Reviewing the transcript, the episode seems to move at a fast pace . . . two hours until the probe's in place, Picard's order for two hours until a plan for the Raman recovery, et cetera. There is no mention of the end of the 72 hour search noted at the beginning of the episode, either.359 wrote:It's been a while.
Picard: "Geordi, the Hera's last reported location was three hundred light years away. How could it end up here?"
LaForge: "The Hera passed near this planet just ten days ago. There's an awful lot of subspace disturbance in the atmosphere. The ship could've accidentally picked up some residual traces that directed the funnel right back here."
Holt: "Nothing at all. I wish I could say I was just calling to catch up on things. Nine days ago, the Hera left here on a routine courier mission. We were in contact with them for five of those days. Then the ship disappeared without a trace."
From the first quote we know that the Hera disappeared 300 ly from the planet the Enterprise and that the Hera had passed by the planet 10 days before the middle of the episode. The episode could take place over one or two days, but we'll stick with one to get the smallest value possible. We also know that the ship disappeared five days after leaving DS3, where it arrived 9 days prior. This means that she had passed the planet four days earlier. Assuming a straight-line course away from the planet, to minimize distance traveled and thus the estimate, this is an average speed of 26,700c.
Warp: Unknown, 6?; Distance: 300 ly; Time: 4 Days.
It is stated that the Hera's last known position was 300LY away, and then (a couple of hours later, -ish) that the planet was passed ten days prior by the Hera. That suggests a minimum of 30LY/day (11,000c[/I)).
I think what you're suggesting is that the Hera passed by the gas giant *after* departing DS3 and not before. But, I don't think that can be argued conclusively. Either way, though, the gas giant must be within a couple dozen light-years of DS3, give or take.