Slartibartfast was the award winning designer of the Norwegian fjords, according to Douglas Adams’s comedy science fiction book ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’.
Recently, scientists searching the skies for extra-terrestrial life have discovered a type of star which shows similar characteristics to that of the fjords. This is no madcap search, but it made me wonder whether Slartibartfast had been promoted.
The stars were found in data from the Kepler space telescope by looking for stars with two characteristic pulsation frequencies that have a “golden ratio” of approximately 1.62. These stars are known as ‘strange non-chaotic attractors’ and are a type of periodic variable star known as an “RRc Lyrae” variable.
Well, the pulsation follows a power law of -1.5, just as do the Norwegian fjords.
Slartibartfast’s fjord design was successful because the shape of the coastal outline (based on the Golden Ratio and a power law exponent of -1.5) makes the shape particularly pleasing to the human eye. The Golden Ratio is a characteristic of features of the human face, the shape of the Egyptian pyramids and the Parthenon in Athens.
Extra Terrestrial Communication
It’s a breathtaking idea and surely worthy of Slartibartfast’s ingenuity.
Full story: Physicsworld.com