Far, far away there is a star

Astronomers have found something again: a distant white dwarf star in the process of destroying several planets. Can they be sure of what they see? Of course not. But that has never stopped astronomers from making statements about outer space.

“The findings are the first observation of a solar system being torn apart by a dead star”. Are they? What have these people actually observed? Considering the distance they can only observe lights and they interpret that. And in science interpretations are often necessary, but you should never use fantasy and generous imagination when interpreting facts. And that’s per definition what astronomers do.

6872914-3x2-700x467This star is assumed to be 570 light years away from us. One light year is 9 460 730 472 580 km and that’s assuming that light travels at the same speed in outer space as it does here. Which is something you cannot be sure about. It’s obvious that these distances are completely meaningless and just a nice toy for those who like to look at the stars. It’s not based on facts, nor on science, nor is it of any use.

“Astronomers noticed a regular dip in the brightness of the white dwarf every four-and-a-half hours, suggesting an object was orbiting the star at a distance of about 840,000 kilometres”. Well, I can think of quite a few other reasons why this happens. And it’s even a lot more likely that the cause of these dips are way beyond our earthly understanding. So concluding that you are looking at a star and that something is orbiting around it is a huge stretch.

“The amount of dust and debris trailing behind each chunk caused eclipses of the white dwarf.” Wait a moment. How do you know that what you see is dust and debris? And how do you know that that is the cause of the eclipse? Remember, this happens at 570 light years away. It’s not like the astronomers have seen it from close by.

“A spectral analysis of the white dwarf also revealed the presence of heavy elements”. This is just hilarious. Do they really think they know what this piece of light is made of? indexCan they be sure it’s a star? Can they be sure what that means? Can they have any idea what this “spectral analysis” actually means? Can they be sure that at 570 light years a planet has the same material as our earth? Of course not. They cannot be remotely sure of anything, but they are presenting it as if they do know what they are talking about. But they don’t.

“And because planets are everywhere, the best explanation is that there are some planets being destroyed and dumping material on this white dwarf.” And that’s how the title of this article came to life. The last chapter of the tale of the distant stars. It’s a pretty nice story, but I have read better. Astronomers could be good story writers, if they would simply admit they are just telling stories. As long as they keep pretending they are scientists they will fail both at the science and at the story writing. And as they will forever fail at science they should better abandon that part and focus on learning how to write good stories. Maybe then they would contribute something to the world. Now they are just another group of overpaid hobbyists.


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