Sirius B (was: Digest V1 #880 then Why I love DWJ)

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Fri Sep 17 08:42:08 EDT 2004

While the only astronomical meaning I know of for Zoi
is "zone of influence" (of a comet or star), however
the presence of the zoi on earth has left a trace as
there is a mineral Zoisite.


--- Belben Philip <Philip.Belben at>

> >> Oh yes, I've just remembered that my one-time
> astro-phsicist partner
> >> read Dogsbody and said it was quite accurate
> about what we know about
> >> zois.
> >
> > We know something about zois?? It's quite right of
> course that Sirius
> > has a 'companion', Sirius B - and there's even a
> theory (Robert Temples
> > *The Sirius Mystery*, 1976 I think) that this was
> the source of early
> > alien visitors to this planet! I don't know if DWJ
> knew about the
> > latter, mind.
> AFAIK, "Compainion of Sirius" was a quite early name
> for Sirius B: 1930s or
> earlier, I'd guess, before we knew much about white
> dwarfs, or any stars off
> the main sequence, for that matter.
> IIRC Sirius B was the first white dwarf to be
> discovered, and at the time
> nobody really knew what it was.  I think it's in
> "The Wonder Book of
> Science", late 1920s, that there is a wonderful
> remark (please forgive the
> poor paraphrase - my copy of the book is 400 miles
> away):
>      It had always been merely an assumption that
> other stars would have
>      planets like ours, until the recent discovery
> of an apparent planet
>      around Sirius.
> But Beck - do tell us more about zoi, when you have
> a chance!  I've been
> daydreaming about zoi, and what one might do with
> them, every time I've read
> Dogsbody over the last quarter-century or more.
> Philip (who has finally given in to the temptation
> to make a truly awful pun
> on "The Dog(on) Star")
> PS the real howler in Dogsbody is "Schist and Gneiss
> are igneous formations
> of the precambrian era."  No they're not!  They're
> metamorphic.  And Schist
> is usually more recent; I can't remember typical
> ages, but Gneiss has
> undergone more metamorphosis than Schist.
> --
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