OK Here is a scientific riddle for all to consider. If you are brilliant you can solve it in your head. Once upon a time there were two solar systems exactly 10 light years apart. Around each star there circled a planet with intelligent life. Civilization developed on each to the point of developing radio and television and they got in touch with each other. They discovered the amazing coincidence that their years were absolutely identical in length. Oooo. Naturally, they decided to synchronize their new year celebrations. So every new years day, they'd have their own celebration, and play the incoming greetings from the other planet (10 years old, but coming in right on time) on each planet, all having a marvelous time pondering the philosophical implications, etc. Finally, the folks of planet alpha developed a space ship capable of traveling to system beta. They decided to launch the thing on new year's day, of course. Starting from low orbit around the home planet, the nuclear propulsion device immediately hurtled the ship and crew (protected by force fields) to a rate of 87 percent of the speed of light. They coasted at that rate to planet beta all the way. This trip will obviously take about 11 and a half years (as time passes on the planets - we won't think about the Einstein relativity affects in the ship for the purposes of this riddle) Naturally, the crew aboard the ship were equipped with thoroughly competent communication devices, and were listening to both planet transmissions all the way. They get the general news, etc, and of course - the annual new year celebrations. Your question is - how many annual new years celebrations will the ship and crew pick up from planet Beta by the time they finally arrive there? In the spirit of allowing others to participate in the riddle, please just post your guesses for a couple of days without posting how you arrive at the guess.

Not much action! C'mon folks, here's you chance to be brilliant! Gina, that's not the right answer - sad to say . . .

Well the only other answer missing is 24. Times up Paul, tell us the answer. Are we missing something? Rob

The correct answer is 21. 11 because of the 11 and a half years traveling over there - and 10 more because in crossing from a 10 light year delay to zero light year delay those other 10 years come in. One way to think of it is that there are 10 celebrations hanging out there in space on the way from beta to alpha and they will be crossed as the ship goes over. 22 might be considered a correct answer if one counts the very one being recieved at the time of departure. So Debby is the winner!

That was my logic exactly - you had to include the coming and going. Boy am I surprised! Because my logic has been known to be faulty now and then - not a good thing for a programmer, is it ?