Originally posted on September 05, 2005 on Monkey Migraine Mountain

Why does the starship Enterprise have running lights? I know the answer is, "Because that way other ships can see it. It's dark out there." That makes sense on airplanes, but are spaceships really navigating by looking out the window?

They have all those fancy sensors, scanners, holograms, and starmaps. They always go "I'm picking up a Klingon warship on our sensors." I've never seen Data pointing out the window and going, "Does that look like a spaceship to you?" I've never seen them come out of warp and Captain Picard yell out, "Look out, lights! Hard right!"

Why don't they just put turn signals on the Enterprise while they're at it? And when the ship backs up, make it go "beep, beep, beep?" Seems like a waste of power to me. If you can't tell a spaceship is heading towards you at a thousand miles an hour, little lights on its nose aren't gonna help.

So let's say the lights are for navigating in space dock. That makes sense...so turn them off when you're in deep space! That's like old ladies who leave their headlights on during the day. Of course, the real and true reason is that the running lights look cool. That's always a good reason to do anything. But still...think about it.
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Kirk said...

Regulation,regulations. Someone probably crashed and so they made a rule. Also, safety. What if all the sensors were down. What if there was someone out in an EVA suit, and needed good visability of the ship? And there are shuttlecraft and worker pods flying this way and that. The modern ships on our oceans have running lights too even though we use radar to navigate.


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