Friday, March 23, 2018

Red Stars...

...have an odd place in mythology. When Anne McCaffrey made a red star the origin of Thread, she was pulling on older threads. The Dark Star theory claims that a red or brown dwarf made a close flyby during the time of Christ. Bright Antares has a special place in astrology.

We...kind of like red stars.

So, how about this. Astronomers have now discovered that Scholtz's Star passed within one light year of the sun about 70,000 years ago - and while it probably wasn't visible to the naked eye, the nature of the star...actually stars (it's a red dwarf/brown dwarf) pair is such that flares may have made it visible for hours at a time. We worked this out because it was moving very little for a star only 20 light years away - meaning it was either coming right at us or going right away...

Our ancestors would have known the stars well - and a new star would have meant something to them. A sign from the gods, perhaps. And as it perturbed the oort cloud, it may be responsible for some of the comets we now see.

So, did Scholtz's Star spark the imagination of ancient humans and somehow get woven into later mythology? No way of knowing.

As for anything like it happening again - we haven't found any close stars heading right at us yet, and they move pretty slowly. So the chances are...not for a long time, and perhaps not while humans as humans still look up at the sky.