Thursday, 21 May 2015
"'One millionth Solar luminosity...shining from a body ten kilometers in diameter...'" (p. 260), therefore 19,000 times as intense in the visible spectrum, more in others;
the remnant of a supernova;
a mass of nearly one and a half Sols;
so small and dense that it is no longer atoms but only neutrons, possibly with some of those subatomic particles fused into hyperons at the center;
an atmosphere only a few centimeters deep, possibly of incandescent gaseous iron;
hundreds of spins per second;
a magnetic field that accelerates interstellar matter outward at near light speed;
a radio beacon detectable across the galaxy;
God speaking to Job out of the whirlwind - in the imagination of some human visitors.
As in Tau Zero, Anderson moves effortlessly between cosmic physics and questions of human existence.