|By Geoff Elston - Society for Popular Astronomy, Solar section, http://www.popastro.com/solar/solarobserving/chapter.php?id_pag=30|
Distance: 12.02 light years from Earth | Content Flag: Public
Approaching the Tau Ceti star, we are careful to tack against the stellar wind to continue draining our speed, so that we will arrive at Tau Ceti e at the correct speed to arrive into orbit around that planet. We’re passing closer to the star than we need to for that manoeuvre so we can check the star for signs of a Sun Dragon birthing.
Throughout our journey, UNSA has provided updates on their investigations into Sun Dragon A and its effect on the Sun and the planets it visited. Most of its effects on magnetic fields were transitory, the main exception to this was the fragments discovered in the plasma flows around Earth and Jupiter.
From the Sun, a more definitive marker was discovered. The chemical composition of the chromosphere was altered by the Sun Dragon’s presence. This came as a surprise for the researchers, as such chemistry shouldn’t be able to survive the intense heat. The change is slight, but detectable by our equipment and does have a fall-off over time.
We’ve detected the same traces in the Tau Ceti star, although at a much lower level than those detected in the Sun. It might be due to the star’s smaller size. If the timeline I’ve established is correct then the event is more recent than the traces we’ve detected.
When we reach Tau Ceti e then we can search for the fragments in the plasma flux of the planet’s magnetic field. Even so, I am certain that a Sun Dragon has visited this system. The key question now is when, as the readings don’t match the timeline I have built. There could be a number of reasons for that, but it’s yet another mystery to be solved.
Using the PCM’s hardware for my secondary components has improved my timeline of the events in this star system. Not only that but I have identified the symbols for our own solar system. The Cetians’ layered method of describing objects revealed what information they had on our star system and it appears to be limited.
Their data on the Sun was relatively accurate (or at least the parts I’ve been able to extract), but their understanding of the planetary system was limited to just the outer gas giants. However, here I discovered something remarkable. The convoluted hierarchy of descriptors and data they use to identify an object also includes a level of authentication dependent on their current understanding.
In this instance, their description of the solar system highlights not only what they knew, but what was missing from the information they had accumulated. This highlights a key trait of the Cetians: while they approach their science (I use the term in the broadest sense) in a holistic manner, they define their knowledge not only by what they have mastered, but what still eludes them.
This means, of course, that the definition for an object evolves over time. I haven’t fully unlocked the multi-dimensional method for describing this change that is embedded in the definition. There are tantalising glimpses which I think highlights not only the development of understanding for a specific object, but how their species advances their wider understanding.
The information also revealed that they had little interest in the solar system until they received a signal from Earth. One that had been sent as a reply to the signal we believed had come from them.
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