Not an XM-L story...but light related nevertheless :0

This is not a flashlight story but it is a light story! Late last month a supernova was sighted near the Big Dipper. One day a star was not visible and over the next few days it was very visible and continued to brighten over the next several weeks.

A supernova is basically a star that is blowing up (fusion) the end of its life cycle. Since this star is 25 million light years away it actually blew up 25 million years ago but we are just seeing it as of the end of August.

To put this in perspective this star blew up a long time ago in one sense but it was still more recent than the extinction of the dinosaurs (which occurred about 65 million years ago).

As I said, this isn't a flashlight story but it is a light story and an interesting one at that.

I didn't even hear about that. I don't think my telescope could have picked it up anyway since it is not even in this galaxy. Makes me want to go look for the pinwheel galaxy though.

Any more info about it, news, location if I happen to look up in the sky?

Light travels a long time...

A bit offtopic: there´s always a discussion, why we haven´t been contacted nor have we found any signs of life.

As I see it, we have been here for such a miserable short while (and most likely that´s all we can achieve), that it would take a huge pile of luck to happen to even exist at same time as some other beings.

The time and distance relationship to the vastness of space is endlessly fascinating to me. If the Voyager 1 could maintain its 17 km/s all the way to Proxima Centauri (our closest star) it would arrive there in about 70,000 years. 4.5 light years might not sound like much until some perspecttive is applied.


Already posted in another thread but:

At the point, when "camera" zooms out to 70 years and to extent of humanity´s first radio signals, I get a very clear vision about why we don´t get a reply :D

It´s just a drop in the ocean and after all, who would like to even deal with us? Look at the mess down here, jeez...

Here you go:

Regarding other life, I tend to agree with you. Life may be rare enough that you're not likely to have it exit in two places at the same time.

It also may just be that we are the first in a young universe.

Thanks for the link, interesting!

Too bad I do not have the telescope I used to have as a kid anymore...

I have several telescopes but I live where it's often cloudy and rainy so I end up using binoculars much of the time (quick set-up). A decent pair of binoculars and some free sky watching software for your computer goes a long way toward learning about the night skies.

Use the software to show you what the skies should look like outside and then go out there with your binoculars to find the subjects of interest.

according to the article gcbryan linked to, this supernova has a blueish-white tin. i guess the white dwarf didn't have enough phosphor in it. can we get a warm white next time.

anyway, interesting story. thanks for sharing. according to the article this supernova is kinda big deal coz it occured at a time when we have big telescope to observe it and it is kinda close. too bad my local media don't care much about interesting story like this one.