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Entries in Planets (21)

Tuesday
May102011

Class M Planet

Even the most casual Star Trek fan is familiar with Class M planets. We do, after all, live on one. The most commonly visited class of planet in Star Trek (thanks to production costs no doubt), Class M worlds can generally be compared to Earth. These are planets that lie in a star system’s ecosphere—or habitable zone—are covered with an abundance of water, and have a hot core, molten rock mantle, thin crust, and plate tectonics. Class M planets have a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere containing other trace elements, and are generally home to a variety of carbon-based life, including vegetation, animal life, and often humanoids.

The best known examples of Class M planets are Earth, Vulcan, Cardassia, Bajor, Betazed, Romulus, and Qo’noS.

The first use of the term “Class M” in terms of production was in “The Cage,” the unaired original pilot for Star Trek (The Original Series). In chronological order, the first use of the term was in the Enterprise episode “Home.” Enterprise also revealed that Class M is short for the Vulcan term “Minshara Class,” as T’Pol explained in the first season episode “Strange New World.”

A Partial List of Class M Planets


Class M planets seen or referred to in TOS

Alfa 177 (“The Enemy Within”)
Alpha Carinae II (“The Ultimate Computer”)
Amerind (“The Paradise Syndrome”)
Beta Niobe I (also knows as Sarpeidon) (“All Our Yesterdays”)
M-113 (“The Man Trap”)
Magna Roma (“Bread and Circuses”)
Pollux IV (“Who Mourns for Adonais?”)

Class M planets seen
or referred to in TNG

Alpha Onias III (“Future Imperfect”)
Angel I (“Angel One”)
Ba’ku (Star Trek Insurrection)
Beta Cassius (also known as Haven) (“Haven”)
Brekka (also known as Delos IV) (“Symbiosis”)
Bringloid V (“Up the Long Ladder”)
Veridian III (“Star Trek Generations”)

Class M planets seen or referred to in DS9

Bopak III (“Hippocratic Oath”)
Casperia Prime (“Change of Heart,” “Inquisition”)
Gaia (“Children of Time”)

Class M planets seen or referred to in VOY

Polaric Ion Planet (“Time and Again”)
Taresia (“Favorite Son”)
Tarok (“Initiations”)

Class M planets seen or referred to in ENT

Andoria (“The Aenar”)
Minshara (“Strange New World”)

Class M planets seen or referred to in TAS

Beta Niobe I (also knows as Sarpeidon) (“The Counter-Clock Incident”)

 

Tuesday
May102011

Class A Planet

Usually something that is Class A is where you’d want to be. In this case however, that is inadvisable unless perhaps you’re a Horta. Class A planets are partially molten worlds that are still forming. Located is the ecosphere or cold zone, Class A worlds have atmospheres comprised mostly of hydrogen compounds and and surfaces that have yet to cool. Once these bodies do cool down, they become Class C worlds. Geoffrey Mandel’s Star Charts refers to Class A planets as “geothermal.”

Example of Class A Planets

Gothos (The planet on which Kirk and his crew encountered Trelane.)

 

Tuesday
May102011

Class B Planet

Like Class A planets, Class B worlds are also partially molten with high surface temperatures. However a factor in the state of Class B planets is their location in the hot zone, near the system’s star. The atmosphere of Class B planets is extremely thin and no lifeforms can survive on the surface. Star Charts refers to Class B planets as “geomorteus.”

Examples of a Class B Planets

Mercury

 

Tuesday
May102011

Class C Planet

Are you into frozen desserts? If so then plan a stopover on a Class C planet. The low surface temperature of these worlds will be a perfect treat. Just don’t plan to stay long as these small worlds found in the ecosphere or cold zone cannot support life on their frozen, barren surface. A Class C planet has a frozen atmosphere and is the cooled body that started life as Class A, and Star Charts refers to Class C planets as “geoinactive.”

Examples of Class C Planets

Pluto
Psi 2000