The Treaty of Bates

Summary : This is a major interstellar treaty in which the navigational and administrative boundaries for human space are to be established. This treaty sets out to define the colonial administrative Quadrants. The panel of experts who devised the Quadrant boundaries was chaired by Astro-Surveyor Andrei Massen-Dexon. Hence the popular name of Massen-Dexon lines for the artificial boundaries of each Quadrant, and now for each Outer Sector too. When human colonial expansion reached the limits of the Quadrants defined in the original Treaty, immediately surrounding Quadrant 0, these lines were extrapolated out to encompass the so-called Outer Sectors of free space to provide additional administrative spatial zones. This was the first revision of the Treaty of Bates. Although the Quadrants and Sectors are properly 3 dimensional areas of space the popular representation is in a 2 dimensional form, this is easier for Humans not trained in astro-physics to interpret and understand. As this segment of the universe is the spiral arm of a galaxy there is a flattening of the congregation of star systems that allows them to be portrayed in a 2 dimensional manner with no appreciable loss of accuracy in the representation.

Main aspects of the Treaty

"Galactic" points of the compass

These were determined relative to the Sol star system. Thus Quadrant 4 is to the "Galactic North" of Sol, Quadrant 6 to the "Galactic East" of Sol, Quadrant 8 to the "Galactic South" of Sol and Quadrant 2 is to the "Galactic West" of Sol.

Quadrant definition

Each Quadrant [and Sector (first revision of the Treaty of Bates)] of Galactic space will be a rectangular block of space represented in a 2 dimensional manner such that it would appear to be 120 parsecs across on the "Galactic North/South" axis, y-axis, and 100 parsecs across on the "Galactic East/West" axis, x-axis.

Sol reference point question

The Sol star system would not be used as the reference point for the centre of all spatial calculations and would therefore not be seen as the centre of the universe for Human purposes. (This was a practical political decision that would deny primacy to the Earth political regime, as a way of placating the Earth members of the panel of experts Sol is a reference point of some significance in the y-axis) Henceforward these boundaries would be observed by all Human astro-physicists and politicians as the administrative boundaries of the Human Universe. (Over 250 years later these lines are regarded and treated with great reverence as part of the fabric of the Human Universe and are seen as sacrosanct for political, military and commercial purposes.) Signatories of the treaty are : The Solar Republic The Martian Union

[ thanks to Graham Attfield. ]