A stardate is a date
Calendar date
A date in a calendar is a reference to a particular day represented within a calendar system. The calendar date allows the specific day to be identified. The number of days between two dates may be calculated. For example, "24 " is ten days after "14 " in the Gregorian calendar. The date of a...

 in the fictional system of time measurement developed for Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

, commonly heard at the beginning of a voiceover
VoiceOver is a screen reader built into Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X, iOS and iPod operating systems. By using VoiceOver, the user can access their Macintosh or iOS device based on spoken descriptions and, in the case of the Mac, the keyboard. The feature is designed to increase accessibility for blind...

 log entry such as "Captain's log, stardate 41153.7. Our destination is planet Deneb IV..." Writers and producers have selected numbers using different methods over the years, some more random than others, which makes it impossible to convert all stardates into equivalent calendar dates. This is compounded by the fact that stardates were originally intended to disguise the precise era of Star Trek, clarified only later on the show.

The Original Series era

The following excerpt from the TOS
Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry, produced by Desilu Productions . Star Trek was telecast on NBC from September 8, 1966, through June 3, 1969...

 bible Star Trek Guide (April 17, 1967, p. 25) instructs writers on how to select stardates for their scripts:
(Clearly, a "percentage point" is a mistake. A tenth-part digit, equal to ten percentage points, is what is actually used.) The official timeline places TOS between the years 2265 and 2269, with the second pilot beginning on stardate 1312.4 and the last-produced episode on stardate 5928.5. 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
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry as part of the Star Trek franchise. Roddenberry, Rick Berman, and Michael Piller served as executive producers at different times throughout the production...

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
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe...

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
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. Set in the 24th century from the year 2371 through 2378, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager, which becomes stranded in the Delta Quadrant 70,000 light-years from Earth while...

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
Star Trek: Nemesis
Star Trek Nemesis is a 2002 science fiction film directed by Stuart Baird, written by John Logan , and with music composed by Jerry Goldsmith. It is the tenth feature film in the Star Trek franchise, and the fourth and final film to star the cast from the television series Star Trek: The Next...

was set around stardate 56844.9.

Star Trek (2009 film)

According to Roberto Orci
Roberto Orci
Roberto Gaston Orci is a Mexican-American film producer, television producer, and screenwriter.-Biography:Orci was born in Mexico City to a Mexican father and a Cuban mother. His mother had left Cuba for Mexico after Fidel Castro came to power. He is the older brother of screenwriter-producer J....

, stardates were revised again for the latest film so that the first four digits correspond to the year, while the remainder was intended to stand for the day of the year. For example, stardate 2258.42 would be February 11, 2258.


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".
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