Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Star Trek was Wrong!?

Remember when Kirk found his way out of certain doom by wooing the alien girl who, despite her utterly alien way of life, found him irresistible? And how about Carl Sagan helping us think that there were billions and billions of other places out there just like ours with so many alien boyfriends and girlfriends to meet. Alas, this may not be entirely as likely as we had hoped to experience once Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic got off the ground. It turns out that our solar system (you know, Mercury, Venus, Earth... all the way to Neptune, depending on who you ask) is rather unique and rare.

A recent publication in Science (search the Library Catalog under "journals/newspapers" for "Science") Thommes, Matsumura & Rasio; Gas Disks to Gas Giants: Simulating the Birth of Planetary Systems, (open access, thanks to arXiv!) puts some of those wishes on the backburner, for now.

No comments: