Berthold radiation was named after Ernst Berthold, who reproduced the energy artificially after its initial discovery near Omicron Ceti. Immediate exposure produces symptoms of hypothermia, followed several hours later by a flushed look, with cells beginning to digest themselves within 48 hours. In the final 24 hours, patients endured extreme pain, delirium, and eventually fell into a coma. (ST reference: Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual)
Berthold rays were first detected emanating from Omicron Ceti, a red supergiant star, but primarily originate from certain variable K class orange stars. (ST references: Star Trek Maps, Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual)
In 2267, the USS Enterprise was assigned to check on the status of a colony recently established on Omicron Ceti III. When Spock informed the bridge crew that this planet's star was recently discovered to emit Berthold radiation, Nyota Uhura and Hikaru Sulu knew immediately that none of the colonists would be found alive. (TOS comic: "A Book to Color, third story")
However, a type of non-native spore-producing plant thrived in this radiation, and exposure to its spores kept the colonists alive, though in a relaxed, non-productive mental state. Director Elias Sandoval and his colonists were rescued and brought to Starbase 27. (TOS episode & Star Trek 5 novelization: This Side of Paradise)
Starbase 27 became a center of research activity after the plants' discovery, with scientists from all over the galaxy meeting to study the plant's interaction with Berthold radiation. (TOS - Who's Who comic: "Issue 2")
Later that year, during a routine patrol near Beta Aurigae, Berthold radiation leaked through a ruptured baffle plate aboard the USS Defiant and exposed 19 crewmen, including Lieutenant Tonia Barrows. The USS Enterprise raced the injured personnel at maximum warp to the radiation clinic at Starbase 27. En route, however, the vessel was commandeered by En-Lai and taken to Calydon, where a release of energies from the Lady of Calydon healed them. (TOS comic: "A Small Matter of Faith")
In the 2270s, Captain Ryan of the USS Lafayette and his landing party were killed by Berthold radiation emitted by Andronicus' star. He recorded detailed log entries of the tragedy. (TOS comic: "... Like a Woman Scorned!")
In 2273, the USS Lafayette's logs were reviewed before the Enterprise rescued survivors from a clinic on Andronicus. The clinic was protected by a dome of transparent neutronium which recently had been found to have structural flaws and was slowing letting in Berthold rays. (TOS comic: "... Like a Woman Scorned!")
In 2280, when Spock examined the Gamma Night phenomenon around the planet Belle Terre with various sensors and particle emissions, he transmitted Berthold rays and got back X-rays. (TOS - New Earth novel: The Flaming Arrow)
In the 2280s, Operation Buchmann was a major ongoing Starfleet Intelligence mission to survey sectors near the Klingon Empire that had high levels of Berthold radiation. A significant number of resources were allocated to the task. (FASA RPG module: Star Fleet Intelligence Manual)
In 2373, the Enterprise-D investigated a subspace singularity orbiting 800 million kilometers from the star Chiaros. Although most emissions were hidden by a network of Romulan cloaking devices, its event horizon generated Bethold rays and delta radiation. (TNG - Section 31 novel: Rogue)
In the Mirror Universe, the Terran Empire built penal colonies on planets saturated with Berthold radiation, then exposed its prisoners to pacifier spores to eliminate aggressive impulses. Anyone able to defeat the spores' influence would be killed by radiation exposure. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
Natural emission sourcesEdit
- Andronicus' star
- Beta Aurigae
- Hobus Nebula
- Omicron Ceti (red supergiant star)
- Qul Tuq
- Singularity near Chiaros
- System 223 IV
- TOS episode & Star Trek 5 novelization: This Side of Paradise
- TNG episode: "Deja Q"
- TOS novel: The Abode of Life
- TOS novel: Excelsior: Forged in Fire
- TOS - The New Voyages short story: "Mind-Sifter"
- TOS comic: "A Book to Color, third story"
- TOS comic: "A Small Matter of Faith"
- TOS comic: "... Like a Woman Scorned!"
- TOS - Who's Who comic: "Issue 2"
- TNG - Section 31 novel: Rogue
- TNG - The Q Continuum novel: Q-Space
- TNG - The Q Continuum novel: Q-Strike
- TTN novel: Synthesis
- TOS - New Earth novel: The Flaming Arrow
- VAN novel: Precipice
- FASA RPG module: Star Fleet Intelligence Manual
- Decipher RPG module: Aliens
- Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly
- ST reference: Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual