Other Worlds

Astronomers believe that, of all the stars one can see in the clear night sky, well over half of them are not one star but 2 or more stars. We see these multiple stars as one star because they are so far away that they blur together or merge in our view of them.

It is also becoming increasingly clear that it is not at all uncommon for any star to have planets and their own solar system circling them, just like our own solar system circles our sun.

While we live in a solar system with only one star, there must be many solar systems that are under the influence and light of multiple stars, given that many seemingly single stars are actually multiple stars.

This raises the interesting idea that the planets in situations where there are multiple stars close together may not experience the day/night cycle that we experience because when these planets rotate they may always be facing sunlight, i.e., there is another paired star on the “nighttime” side.

Just imagine what that means. Such a world would never have our night, so inhabitants would never ever see stars. They would not know of the existence of the stars in the universe, and therefore would not have anything like a true understanding of the real universe. They would live in a bubble, in a world in effect encapsulated by sunlight, never ever able to see beyond that sunlight.

Another impact of not having the experience of ever having a night, that is, of always existing in daylight, is that their sleep/rest cycles would not be modulated, as ours is, by the day/night rhythm. So what would induce the need to rest/sleep in such a world where there was perpetual daylight? Or perhaps our type of sleep, ushered in by the darkness of night, would not exist there as well — the inhabitants of such a world might not experience our type of sleep at all. Our world is modulated by intense activity during daylight hours, followed by sleep/rest during the night, but without a night, their world might be this steady state of low-grade activity all the time, which might eliminate any need for sleep/rest.

A Little Joy

Moonlight

Silver moonlight dapples the furtive wood elves —
All indistinct, glimpsed, perhaps only imagined,
Just as vague recollections flash by in the mind,
While it searches in vain for anything tangible.

In the moonlight that is recollecting,
The mind touches a weathered door that creeks open,
Revealing dimly the dusty furnishings of a bygone age.
Mere sight or sound or smell stirs vague memories,
Hinting at experiences hiding in the past.

But one wanders in the moon’s faint light,
As in the past, without clear sight,
So leave the moonlight to the owls and the ravens, you say,
And the past to itself, alone and forgotten,
For this bright new day.

All Poetry — Henry Barnard

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