Men could never live on such a star; only by the most advanced technology can humans exist in synchronous orbit to observe it. The surface gravity is an incredible sixty-seven billion times that of Earth, with matter so compressed that the mass of a normal star is packed into a crusted sphere only twenty kilometers in diameter. A magnetic field of two trillion times that of Earth distorts the nuclei in the crust, and our normal chemical reactions are replaced by neutron reactions.
Yeet on that impossible world, men detect intelligent life — the cheela, who live so fast that one of our hours is the equivalent to them of more than a hundred years of human life. And we follow those cheela as they struggle from savagery to the discovery of science. In a moving story of sacrifice and triumph, we see them establish contact with the humans orbiting above them.
For a time, men are their teachers. For a brief time...
Robert Lull Forward (August 15, 1932 – September 21, 2002) was an American physicist and science fiction writer. His literary work was noted for its scientific credibility and use of ideas developed from his career as an aerospace engineer. He also made important contributions to gravitational wave detection research.