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Dance of the stars

Astronomers have found a stellar system made up of five stars, two binary systems orbiting each other, with a fifth star orbiting one of the stars in one of the binaries.

Co-author Dr Markus Lohr, from the Open University, told BBC News that these contact binaries were stars that orbit so closely they share an outer atmosphere. The other star pair – a detached binary – has a separation distance of some three million km. The two binaries orbit in the same plane at a distance of 21 billion km.

Follow-up observations of different wavelengths of light coming from the star system uncovered a fifth star, which is linked to the detached binary star. “This is a truly exotic star system. In principle there’s no reason why it couldn’t have planets in orbit around each of the pairs of stars. Any inhabitants would have a sky that would put the makers of Star Wars to shame,” Dr. Lohr said. “There could sometimes be no fewer than five Suns of different brightnesses lighting up the landscape.”

Dr. Lohr is being a bit extravagant. Though planets are a possibility here, I suspect it very unlikely that they are habitable.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

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