at which time a microsingularity collided with the Tesnian ship and caused it to crash. Three microsingularities also struck Enterprise, dissipating on impact when they encountered its polarized hull plating. Shortly after, Shuttlepod 1 was also struck by a microsingularity, which passed directly through its hull and threatened on-board life support.

Source: Declassified NX-01 Log - "Shuttlepod One" - 2374

Class 6b - "Reflective" Quantum Singularity

Also Known As: "Type-4 Quantum Singularity"

First Discovered: Delta Quadrant

General Explanation: A "Reflective" quantum singularity is a highly-localized disturbance in the spacetime continuum, characterized by a gravimetric flux density of over two thousand percent. The anomaly can also send out time delayed "echoes" of objects as well as energy such as hails and serves as a sort of "temporal mirror", reflecting an image as if a person is sitting at the bottom of a lake looking up at themselves. This anomaly is generally considered a "black hole" however there has been considerable debate as to if this term applies to a "Reflective" Quantum Singularity.

Threat Level: Medium

General Size: Thousands of kilometers across.

Example: In 2371, Voyager encountered and became trapped within the event horizon of a type-four quantum singularity in the Delta Quadrant. Due to massive temporal distortions being emitted from the singularity, the crew of Voyager encountered time-delayed reflections of their own ship, initially making them believe that they had encountered another vessel being pulled into the singularity. Eventually, they were able to find their way out by exiting through a breach in the event horizon which they had created when they initially entered.

Source: Declassified USS Voyager Log - "Parallex" - 2371

Class 6c - Black Hole

Also Known As: Generally accepted term for a "Quantum Singularity"

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: A Black Hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity predicts that a very compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is an undetectable surface called an event horizon that marks the point of no return. It is called "black" because it absorbs all the light that hits the horizon, reflecting nothing, just like a perfect black body in thermodynamics. Quantum mechanics predicts that black holes also emit radiation like a black body with a finite temperature. This temperature is inversely proportional to the mass of the black hole, making it difficult to observe this radiation for black holes of stellar mass.

Objects whose gravity field is too strong for light to escape were first considered in the 18th century by John Michell and Pierre-Simon Laplace. The first modern prediction of a black hole in general relativity was found by Karl Schwarzschild in 1916, although its black hole nature was not fully realized for another 4 decades. For a long time black holes were considered a theoretical curiosity. This changed in the 1960s when theoretical work showed that black holes were a generic prediction of general relativity, and the discovery of neutron stars sparked interest in gravitationally collapsed compact objects as a possible astrophysical reality.

Black holes of stellar mass are expected to form when heavy stars collapse in a supernova at the end of their life cycle. After a black hole has formed it can continue to grow by absorbing mass from its surroundings. By absorbing other stars and merging with other black holes, supermassive black holes of millions of solar masses may be formed.

Despite its invisible interior, the presence of a black hole can be inferred through its interaction with other matter. Astronomers have identified numerous stellar black hole candidates in binary systems, by studying their interaction with their companion stars. Moreover, there is growing consensus that supermassive black holes exist in the centers of most galaxies. In particular, there is strong evidence of a black hole of more than 4 million solar masses at the center of our Milky Way.

Threat Level: High

General Size: Black Holes can be various shapes and sizes.

Example: In 2152, the Enterprise NX-01 encountered a black hole that was part of a trinary system, something unheard of by either Starfleet or Vulcan scientists. Attempting to study the black hole, the Enterprise crew became affected by an exotic form of radiation which caused nearly all members of the crew to exhibit irrational and obsessive behavior. Subcommander T'Pol, whose Vulcan physiology was immune to the radiation, performed an analysis which indicated that prolonged exposure to the radiation would be fatal to the crew, forcing her and Captain Archer to navigate Enterprise through a hazardous debris field in order to escape the influence of the radiation in time.

Source: Declassified NX-01 Log - "Singularity" - 2152

Class 7 - Dark Matter

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Known Examples: Dark Matter Nebula, Dark Matter Proto-Comet, Dark Matter Asteroid.

Class 7a - Dark Matter Nebula

Also Known As: N/A

First Discovered: Beta Quadrant

General Explanation: A Dark Matter nebula is gasous accumulation of dark matter atoms which can be extreamly difficult to detect using conventional sensor technology. Fortunately both modified photon torpedoes and metreon particles can be used to illuminate most of the anomalies however they are still consider to this day, a navigational hazard.

Threat Level: Medium

General Size: Millions of kilometers across.

Example: In 2153, Captain Archer and Subcommander T'Pol became the first to directly observe a dark matter nebula, illuminating it using metreon particles. T'Pol suggested naming it the "Robinson Nebula," in honor of Starfleet Captain A.G. Robinson, an old friend of Archer's who had recently died in a climbing accident. In 2367, the USS Enterprise-D used several modified photon torpedoes to illuminate the Mar Oscura Nebula, a previously-unexplored dark matter nebula. While exploring the nebula, the Enterprise encountered several spatial deformations, which made navigation extremely hazardous.

Source: Declassified NX-01 Log - "First Flight" - 2153, Declassified USS Enterprise-D Log - "In Theory" - 2367

Class 7b - Dark Matter Proto-Comet

Also Known As: N/A

First Discovered: Delta Quadrant

General Explanation: A Dark Matter Proto-Comet was originally a theory written by Crewman Harren of the USS Voyager. He theorized that a tertiary byproduct of stellar consolidation would be a comet-like assemblage of dark matter. It would be attracted to any source of antimatter and then neutralize it upon impact.

Threat Level: High

General Size: 1-2 meters long.

Example: Crewman Mortimer Harren thought that the Delta Flyer was struck by a dark matter proto-comet in 2376 when the ship was impacted by an unknown phenomenon. However, it was discovered that the ship was actually struck by a dark matter lifeform. Therefore the existence of such a comet still remains only a theory.

Source: Declassified USS Voyager Log - "Good Sheppard" - 2376

Class 7c - Dark Matter Asteroid

Also Known As: N/A

First Discovered: Alpha Quadrant

General Explanation: Dark Matter Asteroids are composed entirely of Dark Matter, they are known to emit high levels of electromagnetic radiation.

Threat Level: Low

General Size: Varies.

Example: In 2376, a graviton ellipse being investigated by the USS Voyager was attracted to a dark matter asteroid. The two anomalies collided, causing severe gravimetric distortions inside the ellipse that caused damage to the Delta Flyer.

Source: Declassified USS Voyager Log - "One Small Step" - 2376.