Effects of exposure to Berthold radiation after 68 hours.

Berthold radiation is a type of stellar radiation which degenerates cellular tissue, causing death within 72 hours. It was first discovered in the 2260s.


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)

Short-term exposure could be cured by sandovalyn if patients were treated within 36 hours. (TOS comic: "A Small Matter of Faith")

Green-skinned Orions have some innate resistance due to their evolutionary history. (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)

Berthold radiation interfered with subspace communication, but could be blocked by neutronium shielding. (TOS comics: "A Small Matter of Faith", "... Like a Woman Scorned!")


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)

Magnetars such as Qul Tuq emit this type of radiation. (TOS novel: Excelsior: Forged in Fire)

Demon-class planets such as System 223 IV also emit Berthold rays. (TTN novel: Synthesis)


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")

A radiation cure named sandovalyn was soon developed. (TOS comic: "A Small Matter of Faith")

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 2270, the Enterprise stabilized Mercaniad, a star which emitted highly energetic Berthold rays. (TOS novel: The Abode of Life)

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 2366, the USS Enterprise-D was subjected to low-doses of Bethold radiation, less than 75 REMs, as part of a sensor scan from the Calamarain near Bre'el IV. (TNG episode: "Deja Q")

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 2374, the Enterprise-D was probed twice by Bethold radiation from the Calamarain during visits from Q. (TNG - The Q Continuum novels: Q-Space, Q-Strike)

Mirror UniverseEdit

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



External linksEdit

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