Supernova In Flagrante Delicto

rickyjames writes, Supernovas have long held a special place in science fiction, so it’s worth noting that one has just been caught for the first time in the act of detonation by astrophysicist Alicia Soderberg. This woman is lucky beyond belief, her discovery is about like hitting a royal flush in the final hand to win the World Series of Poker… I’m not to sure about rickyjames’ analogy. My gut tells me the Royal Flush is quite a bit more likely; I’ll have to double check the math on that to be sure.

5 replies on “Supernova In Flagrante Delicto”

  1. Tekzel says:

    Does it bother anyone else…
    When someone refers to these sorts of astronomical events as if they just happened?

    "On January 9, 2008, a massive star in it exploded, and instead of finding out days or weeks later, astronomers caught it in the act, right at the moment, in flagrante delicto."

    Actually, no, it happened something like 84 million years ago. We only just saw it. Am I being unreasonable? I think its an important distinction. I have no idea why this bugs me but they do it all the time so it must be just me.

    • rickyjames says:

      Re: Does it bother anyone else…

      as if they just happened?

      I know what you mean, but the fact of the matter is that according to the Theory of Relativity, it actually didn’t happen 84 million years ago, either, so the general thought is to keep it simple for the unwashed masses in the newspapers.

      You REALLY want your mind blown? Think about and explain to me the implications of the Andromeda Paradox…

      • rickyjames says:

        Re: Does it bother anyone else…

        it actually didn’t happen 84 million years ago, either…

        An elaboration of this statement is that the supernova happened X millions of years ago every January, when the earth’s orbit around the sun gives one relative velocity with respect to the galaxy, and Y million years ago in June with the opposite relative velocity a half year later, and is only exactly 83 million years ago for an instant in March…

        • Trekkie says:

          Re: Does it bother anyone else…
          how about we agree in order to make it cool to the people who watch american idol, that you say it happened in january, 2008?

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: Does it bother anyone else…

        as if they just happened?

        I know what you mean, but the fact of the matter is that according to the Theory of Relativity, it actually didn’t happen 84 million years ago, either, so the general thought is to keep it simple for the unwashed masses in the newspapers.

        You REALLY want your mind blown? Think about and explain to me the implications of the Andromeda Paradox…

        What we really need to do now is find a telescope that hasn’t seen this supernova yet then we’d be on to something….

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