home authors guest shorts graphical shorts
"There remain some possibilities for a rational explanation," I began. All eyes were on me, and I was ready to deliver.
"There's a small chance that during the Hubble observations, the suspected satellite of Sedna was hidden, lurking either directly behind or directly in front of Sedna." I paused to let my words sink in. "Or a satellite might have throttled Sedna's rotation long ago, then been destroyed in a collision or lost in a gravitational interaction with a planet."
You could hear a pin drop in the room. I had them now, and wasn't going to let up.
"Or, Sedna might rotate every 25 hours instead of 24 days, a setup that could fool astronomers into drawing their present conclusion. This latter possibility can be confirmed or ruled out with more observations."
I decided to try improvising a little...
"All these scenarios are seen as unlikely. More likely, Brown figures, is that the satellite is darker than expected and simply didn't show up."
I leaned forward and, lowering my voice for dramatic effect, delivered my knockout punch.
" 'Even though it's quite large, it could be quite dark,' he said. 'We still very strongly believe there is or was a satellite.' " Heading offstage, I acknowledged the thunderous standing ovation with a gracious tilt of the head. No curtain call, though - that's not part of what I do.
Date Written: April 16, 2004
Author: Jon Matza
Average Vote: 3.75