Searching for Intelligent Life

The Universe Within

Procyon A,B

Struve 2398 A,B

Lalande 21185

Luyten 372-58

61 Cygni A,B

Lacaille 9352

Ross 128

Groombridge 34 A,B


All tracks copyright 2012 David Wayne Higgins

Searching for Intelligent Life

Each track this compilation is named after a star within 12.5 light years from earth.  The titles follow my own twisted logic of titleing.  The star, the system, the size, the distance, the process of discovery, the possible emotion of discovery, what life would be like in a certian system, or even what it would be like to travel to that system.  Hopefully, I have never pretended anything but the truth.  Sometimes I name pieces due to actual visions or interpretations of impressions of visions, events, or emotions.  The introductory track, “The Universe Within” is a college of outtakes from the “recording sessions” of the remaining tracks.

The following scientific information is taken from a website which is created by Richard Powell.  The cover photo is also by on Richard Powell and is a diagram of the stars 12.5 light years from earth.  I have attempted to contact him, but have no success.

Procyon A,B – Type=F5+DA, Magnitudes=0.4+10.7, Distance=11.41 ly
A brilliant yellow-white star, and the eighth brightest star in the sky. With twice the diameter of the Sun, Procyon is also the largest star within 25 light years. Procyon is orbited by a white dwarf companion first seen optically in 1896. The orbital period is 41 years.  [Musically, this was very exciting for me, for I finally found a method which displays my love for the music of the composer, Alexander Courage (the original "Star Trek" series).]

Struve 2398 A,B – Type=M4+M5, Magnitudes=8.9+9.7, Distance=11.6 ly
A binary system of two red dwarfs named Struve 2398 from a catalogue of double stars published in 1827. This system is also known by the rather more boring name of BD+59°1915. The two stars are quite widely separated (50 AU) and orbit each other in a 450 year period. [A backward/forward spiralling piece.]

Lalande 21185 – Type=M2, Magnitude=7.5, Distance=8.31 ly
Recorded in JJ Lalande’s star catalogue compiled in the 1790′s, this is one of the brightest red dwarfs in the sky, but it still needs binoculars to see it. G Gatewood reported in 1996 the possible indications of a couple of Jupiter sized planets orbiting it but this remains unconfirmed. [This one sounds more like an underwater sonar than a telescopic event.]

Luyten 789-6 A,B,C – Type=M5+M5+M7, Magnitudes=13.3+13.3+14.0, Distance=11.1 ly
There seems to be three red dwarfs in this system. The main pair orbiting each other in a 2 year period, and a dim third star orbiting the first at a very close range. [More Alexander Courage influence, with a bit of Stanislov Lem thrown in.]

61 Cygni A,B – Type=K5+K7, Magnitudes=5.2+6.1, Distance=11.41 ly
This binary system of two orange dwarf stars is famous for being the first star ever to have its distance measured by F Bessel in 1838. Both stars are very similar but are widely separated (86 AU) requiring about 700 years to orbit each other. [A quiet, dancing snowflakes, sort of piece.]

Lacaille 9352 – Type=M2, Magnitude=7.4, Distance=10.73 ly
A fairly bright red dwarf which can easily be seen with binoculars, it was first recorded in Nicolas de Lacaille’s catalogue of southern hemisphere stars compiled around 1752. [The previous but at half speed.]

Ross 128 – Type=M4, Magnitude=11.1, Distance=10.89 ly
A dim red dwarf, also known as FI Vir – its variable star designation. [A variation on the theme used for "Lalande 21185".]

Groombridge 34 A,B – Type=M2+M6, Magnitudes=8.1+11.1, Distance=11.64 ly
Another pair of red dwarfs, this system is usually called Groombridge 34 from an 1838 catalogue of northern stars or sometimes BD+43°44. Both stars are variable in brightness and have the variable star names of GX And and GQ And. Both stars lie far apart from each other (150 AU) and orbit each other in a 2500 year period. [Another variation, this time utilizing a ring modulator.]