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Would Vulcan fall under Class M standards? It seems to verge on the edge of Class N, as Earth verges on Class O. What would be the cut-off point? I know Class-O planets must be 80% water... -- DarkHorizon 16:46, 22 Dec 2003 (PST)

If we are following the Star Charts here (which seems to be the case so far), Vulcan falls in this category (see p.26), simply because only M, O and P are defined by having humanoid life. ;) Your question is valid, though, Vulcan probably borders on Class L... -- Cid Highwind 16:53, 22 Dec 2003 (PST)

Well, I don't actually have the Star Charts book myself, just going off the fact that Vulcan doesn't seem all that hospitable for a Class M world... ;) And aren't Class L worlds oxygen/argon tundra-type planets, with narrow temperate regions, rather than desert worlds? -- DarkHorizon 16:58, 22 Dec 2003 (PST)

Class L is described as "Rocky and barren, little surface water" and "limited to plant life", so this really doesn't exactly match Vulcan. However, Class N is described as "Venus-like", which also might be a little too extreme for Vulcan ;) And then there's also Class H (Desert). If we want to speculate, we could say that Vulcan "drifted away" from Class M specs in the last centuries, but this is of course as "non-canon" as it gets. ;) -- Cid Highwind 17:28, 22 Dec 2003 (PST)
I could've sworn I've seen Vulcan described as Class L somewhere, but it probably wasn't canon. says it's "marginally Class M" so I guess that's the last word. DopefishJustin 17:20, 31 Mar 2004 (PST)
Even Sargon "Return to Tomorrow" is called an M Class Planet, just with the atmosphere ripped away. --TOSrules 01:58, 16 Oct 2004 (CEST)
does this mean that a class M planet is class M for supporting life... and possibly some other class as well based on its geography? Borguselinux 00:52, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

"M" versus "Minshara"

I don't believe that "Class M" is still short for "Class Minshara" in the modern planetary classification scheme; it just seems a bit convenient for the Vulcans to start each of their planet classes with a different English letter. Probably humans just adopted "Minshara" (and maybe a few others) and then filled in the rest of the alphabet to complete the system. -- EtaPiscium 01:55, 16 Oct 2004 (CEST)

Agreed. In my opinion Minshara is probably verry close to class M, but there could be subtle differences. For example (this is simplistic, but i think it conveys the point); one criterium for M-class planetes could be at least 30% coverage by water, while for Minshara it would be 25%. Because of the abundance of this kind of planets and it's importance for humanoid life it is likely that the federation, pre-federation vulcan and many other races all have a designation for this type of planet, but that does not mean they use exactly the same criteria. If someone knows of some sort of statement from the powers that be that might change the case, but as it is I fail to see why everyone just asumes they are the same just because minshara starts with an m.

-- {{Dog with meat 23:23, 21 January 2006 (UTC)}}

I don't think we actually know the distinction between Class M and Minshara, do we? In what episodes was this established? I'm watching "Strange New World" and it was only briefly glossed over. -Etoile 03:13, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Removed from article

(however, if this amount goes above 80%, then the planet is considered a Class O or P)

Star Charts info. -- Cid Highwind 12:41, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Vulcan and Starfleet Planet Classifications, cont.

The term "Minshara Class" was first used in the "Enterprise" series early in the first season by Science Officer T'Pol (Vulcan Sub-Commander) to describe a unexpected planet along the crew's initial exploration flightpath. Evidently, she was referring to the Vulcan Planetary Classification System, developed during the Vulcan exploration of space and used in relation to the "Vulcan Star Charts" and "Vulcan Database" within the series - which relates to a timeline after Vulcan First Contact with Earth and before TOS (the Star Trek original series).

Loosely translated from the fictional Vulcan language, "Minshara" is used as a descriptive adjective meaning "Mentally Defective". Known for their logic, Vulcans also utilize a dry satirical wit within their culture and naming Earth "Minshara Class" within their own early space exploration experiences. All Star Trek series have demonstrated that Vulcans embrace a logical and measured life-style, and for early Vulcan experiencies with a pre-warp to post-warp Earth during the Vulcan/Human First Contact, the use of the Minshara label to classify Earth could represent not only an ecological planetary status, but a description of the inhabitants as well.

Further along that timeline, the initiation long range space exploration, the creation of the NX-Class ship (featured on "Enterprise")and Starfleet Command on Earth created a need for a planetary classification system of their own. Most of Starfleet's initial interplanetary and galactic body information largely came from the "Vulcan Star Charts" and or the "Vulcan Database" referenced multiple occasions within the Enterprise series. When Starfleet had created their own Planetary Classification System, they had borrowed the "M" from "Minchara" - most likely oblivious to its translated Vulcan meaning.

Not enough information has been presented on this topic within the "Enterprise" series, it is logical to assume that Starfleet needed to classify planetary bodies and created the letter designation system starting with their own world, then developed other designations for the planets discovered and catalouged.

Christian Bucholtz

As a student of Golic Vulcan (the dialect taught by the Vulcan Language Institute, presumably the same dialect you claim to be quoting); fact and reason compel me to point out that your statement regarding the word minshara as meaning "mental defective", is false, and completely inaccurate. Check your facts.
The word Minshara, which is always capitalized and treated as a proper name, is defined as the Vulcan way of referring to a class-M planet. It is listed elsewhere on the memory beta Vulcan page as an alternate name for Vulcan, and was also cited as such in ST: Worlds of the Federation. Furthermore, Minshara was used several times over the course of ENT for what were called in TOS, DS9, TNG, etc, Class-M planets.
The likelihood here is that Minshara, like T'Khasi, being listed elsewhere as a name for what Terrans called Vulcan, was in fact the basis for the Class-M/ Minshara Class planet designation. 07:19, March 8, 2012 (UTC)Cathryn


Was earth, ever, actually called a Minshara Class planet? If it was only done so in the star charts we should change the caption to The Class M planet Earth or something similar. --Morder 22:36, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Real astronomy

Does real astronomy use this class system ever, just out of interest? Avengah 01:14, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Astronomers don't use this specific form of classification, no. --From Andoria with Love 16:11, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Largely this is because true-life exo-planetary science has not reached the point yet when this is necessary. WE do have a STAR classification system (OBAFGKMRNS). With all the long-range scopes and scans now coming mushrooming, though, that point may not be far off, though. bones4ever 022:20, 4 Feb 2013 (UTC)



  • "Vulcan does not have an abundance of water, yet is deemed class M.{{incite}}"

uncited. --Alan 20:42, 14 July 2008 (UTC)