Daily Archives: 10/11/2004

The Dim Core Of A Stripped Star

Or Wasting Away in Eridani-ville, Searching for my lost stellar mass.

Astronomers at the Gemini Observatory have discovered an unusual binary star system in the constellation Eridanus. EF Eridani is a 17th magnitude white dwarf with a close stellar companion. In fact the pair is a cataclysmic variable: the dense white dwarf completely depleted its stellar companion, eating nearly the entire mass of the companion star. The white dwarf consumed so much of the companion star it can no longer sustain nuclear fusion and it has degenerated into a worn out brown dwarf, roughly the size of Jupiter.

Ages ago, the companion was presumably a normal star that began overflowing its gravitational domain in the binary and spilling a stream of matter onto the white dwarf, which probably blew it off in a series of nova outbursts. Now the system has almost reached the dead-end state that many cataclysmic binaries will finally settle into — when the donor star gets whittled down to substellar mass, ceases generating heat to drive the transfer of mass, and is left hanging in a fast, close orbit as it cools.

Cool, it’s a vampire star system. “I vant to suck your hydrogen, blah, blah.”

Strohmeyers On The Web

Searching around on the internet for a possible domain name, I went looking for permutations on my last name on the web. I came up with the following:

There are other, more notorious Strohmeyer’s – and famous Strohmeyer’s out there. Interestingly, both these of well known Strohmeyers share the same name as a niece and nephew of mine. But that doesn’t help me in my search for a domain name…

The Devil’s In The Lyrics

Pulled this from Metafilter this morning:

Stairway to Heaven Backwards

Years ago someone told me that if you played Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven song backwards that you could make out “satanic messages”. It is not my opinion that Led Zeppelin and the other artists here were given some kind of evil power to make these backwards sounds have a satanic message. And, no, I did not create this to show the evils of Rock and Roll. Instead I made this flash piece for two reasons: 1. I was new to flash and wanted to be better at it and 2. The reverse files sound cool.

The Stairway to Heaven clip is pretty cool. Some of the other samples are not so clear, but you can definitely hear a not so suggestive come on from Britney Spears’ first big song Hit Me Baby One More Time. Creepy.