Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rare dead star found near Earth

Now, I know that there are a lot of stupid headlines. But, really? That's got to take the cake. Like 400 % of the universe (by mass) is missing, right? We don't know what composes it. It could all be in neutron stars, for all I know. But, the blatant idiocy of the headline is that if we're just now finding something near Earth, the theory that it's rare should probably be revisited.

I live a block from a major Joint Disease institute. So, I might develop a totally reasonable theory that there are only a handful of, um, MJDIs in the world, then walk out my door and have my entirely correct theory called into question. So, I'm not asserting that neutron stars aren't rare. I just think a responsible science journalist might wait until the neutron stars' rarity is reëxamined by astrophysicists.

To make matters worse, Calvera has a totally new predeliction toward x-ray emission over visible light. Which means it's hard to see, and it could have many brethren hanging out within 250 to 1000 light years away. Also? It's off disk. It's not lying on the plane on which you expect to find everything in the Milky Way.

Unexpected position, unfamiliar EM signature, close proximity. These things could be everywhere.

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