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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: (urth) Infrared star
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 17:05:48 

Maybe we should just go ahead and call the Old Sun, aka the dying sun, an
"infrared star."  This because: it ain't natural (must always bear that in
mind); with a hypothetical IR star you have the output so shifted into red
that there is no blue to scatter in the atmosphere, and it stays dark in
the day (as in the text); a habitable zone (planetary orbit around a star)
can be maintained by IR heat, so there will be liquid water and dim
illumination, but if I understand it correctly, plant life needs higher
energy (like ultraviolet grow-lamps), so the plant life begins to fall off
. . . and ultimately the entire life network relies upon plants.

In this model, the "dying" of the sun is experienced on Urth as a shifting
of the solar output down from the blue end and into the IR--that is to say,
it is "dying" in the sense of pigment rather than mortality (<g> to Charles
Dye, remembering the "These Are the Jokes" one about the dyer).  Animal
habitability is maintained, but plant habitability is shaved away bit by
bit (which in turn reduces long term animal habitability).

Just a thought.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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