In the classic science fiction novel, Venus on the Half Shell by Kilgore Trout, the question of how intelligent life evolved (at many different locations) in The Universe is raised, and pursued by the novel’s protagonist. As the novel ends, it turns out that the origin of intelligent life across the universe is …SPOILER WARNING … END OF THE BOOK IS BELOW THE FOLD
… closely linked to cockroach shit.So now you know how it ends, but you’ve really got to read that book anyway.Well, once again, real life imitates fiction (how does it do that???) as it has recently been discovered that planet-forming stuff can, metaphorically (I assume) “burp” out of a star after it swallows another star.Now, if you’ve read Kilgore Trout’s masterpiece, you will know why this is especially funny. If not, well, you have to read this book.Anyway, from New Scientist:
An unusual star may have swallowed its stellar companion and burped out a planet-forming cloud as a result, a new study reports.The star, called BP Piscium, is surrounded by a thick disc of gas and dust from which it appears to be sucking up new material at a prodigious rate.These properties are typical of young stars, but BP Piscium appears to be much older, based on the weak signs of lithium in its light spectrum. Younger stars have plenty of lithium, but it gets destroyed as stars age.