Paulson Nebula

The Paulson Nebula

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 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")

Visuals of the Paulson Nebula are a modified version of the Mutara Nebula.
In the episode's final draft script the nebula contained manganese instead of magnesium.
According to the Star Trek: Star Charts (p. 62) and the Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library ("Federation Historical Highlights, 2161-2385"), the Paulson Nebula was located in the Beta Quadrant.

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