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April 28, 2003

Sigma Octanus, the messages its rocks have preserved, and the similar signals in a Black Hole that confound us...

James  ( writes:

I've been working on a theory about Halo and the Forerruners I started forming after another read through of Fall of Reach, where a part in page 234 caught my attention (The part where Cortana is talking about the crystal from Sigma Octanus IV):

"I have also, um...coordinated with UNSC's astro-physics department and discovered some interesting bits archived in their long-range observational databases. There is a black hole located approximately forty thousand light-years from the Sigma Octanus System. An extremely powerful pulse-laser transmission back-scattered the matter in the accretion disk- essentially trapped this signal as this matter accelerated toward the speed of light. From our perspective, according to special relativity, this essentially froze the residue of this information on the event horizon."

"I'll take your word for it," Dr. Halsey said.

This 'frozen signal' contains information that matches the sample from Sigma Octanus Four." Cortana sighed and her shoulders slumped. "Unfortunately, all my attempts at translating the code have far."

Now for a while, I thought that Cortana was referring to the infra-red beam that the Covenant were using. However, on my last read through, I realized two things-

1. No matter how powerful that infrared beam was, it wasn't possible for that beam to reach a black hole 40 thousand light-years away- that infrared beam must've taken up a huge amount of power to get to the Covenant receiver ship- heck, my remote can barely turn the TV on from 20 feet!

2. Even if the infrared beam somehow reached the black-hole, it couldn't have been frozen in time for around 40,000 years.

Not to mention that the signal from the Covenant's analysis of the rock would have taken 40 000 years just to reach the black hole. Have we discovered another bit of incorrect information in the novel, or does this indicate someone else released such a pulse in millennia past?

For now I too will leave the exact physics of the beam's preservation to Cortana :)

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