A Strange Bright Star

Astronomers gathered in the Aporulie system yesterday to attend a conference organised by the University of Caille to discuss the new stellar object that appeared in the night skies of planets across the Federation approximately sixty days ago. Key scientists in the field of astronomy and stellar physics shared their observational data on what is now being called one of the biggest astronomical conundrums in recorded history.

UC Professor Kral Sangan, the chair and first speaker at the conference, outlined the nature of the problem. ‘We have no idea what it is,’ he said, ‘we have had a much easier time determining what it is not. The true nature of the phenomenon is truly baffling.’

The explanations ruled out by the conference's panel of experts include a newly born star or recently exploded star. ‘One thing for certain,’ UC Professor Venter Joubrille stated unequivocally, "is that it can’t be any kind of star at all. The emission spectra are all wrong.’ In his hour-long presentation, Professor Joubrille provided more details on the nature of these dilemmas. ‘We know a great deal about stars and stellar formation,’ he said, ‘and we know that a star emits radiation at a specific number of wavelengths. And although we know that the emission spectra of a star will vary slightly depending on its exact chemical composition, broadly speaking when we observe a star we know what kind of data to expect.’ It is generally understood that the object defies these conventions. ‘The thing is a perfect black body,’ the professor explained, ‘the emissions are powerful, unbroken and fall across the spectrum, giving us very little insight into what the object is made from.’

Doctor Hanno Brokkenheim of Hedion University continued the debate by examining some of the observational data in more detail. ‘There is no discernible physical structure in the vicinity of the object,’ he concluded, ‘if it was a supernova, the ejecta from the explosion would be visible. Similarly, a large object such as a black hole would be detectable by its accretion disk and by its distinctive polar radiation. This thing has no structure at all. It’s like an unbelievably hot singularity, that just popped into existence out of nowhere.’

The second half of the conference was devoted to possible explanations of what the object could be. Professor Heins Yans of Caldari State University, another speaker at the event, put forth his theory that this might be humanity’s first observation of a white hole, the theoretical physical opposite of a black hole. ‘There really can be no other explanation for the level of energy being released by the object,’ he said, evoking controversy and criticism from his colleagues.

Doctor Yeldrem Bane of Renyn College of Astronomy was prepared to go even further. ‘The laws of thermodynamics may not be the only physical laws that are being violated by this object,’ he conjectured. ‘If this object is two-hundred light-years away it would take two hundred years to reach us in the Federation, with a variation of several years depending on which system you are in. For its light to appear in every system in known space at the same time simply doesn’t make any sense. We’ve witnessed a physical impossibility!'

The conference closed without consensus, although all in attendance were agreed that the phenomenon is highly unusual and warrants detailed and protracted study by the academic community. The uncertainty however does play into the hands of armchair theorists and fringe groups, many of which see the new light in the sky as some kind of omen or portent.