Ceti Alpha VI

From Academic Kids

In the fictional Star Trek universe, Ceti Alpha VI was the sixth planet in the Ceti Alpha system before it blew up inadvertently upsetting the balance of life on Ceti Alpha V. This planet was first named in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

In the movie, the harsh climatic change on Ceti Alpha V was explained by its shifting of orbit caused by the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI. This explosion's shockwave caused Ceti Alpha V to move further away from the sun until it occupied Ceti Alpha VI's former orbit, thus explaining the Reliant crew's mistaking it for Ceti Alpha VI.

Mike Okuda's DVD commentary states this explanation as scientifically unfeasable as the explosion of a planet's moon let alone the explosion of an adjacent planet would in all likelihood, not be powerful enough to throw a planet out of its orbit. Further, such a force would most probably destroy the planet first. The likelihood of a moving planetary body occupying the former orbit of a destroyed planet is equally unfeasable since a force powerful enough to knock a planet out of orbit would most likely cause it to keep travelling in a straight inertial line. Also, gravitational orbits disappear after the destruction of said orbital body, thus, when Ceti Alpha VI vanished, there was no empty orbit for Ceti Alpha V to latch onto thus stopping its migration. It is also worth noting that most of the movie's explanation suggests that the Ceti Alpha V travelled outward (instead of sunward) as a result of the explosion of a planet that was behind it and apparently linearly with it; an unlikely scenario given the known non-linear arrangement of bodies our solar system.

It is speculated that the explanation given in the movie was necessary as a plot device to get the Reliant crew to encounter Khan as Terrell and Chekov would not knowingly return to Khan's exile planet and there was no other reason to mistake one planet for the other. On a strictly visual basis, given the convention for numbering planets from sunward outward, it makes more sense to mistake Ceti Alpha VII for Ceti Alpha VI since the destruction of Ceti Alpha VI would make VII the new sixth planet in the system.

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