In the fictional Star Trek series, the Milky Way Galaxy is divided into four quadrants, which are further subdivided into sectors.
The Alpha Quadrant would be located between 6 and 9 o'clock positions if the plane of the galaxy were seen as a clock face with the 6 o'clock position bisecting the Sol system. The Alpha Quadrant serves as the usual setting for the television shows Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Enterprise as well as most of the Star Trek movies. It is home to the United Federation of Planets, the Cardassian Union, the Ferengi Alliance and the Breen Confederacy.
The Beta Quadrant would be located between the 3 and 6 o'clock if the plane of the galaxy were seen as a clock face with the 6 o'clock position bisecting Earth's Solar System.
The reason why the United Federation of Planets and Earth is right on the edge of the Beta Quadrant is to make previous references to quadrant made in the original series, its movies, and early episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation consistent.
The Beta Quadrant is home to the Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, Gorn Republic, Son'a and Metron Consortium as well as a portion of the Federation, including Vulcan. Parts of the Romulan and Klingon empires spill into the Alpha Quadrant, and thus the Romulans and Klingons are still referred to as Alpha Quadrant Powers.
The Gamma Quadrant is located between the 9 and 12 o'clock positions if the plane of the galaxy were seen as a clock face with the 6 o'clock position bisecting the Sol system.
In Star Trek the Bajoran wormhole, near the Deep Space Nine space station in the Bajor-B'hava'el system in the Alpha Quadrant, leads there. The Gamma Quadrant is primarily ruled by the Dominion, although large portions remain unexplored.
The Delta Quadrant is the farthest Quadrant of the Milky Way from the Alpha Quadrant. It would be located between 12 and 3 o'clock positions if the plane of the galaxy were seen as a clock face with the 6 o'clock position bisecting the Sol system. Most of the information about the Delta Quadrant comes from the show Star Trek: Voyager. Star Trek races that come from the Delta Quadrant include the Borg (the dominant species in this quadrant), the Kazon, the Vidiian, Talaxians, Ocampans, and the Hirogen. Species 8472 was first seen in this quadrant.
Curiously, this arrangement results in
The order of the quadrants is therefore neither clockwise nor counterclockwise.
- Alpha Quadrant (http://www.memory-alpha.org/en/index.php/Alpha_Quadrant), Beta Quadrant (http://www.memory-alpha.org/en/index.php/Beta_Quadrant), Gamma Quadrant (http://www.memory-alpha.org/en/index.php/Gamma_Quadrant) and Delta Quadrant (http://www.memory-alpha.org/en/index.php/Delta_Quadrant) at Memory Alpha, a Star Trek WikiWiki
See Also: Star Trek Sectors