Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Superstar educashun

Today the BBC news site reported Star dies in monstrous explosion. Not a music or film star caught up in some horrific accident but a star, called SN 2006gy, reckoned to be 150 times the size of the sun has exploded (or is it imploded?) in outer space somewhere. The article did refer to the explosion peaking over 70 days but other than that, as one reads the article it appears that the explosion is happening right now. The same info appears on Nasa's own site.

Terribly exciting stuff.

Which it is. But is it me, or did I not learn at school that by the time we see the light from these exploding stars, that as they are so far away the actual explosion happened many years ago and what we are seeing is just the light images? So, if SN 2006gy is some 240 million light-years away (according to the article) that means the explosion happened some 240 million years ago! The light show is finally reaching us, or our telescopes, but the actual explosion has been done and dusted a long time ago.

Now, I think that is extremely exciting.

It might be semantics but I wish these things were made clearer and not just brushed under the carpet. The finer details of the article on both sites seem to suggest that another star could be about to explode. But, if that star, Eta Carinae, is some 7,500 light years away then if we are about to see the explosion then it actually exploded a very long time ago and is not about to explode! Semantics, semantics.

Glad I got that one out of my system.

Original Comments:

Chandira said...

I read that too and had the same thought.. lol :-) Great minds, and all that.
Or are we just nerds? My husband's nickname for me is 'nerd-girl'.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007 12:43:00 AM

Britmum said...

I will pretend that I understood all that. lol

Missed reading you. I hope that you are well.

Take care xx

Wednesday, May 09, 2007 1:29:00 AM

Doris said...

Dear Nerd-Girl

I am glad I am not the only one! ;)


Hi Britmum

We're fine, I'm just back in stealth mode as having so much to do.

I'm so glad you've written what you have - may I ask? Did you hear about this item on the news and when you heard it did you get the impression that the "explosion" was happening now? If so, that's my point. But really, don't worry about responding... life is too short to split hairs (even if I think they are pretty fundamental hairs!) and I am just getting old and becoming one of the grumpy ones ;)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007 7:54:00 AM

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