The Galaxy in which we live, and which the Star Trek universe exists, is a barred spiral galaxy 100,000 light years in diametre and 1000 light years thick throughout most of its volume. The central bulge is a sphere 10,000 light years in diametre, and the outermost 10,000 light years of the disc taper away towards the rim. The main disc shape of the Galaxy is surrounded by a fuzzy halo of sparsely spaced stars.
The Galaxy rotates clockwise as seen in the map above. Galactic directions are given as zenith ("up"), nadir ("down"), coreward (toward the galactic centre), rimward (toward the galactic edge), spinward (in the direction of galactic rotation) and trailing (opposite the direction of galactic rotation).
The United Federation of Planets divides the Galaxy into four wedge-shaped quadrants, labelled Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. Sectors are mapped according to coordinates centred in space on the galactic ecliptic, on a radial line from the galactic centre through Earth. The sector containing this point is referred to as Sector 0-0-0. Earth, Alpha Centauri, Andoria and Tellar, four of the five founding members of the Federation, are in the sector immediately to zenith, Sector 0-0-1. Vulcan, the fifth founding member of the Federation, is in the Vulcanis Sector, immediately rimward of Sector 0-0-1.
The map at the top of the page shows the Federation in relation to the stellar powers which have had the greatest influence upon it in the last century. Also shown are the borders of the Federation as suggested by the FASA Star Trek Role Playing Game and the Star Fleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph Designs. The extreme approaches taken show just how diverse are opinions on the size of the Federation. The FASA Federation is only about 500 light years across, while the Franz Joseph interpretation has the Federation (or at least the UFP Treaty Zone) a whopping 9400 parsecs, or about 30,644 light years across. I've taken the two figures mentioned on screen, 8000 and 10,000 light years, as the axes of a roughly eliptical Federation.
The political situation in the immediate area of Sector 0-0-1 is unique. Three major stellar powers have their capital planets in relatively close proximity, galactically speaking. This meant that as the Federation, the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Star Empire expanded, they were forced to do so in such a manner that their capitals are quite near the extreme ends of the space claimed by each power. One small portion of space acted as a buffer in the early days of the Federation, an area known as the Triangle. In the late 2260's a small, otherwise useless planet in the Traingle was chosen as neutral territory. This was Nimbus III, known somewhat sarcastically as "The Planet of Galactic Peace." In fact, it was a hollow front, as the Federation and Klingons appointed washed-up has-beens as Ambassadors to the stunningly inappropriately named Paradise City, and the Romulans rarely ever appointed an Ambassador at all.
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A sector in the Federation is a cubical volume of space 20 light years on a side. Any given sector may have up to a dozen or so systems of any note within its boundaries.
Click on a tab below to view maps and/or data on a specific Sector
The Triangle noted on the political map above is a setting from the FASA game, detailed in the supplements The Triangle and The Triangle Campaign. I have included it in my Star Trek Universe campaign both as a continuation of my old FASA gaming campaign, and simply because it's a nice little area to have handy. Klingon and Starfleet characters can engage in brinksmanship with the Romulans, and rogues and civilian characters can find rough'n'ready adventure here.
This page ©2000 Owen E. Oulton