vendredi 18 septembre 2009


The Snowmen are believed to be among the oldest species of the Milky Way Galaxy. They developed at a time when the Galaxy itself was no more than a disc of smoke, illuminated here and there by hot-spot protostars, when there were scarcely any heavy elements to form planets.
At some point of their evolution, they turned temselves completely toward the philosophy that to record events - and only to record - was the highest calling of life. They took apart their world and rebuilt it as a monstrous storage system. They used all the material at their disposal to freeze as much data as they could in an atificial structure called the Snowflake, making near-optimal use of matter, by recording information right down to the thermodynamic limit set by the background temperature of the Universe. As the universe cools down they can store more data.
The SnowFlake is a regular tetrahedron built around the remains of a black dwarf. It measures over ten million miles along its edges. How it maintains its structure in the gravity well of the star remains unknown. While possessing about the same mass as the Earth, it has been puffed out like candy-floss; filled with struts, threads and whiskers of iron, like delicate scaffolding. It has a fractal architecture with the tetrahedron motif, repeated again and again, on all scales.
How the structure, nearly 10 billion years old endured, as it was built when the star it orbits, while todya three degrees above absolute zero, still shone at about eighteen K is another mystery.
It remains unclear if the Snowmen still exist and what their oriignal form was like. A Dully-glowing globe of purple, miles wide, embedded beneath the planar skin of the SnowFlake is believed ot be what remains of them. As no complete exploration of the Snowflake has ever been done, other such spheres may exist in its structure.
Source: Stephen Baxter, Xeelee Universe, "The Godel Sunflower" in Vacuum Diagrams.

Note: The Watchers from the Marvel Universe have a similar philosophy and may be as old.

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