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The galactic core, also referred to as the Shapley Center, is an area of intense radiation and gravity that spreads out for thousands of light-years in the center of the galaxy. The term coreward was used in galactic navigation, referring to the direction of a galaxy's core. The central core is the center of the spiral shape of the galactic region, where all the spiral arms meet in what is presumed to be a large collapsed black hole-type mass referred to as Sagittarius A*. This region is considered by astronomers and astrophysicists as the origin of star formation. (ST reference: Star Fleet Technical Manual)

The Triangle and the Romulan Star Empire of the 21st century lay coreward of Rigel and the Orion Colonies. (FASA RPG - The Orions module: Book of Common Knowledge)

In 2269, the USS Enterprise was conducting a benchmarking mission near the Shapley Center when they received the news that war had broken out between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Due to the high concentration of stars in the area, the ship was unable to send a subspace message to Starfleet Command that wouldn't also be detected by the Klingons. (TOS novel: Spock Must Die!)

Later that year, the Enterprise approached the galactic core, where the crew encountered the satyr being Lucien, and later an inter-dimensional gate to the planet Megas-Tu. (TAS episode: "The Magicks of Megas-Tu")

Until 2287, the technology of the Federation was insufficient to probe into the energy mass which came to be known as the Great Barrier. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Final Frontier)

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