Pulsar Planets [was Bioastronomy]

Robert J. Bradbury (bradbury@www.aeiveos.com)
Fri, 13 Aug 1999 20:16:16 -0700 (PDT)

> Patrick Wilken <patrickw@cs.monash.edu.au> wrote:

> Has anyone come up with a reasonable explanation as to how planets could
> form around a pulsar? I thought that was impossible with current
> astronomical models; the preceding supernova explosion supposedly removing
> any planets (and the material to create new ones?) from the system.

I think the models now allow that the supernova may not blast planets out of the system. [One of our physics experts should be able to compute the force exerted on a planet by the SN (at least from an "energy impact" standpoint) and determine whether it can really deflect it from orbit].

Since, there are models where neutron stars and/or white dwarfs may suck matter from a nearby star, it is possible that this could lead to a disk that might form planets. [This seems iffy though.]

The planets could certainly be "collected" during near stellar collisions.

> Is there any reason why the super-advanced would like be near pulsars?

(a) They like devoting all of their energy resources to rebuilding their

nanomachines damaged by high radiation levels. Perhaps because life as an SI around a normal star gets boring and putting yourself in a high-rad environment has to make things a lot more difficult (i.e. exciting).

(b) The planet is an "off-the-neutron-star" communication station. Neutron

stars would in theory provide the densest "computronium". I have no idea how you would get signals "in" or "out" however. [What happens to photons hitting a ball of neutrons????]. Perhaps changes in the vibration or spin state of the neutron star are "read" by the planet and relayed to other ultra-super-intelligences (neutron-star computers).

(c) The planet has been placed there by the benevolent ETAI association

to allow worm-brains like us who only have radio telescopes and haven't figured out high resolution visible spectroscopy to detect planets and go all warm & fuzzy thinking about the possibility of an inhabited universe.