Archive for June 19th, 2011

Each Star’s A Pool Of Water

In Neal Stephenson’s Anathem, Arbrean avout several times dialog the notion of a sun with a block of ice at its core, as an example of a Reality that might require some trouble to reach, unmoored as it is from what hereabouts is considered Possible.

Today, however, the worldtrack of a sun with a block of ice at its core, has strayed significantly closer to Terran consensus reality.

In the 1936 C&W oater “Cool Water,” a trudging wanderer presumed to be unhinged by mirages is heard at one point to observe “each star’s a pool of water.”

Now it appears that this man may actually be an astute visionary.

Yes boys and girls—and those who have Platonically reconnected, and are therefore again both—it is time, once again, to redefine Reality. For out there in the great wide open is a young’un star that is pouring forth water.

Seven hundred and fifty light-years from Earth, a young, sunlike star has been found with jets that blast epic quantities of water into interstellar space, shooting out droplets that move faster than a speeding bullet.

The discovery suggests that protostars may be seeding the universe with water. These stellar embryos shoot jets of material from their north and south poles as their growth is fed by infalling dust that circles the bodies in vast disks.

Every second, this ebullient star is sending forth more water than flows through the Amazon. No more than a hundred thousand years old—a wee tyke, then—this protostar is watering the constellation of Perseus; in doing so, it is undergoing what Science Man have now decided is a common stellar “rite of passage.”

“We are only now beginning to understand that sunlike stars probably all undergo a very energetic phase when they are young,” [University in the Netherlands astronomer Lars] Kristensen said. “It’s at this point in their lives when they spew out a lot of high-velocity material—part of which we now know is water.”

The latest Thought is that these stars form a sort of sprinkler system, which encourages the growth of other stars.

The water-jet phenomenon seen in Perseus is “probably a short-lived phase all protostars go through,” Kristensen said.

“But if we have enough of these sprinklers going off throughout the galaxy—this starts to become interesting on many levels.”

I’ll say.

Meanwhile, the June issue of Harper’s reports that, also out there in the great wide open, is a “failed sun” that burns at but 86 degrees. It has an atmosphere. Depending on what’s in that atmosphere, it might be possible for Terrans to walk around on it. So long as they have good shoes.


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