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Paulson Nebula

The Paulson Nebula in 2366

The Paulson Nebula was a nebula located in Federation space near the trade route between Zeta Alpha II and Sentinel Minor IV. The nebula contained swirling dust clouds, large rocks, and clumpy material which presented a navigational hazard for starships.

In 2256, this nebula's location in the Beta Quadrant was labeled on the star chart "Alpha/Beta Quadrant Overview" in the ready room aboard the USS Discovery. (DIS: "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad") Later, in 2257, its location was also labeled on a tactical star chart of "803.16 80 10 Nav Lat Position." (DIS: "What's Past Is Prologue")

Alpha Beta Quadrant Overview star chart

Alpha/Beta Quadrant Overview

In 2259, the location of this nebula was labeled on a stellar cartography chart that was seen on the USS Enterprise's ready room viewscreen. (SNW: "Strange New Worlds", "Spock Amok")

In 2366, the USS Enterprise-D used it to hide from a pursuing Borg cube. The Enterprise had to slow to impulse to enter it. Once inside, the nebula became too dense to go farther using impulse. The composition of the nebula cloud was determined to be 82% dilithium hydroxyls, magnesium, and chromium and found to be effective in screening the Enterprise from the sensors of the Borg, so the Enterprise continued on into this denser spiral cloud section of the nebula. The Borg did not follow them in but continued to scan for them and adapt to the situation. Eventually, the Borg started sending in magnetometric guided charges and the Enterprise was forced to leave the nebula. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds")

In the episode's script, the Paulson Nebula was identified as a solar nebula.

Visuals of the Paulson Nebula are a modified version of the Mutara Nebula visuals from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

In the episode's final draft script the nebula contained manganese instead of magnesium.

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