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A stardate is a fictional system of time measurement developed for the television and film series Star Trek. In the series, use of this date system is commonly heard at the beginning of a voiceover log entry such as "Captain's log, stardate 41153.7. Our destination is planet Deneb IV..." While the general idea resembles the Julian day[1][2] currently used by astronomers, writers and producers have selected numbers using different methods over the years, some more arbitrary than others. This makes it impossible to convert all stardates into equivalent calendar dates, especially since stardates were originally intended to disguise the precise era of Star Trek.


  • The Original Series era 1
  • The Next Generation era 2
  • Star Trek (2009) 3
  • Star Trek Online 4
  • Pronunciation 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

The Original Series era

The following excerpt from Star Trek Guide (April 17, 1967, p. 25) instructs writers for the original Star Trek TV series on how to select stardates for their scripts:[3]

(The "percentage point" mentioned was in practice a single decimal.) The official timeline[4] places the original series between the years 2265 and 2269, with the second pilot beginning on stardate 1312.4 and the last-produced episode on stardate 5928.5; however, this timeline is based on references in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and had not been developed during the production of the original series. Despite the guideline to "pick any combination", the list of episodes shows stardates increasing with time in general, albeit with many instances of a number being lower than in the preceding episode.

The Next Generation era

Stardates were revised from the above description for Star Trek: The Next Generation and all the subsequent shows and movies set in the same era. They were described as follows in Star Trek: The Next Generation Writer's/Director's Guide of March 23, 1987 (p. 13):

Stardates of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine began with 46379.1, corresponding to the sixth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation which was also set in the year 2369. Star Trek: Voyager began with stardate 48315.6 (2371), one season after TNG had finished its seventh and final season. As in TNG, the second digit would increase by one every season, while the initial two digits eventually rolled over from 49 to 50, despite the year 2373 still being in the 24th century. Star Trek: Nemesis was set around stardate 56844.9.

Star Trek (2009)

According to Roberto Orci, stardates were revised again for the 2009 film Star Trek so that the first four digits correspond to the year, while the remainder was intended to stand for the day of the year.[5][6][7] Star Trek Into Darkness begins on stardate 2259.55, or February 24, 2259.[8]

Star Trek Online

The MMORPG Star Trek Online (STO) was launched in 2009 and began on stardate 86088.58, in the year 2409.[9]


In the various TV series, four-digit stardates have been read out in groups of two digits as well as digit-by-digit, whereas only the latter pronunciation has been used with five-digit stardates. For example, stardate 1312.4 can be pronounced "thirteen-twelve point four" as well as "one-three-one-two point four", but stardate 43989.1 is pronounced "four-three-nine-eight-nine point one".

See also


  1. ^ Lee Anne Nicholson, ed. (1996). Star Trek 30 Years Special Collector's Edition. Paramount Pictures. 
  2. ^ Robert H. Justman, Herbert F. Solow (writers), Kellam de Forest (source) (1998). Inside Star Trek: The Real Story (Videotape). 24 minutes in. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ Onion, Rebecca. "Pages from the Official Star Trek Writers' Guide, 1967".  
  4. ^  
  5. ^ "THR Profiles Trek’s Big Return w/ Trailer Details + Comments from Orci & Kurtzman". Retrieved 2015-08-31. 
  6. ^ "Orci & Kurtzman To Answer Fan Questions At TrekMovie + Transcript Of Last Week’s ‘Impromptu’ Q&A". Retrieved 2015-08-31. 
  7. ^  
  8. ^ "Analysis Of Star Trek Into Darkness IMAX Extended Preview + Open Thread For Prologue & Trailer #2". Retrieved 2015-08-31. 
  9. ^ "About Start Trek Online". Perfect World Entertainment Inc. 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014. Set in 2409, Star Trek Online exists [...] 

External links

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