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Error message

Sometimes astronomy is exciting. You go out, use a gigantic telescope to collect light from a distant star so far away that the light left in like 1700AD. You sit down at your computer and use that light, in the form of a digitally-recorded image, to measure the movement of the star and notice that the star's velocity is changing in a very predictable pattern. Then you get to use that pattern to divine the existence of a planet orbiting a distant sun. You found a planet, a world, another place in the Galaxy! That might be someone's Jupiter that they look up and see in their night sky. Perhaps some alien got excommunicated from their alien church for proposing that their Jupiter orbited their sun, rather than their home planet. Maybe that world you detected from your night of observing inspires poetry and songs among an alien people.

Other times astronomy is less exciting and much more...um...what's the word? Buggy. For example, today I got the following error message:

Ionization (call_external): EOS_list_species - this error should never happen

No other information was given. No advice. No helpful suggestions. Just the fact that whatever happened should never have happened. Ever. Then the program died gracefully, leaving me wondering where it all went so wrong.

Science!

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