Monday, December 28, 2009

Star Formation

Something to think about. Solar systems are created when the debris, dust, and cosmic dust bunnies in some area of space fall together. We expect solar systems to be anchored by a sun, but it is just as likely that the dust ball prove to be on the small size and create a sub-sol system, anchored by a large entity like Jupiter, with "planets" ranging from pretty good sized down to ring structures.

Being small, these sub-suns would have little or no thermal signature, making them the potholes along the interstellar space ways. Admittedly the odds of your proto-Enterprise, while making a test run to the Centauri system, hitting one of these is vanishingly small, remember that Murphy never sleeps. Brown dwarf stars would be at the upper end of this group.

The odds of anyone finding the wreckage is equally small.

I suppose some budding astronomer could get his PhD by actually finding one of these, although I'm not sure exactly how. Some budding Science-Fiction writer could probably parley this into a novel, with the low-key sub-solar system being the location for some evil genius' base or something.

This post brought to you by inspiration from XKCD, which sometimes diverges from geeky humor to geeky science.

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