Gone with the heat?
"Feeling the heat of an extrasolar planet" (SN: 10/28/06, p. 285) made me wonder how long a gas planet is expected to survive when one of its faces is more than 1,000°C. The conventional model of our solar system assumes that gas planets can form and survive only in a cold region of space. This implies that Upsilon Andromedae b moved to its present position after it had formed and that it is now evaporating rapidly.
White Plains, N.Y.
Reflecting on a problem
One solution to global warming suggested in "A Swarm of Umbrellas vs. Global Warming: Astronomer thinks small to save Earth" (SN: 11/4/06, p. 291) is stretching Mylar across the ground. How about designing reflective concrete to aid in this endeavor? We are already covering a large amount of Earth with pavement.
Tom E. Klassen