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'Instant Cosmic Classic' Supernova Discovered

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the transfixed-by-distant-lights dept.

Space 141

chill sends this quote from a news release by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: "A supernova discovered yesterday is closer to Earth — approximately 21 million light-years away—than any other of its kind in a generation. Astronomers believe they caught the supernova within hours of its explosion, a rare feat made possible with a specialized survey telescope and state-of-the-art computational tools. 'We caught this supernova very soon after explosion. PTF 11kly is getting brighter by the minute. It’s already 20 times brighter than it was yesterday,' said Peter Nugent, the senior scientist at Berkeley Lab who first spotted the supernova. ... the supernova is still getting brighter, and might even be visible with good binoculars in ten days’ time, appearing brighter than any other supernova of its type in the last 30 years."

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A HUMAN SUPERNOVA !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37217776)

POW !!

1987 Called (2)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218482)

the supernova is still getting brighter, and might even be visible with good binoculars in ten days’ time, appearing brighter than any other supernova of its type in the last 30 years.

SN 1987A called to remind about its naked eye visibility.

Re:1987 Called (5, Informative)

alendit (1454311) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218520)

the supernova is still getting brighter, and might even be visible with good binoculars in ten days’ time, appearing brighter than any other supernova of its type in the last 30 years.

SN 1987A was a Type II supernova, this one ist Type Ia.

Re:1987 Called (3, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219646)

I think a lot of people are disregarding this supernova. True the Type II explosions tend to produce experts in supernovae. But it should be remembered that Type I explosions still scare people. My wife and I were on the couch last night and suddenly we were both like, "Did you feel that? It felt like a burst of neutrinos coming out of the ceiling!" Which surprised me because I just had the roofers here last week laying down Spanish tile to keep fermions out.

well actually... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37217778)

caught the supernova within hours of its explosion

Plus 21 million years!

Re:well actually... (2)

Y2KDragon (525979) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217806)

This. But the timing was right to catch the sight of it as the light reached Earth. Still, that's awesomely cool to have had that opportunity.

Re:well actually... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37217914)

Yes... It went nova when our ancestors were still flinging their poo from trees, at giant cats that wanted to eat them!

Nice to see we haven't changed much in the time it took the light to get here.

Re:well actually... (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217978)

Ok, so every time a discussion about this comes up somebody points out this weird bit of relativity that says, it's actually happening from our frame of reference right now.

Re:well actually... (2)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218046)

it's actually happening from our frame of reference right now.

Correction: It's happening in those photons' frame of reference right now.

Re:well actually... (3, Funny)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218582)

That's not so much a correction as a BRAINMELTINGHELPME

Re:well actually... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218860)

Everything a photon experiences is happening right now from the photons frame of reference.

Re:well actually... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219458)

And right here. The universe is a small place if you are a photon.

Re:well actually... (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219520)

Not really. There's infinitely much of the universe that the photon can never reach, because from its frame of reference it only travels in a perfectly straight line.

Re:well actually... (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219536)

21 million years ago called, it wants its photons back.

Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37217796)

We're doomed! Dooooooooooooomed!

The Messiah (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37217802)

It will appear at full brightness when Steve Jobs passes, and it will lead the faithful to the new Messiah who has inherited his soul.

Re:The Messiah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37219236)

+1 haha.

Cool (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37217830)

I read a post like this and I can't help but think that even at its nerdiest, science can be really freaking cool.

Re:Cool (2)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217952)

it's supernova cool.

Re:Cool (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219652)

it's supernova cool.

So not very then?

whoop-de-doo (0)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217834)

So, what they're saying is that if discarding any supernova not of this specific type (type Ia), then there hasn't been any closer for a staggering 20 years?

What's nice here is how quickly it was accidentally discovered. That will be helpful for studying.

Re:whoop-de-doo (3, Insightful)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218328)

What's nice here is how quickly it was accidentally discovered. That will be helpful for studying.

It was no accident: it was discovered by a system specifically set up to do a search of the sky every night looking for changes just like this, It is modern computer-assisted observations that made this possible: computers will do the tedious task of looking at the same bit of sky over and over again looking for changes.

Re:whoop-de-doo (0)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218432)

It's still accidental, in that they don't cover the entire sky.

Re:whoop-de-doo (1, Redundant)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218808)

It's still accidental, in that they don't cover the entire sky.

Not it is not, if the intention was to monitor and capture events occuring within the area of the sky being covered.

Re:whoop-de-doo (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219630)

It's still accidental, in that they don't cover the entire sky.

I do not think that "accidental" means what you think it means.

And here is a question I have not seen asked.

What do you think "accidental" means?

Re:whoop-de-doo (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219888)

So, what they're saying is that if discarding any supernova not of this specific type (type Ia), then there hasn't been any closer for a staggering 20 years?

Yeah, what's so exciting about a cosmic event being observed, better than any of it's type has been in 20 years?

Those astronomers, eh? Getting excited over every single flawless observation of once-in-a-generation events. Honestly, so very uncool.

I mean honestly, what do the editors of this site think- that the readership is nothing but a bunch of nerds or something?

Astounding! (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217840)

Astronomers believe they caught the supernova within hours of its explosion, a rare feat made possible with a specialized survey telescope and state-of-the-art computational tools

An amazingly rare feat, as not only did they catch the supernova right away, they somehow violated the universal speed limit of c in order to do so. Someone call the physics police on "chill" or Soulskill or whoever made that summary.

Re:Astounding! (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217874)

I'm not a physicist, but I'm given to understand that it's a valid way to look at the universe -- so say something is happening "now" when "now" is the earliest you could detect it given the speed of light.

Re:Astounding! (5, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218234)

Neither am I, but I'm having to deal with a lot of time and space recently. Even the light we observe from the sun is 8 minutes old. To add insult to injury, gravity has an effect on the rate at which time runs, so an atomic clock at sea level will start to diverge from an atomic clock on a mountain. And our sensory data has a non-zero processing time. All of which makes it astoundingly difficult to even find out when "now" is, much less use that information for anything before it becomes "then."

Re:Astounding! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218314)

When will Then be Now?

Re:Astounding! (2)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218400)

Soon.

Re:Astounding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37219186)

Damn, I missed it.

Re:Astounding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218404)

Soon

Re:Astounding! (1)

aevan (903814) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218430)

Soon

Re:Astounding! (1)

mpkovak (843720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218558)

Soon(tm)

Re:Astounding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37219018)

Always.

Just then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37219044)

Just then then was now, now it isn't.

Re:Astounding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218436)

Actually the light is not old at all. It just takes 8 minutes to get here. ;)

Re:Astounding! (2)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218550)

i always loved that when our star dies - it will take 8min 30sec before we find out. also that given the nearest start is >4 years.. so right now there could be nothing out there, we just don't know it yet.

Re:Astounding! (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218638)

Maybe gravity and other forces have an effect on how fast matter decays, possibly as gravitational drag affects particles with mass such as neutrons ... you know, like how they "Proved" relativity by putting a clock on a plane and firing afterburners, and saying it ran slower than the clock on the ground. Has nothing to do with the Gs applied to the clock.

Re:Astounding! (1)

black soap (2201626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219032)

According to the tour at McDonald Observatory, the light takes many many centuries to get from the center of the sun to the outside, but then under 8 minutes to get all the way to Earth.

Re:Astounding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37217880)

> universal speed limit of c

Careful now; the universal speed limit of c in a vacuum.

It is quite easy to exceed c in water, for example.

Re:Astounding! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37217918)

That's what "c" is, actually: the speed of light in a vacuum. To say it's easy to exceed c in water is to say that it's easy to exceed the speed of light in a vacuum, in water.

Re:Astounding! (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218036)

Do you know that there isn't water in that vacuum? ;)

Re:Astounding! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218426)

Last time I got water in my vacuum, it broke.

Re:Astounding! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218030)

"It is quite easy to exceed c in water, for example."

Careful with that, English is an ambiguous language. The speed of light in water is slower than the speed of light in a vacuum. Photons in water are slower than in space. Therefore, some particles can travel faster in water than light does in water.

Re:Astounding! (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218122)

I'm not a physicist, but my guess is that the photons aren't any slower in water than they are in a vacuum. It's just that they are "bouncing" from atom to atom, being absorbed and re-emitted, and suffering similar hindrances that the vacuum travelling photon misses out on.

Re:Astounding! (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218362)

I'm not a physicist,

Agreed.

they are "bouncing" from atom to atom, being absorbed and re-emitted

No.

Re:Astounding! (2)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218366)

I don't think that is true. I think changes in the dielectric constants actually change the rate at which electromagnetic waves propagate in transparent materials. If photons were bouncing off atoms, they would not keep travelling in the same direction, so water would be translucent rather than transparent.

Re:Astounding! (2)

pegdhcp (1158827) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218516)

It is long time past my wave theory classes, but I believe you are right. The proof of speed change in different mediums was (as far as I can remember) based on wave model not on particle model and it is a general proof, that, it is applicable to light and other wave forms..

Re:Astounding! (2)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218796)

But at whatever speed, is C still the limit? If light through water travels at 95% of its vacuum speed, can other particles travel through water at between 95% to 100% of C?

My hunch is no, but the universe doesn't always respect my hunches.

Re:Astounding! (1)

Truth is life (1184975) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219306)

Yes, that's what causes Cherenkov radiation [wikipedia.org] (the "blue glow" of nuclear reactors in cooling water pools).

Re:Astounding! (1)

Langalf (557561) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219426)

Cherenkov radiation.

Re:Astounding! (3, Insightful)

owlstead (636356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218356)

"It is quite easy to exceed c in water, for example."

I'll take you up on that. Crate of beer?

Re:Astounding! (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218712)

It is quite easy to exceed c in water, for example.

I'm okay with that as long as you don't p in the pool.

Re:Astounding! (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219590)

I think you're getting confused with the speed of sea.

Re:Astounding! (2)

Tynin (634655) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217902)

Astronomers believe they caught the supernova within hours of its explosion, a rare feat made possible with a specialized survey telescope and state-of-the-art computational tools

An amazingly rare feat, as not only did they catch the supernova right away, they somehow violated the universal speed limit of c in order to do so. Someone call the physics police on "chill" or Soulskill or whoever made that summary.

It isn't the summary at fault, from TFA:

Astronomers believe they caught the supernova within hours of its explosion, a rare feat made possible with a specialized survey telescope and state-of-the-art computational tools.

I think it is assumed that when they say they that found it within hours, they mean they found it within hours of the first light of this event reaching Earth, but since they didn't say so explicitly, I imagine you won't be the only one repeating this like they found something clever.

Re:Astounding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218920)

but since they didn't say so explicitly

I knew when I saw the title most of the discussion would be people saying about how the event happened 21 million years ago and not now as if they were the first in the world to ever make that observation. This is why I stopped hanging out with major geeks in real life- the endless, pointless, mind-numbing pedantry.

Re:Astounding! (1)

black soap (2201626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219074)

Now is there any data on what the star was doing 3 days ago, so we might have hints what an imminent-supernova might look like? That would mean the next one we could catch even earlier.

Re:Astounding! (2)

immakiku (777365) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217920)

There's no absolute concept of time anyway - it would not be more or less correct to say a few hours rather than a few million light years because it all depends where you are in space-time. Their frame of reference is clearly the earliest at which we could have observed the explosion. Still incredible given we were not expecting it and it's not something that people can just observe without lots of equipment.

Re:Astounding! (4, Informative)

AstroMatt (1594081) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217960)

It's nearly always phrased this way. It was discovered within hours of the initial signal of the explosion reaching earth. Matt Wood

Re:Astounding! (3, Informative)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218020)

Colonel Sandurz: Try here. Stop.
Dark Helmet: What the hell am I looking at? When does this happen in the movie?
Colonel Sandurz: Now. You're looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now, is happening now.
Dark Helmet: What happened to then?
Colonel Sandurz: We passed then.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now. We're at now now.
Dark Helmet: Go back to then.
Colonel Sandurz: When?
Dark Helmet: Now.
Colonel Sandurz: Now?
Dark Helmet: Now.
Colonel Sandurz: I can't.
Dark Helmet: Why?
Colonel Sandurz: We missed it.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now.
Dark Helmet: When will then be now?
Colonel Sandurz: Soon.

Re:Astounding! (3, Informative)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218386)

+1 Informative.

Re:Astounding! (1)

Mendenhall (32321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218166)

This is formally a perfectly acceptable way to present the discovery. Two events (points) in Minkowski 4-space which are connected by a ray of light have an invariant time separation tau = delta_t - delta_x /c = 0. To us, it did just happen.

Re:Astounding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218180)

Listen, man. Hypothetically...

If we have an array of instruments, on a satellite in orbit, pointed at the sun, and then a Coronal Mass Ejection spews highly energetic charged particles in our direction, and we just *HAPPEN* to shut off the instrument, and lock down a protective shield over the instrument, *BEFORE* it was possible to be aware of the event, just beating the eight minute lag time between the occurrence of solar events, and the arrival of their effects to earth, by a narrow margin of mere seconds, thereby SAVING the instrument from irreparable damage, would you not consider that good luck?

Re:Astounding! (2)

GNious (953874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218286)

Somehow I think it must be REALLY boring watching a sun-rise with you.
(hint: in your world, they already happened 8 minutes ago)

Re:Astounding! (2)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218560)

In his world, there's no such thing as a sunrise, only a rotating earth.

Re:Astounding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218562)

Nope. Sunrise is the earth turning to allow you to see the sun. That the light you see left the sun 8 minutes ago doesn't change that it becoming visible happens right now, as the earth turns right now.

Re:Astounding! (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218656)

EPR radar maybe.

Real-time brightness graph? (4, Interesting)

Frans Faase (648933) | more than 2 years ago | (#37217842)

Anybody found a website where it is possible to follow the progression of the supernova in (near) real-time? A brightness graph would be interesting.

Re:Real-time brightness graph? (4, Funny)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218316)

And while you're at it, can you find one that isn't full of ferocious nerds arguing about the semantics of Relativity?

Re:Real-time brightness graph? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37219042)

I object your usage of big 'R' in Relativity!

Re:Real-time brightness graph? (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219674)

That sounds boring.

Re:Real-time brightness graph? (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219134)

I'd suggest Rochester Astronomy's bright supernova page:

http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/snimages/ [rochesterastronomy.org]

I'm not sure everybody's data will end up there right away, but a lot of people will be observing, so collectively you might get close to what you want. :)

Weeeh! I thought it said 21 Light years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37217916)

21 Light years would cause an Earth Extinction event!

wall paper (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37217924)

set M101 to the desktop wallpaper, pity I cannot get a live updating image, but there are some awesome photos of the galaxy outthere

Go4t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37217944)

than mak3 a sincere

Thank god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218022)

At First glance, I though the opening sentence reads "a supermarket close to earth". Must be tired!

Close, like real close (4, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218056)

This is close enough that you can see it with a good amateur telescope. The supernova will brighten over time, probably hitting its brightest point sometime in the middle of September. As it brightens it might even be possible to see it with a cheap telescope or a pair of binoculars.

One thing that is important to realize is that this supernova is Type Ia, not Type II. Type II supernovae are what most people are thinking of when they think of a supernova (that is, death of a massive star). A Type Ia supernova instead occurs in a binary system where one of the stars is a white dwarf. The white dwarf slowly steals away mass from the other star until the white dwarf gets too big to be stable, around 1.4 times the mass of the sun. Then it experiences collapse in a way that is essentially similar to that of the Type II supernova.

This supernova was very close to us. One thing that could be very promising is if this left any neutrino signature above the background level. Neutrinos are very hard to detect, the major detectors are things like IceCube http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IceCube_Neutrino_Observatory [wikipedia.org] or Super-K http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super-Kamiokande [wikipedia.org] which have very large containers of water or some other substance and you then carefully try to detect the very rare neutrino interactions over all the background radiation (neutrinos are very ghostly and don't interact very much. You have billions of them going through you all the time and you don't even notice). This has only happened with one supernova before SN 1987A http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_1987A [wikipedia.org] which was bright enough and close enough to be seen by the naked eye. One really cool thing about this was that we actually recorded the neutrino burst for SN 1987A before the light arrived (three hours before). At this point, most people get shocked because they know that nothing travels faster than the speed of light. What happened was that in a Type II supernova neutrino burst occurs at the very beginning of the supernova process, but the light has to work its way out of the whole star. This actually allows us to potentially detect supernova before they happen, and there's now an early warning network with the major neutrino detectors so astronomers can get a heads-up if a type II is about to happen so they know where to point the telescopes. http://snews.bnl.gov/ [bnl.gov] Since the neutrino flux drops off quickly (like 1/r^2), supernovae need to be very close to us for to be able to pick out the neutrinos over all the solar neutrinos and general background junk. I don't fully understand the dynamics of Type Ia supernova (and I'm not an astronomer or an astrophysicist) but my impression is that there's also reason to believe that type Ia will produce fewer neutrinos than a Type II supernova. Between that and the distance, this supernova was probably too far away for us to detect any neutrinos.I suspect that the people who run the major detectors are probably looking over their data for the last few days very carefully to see if they can pick up any signal that the regular automated systems missed.

Re:Close, like real close (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218198)

This supernova was very close to us.

It's in another galaxy. Are these things really so rare that the closest one we've ever seen is in another galaxy?

Re:Close, like real close (2)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218292)

The last one we saw in our galaxy was in 1604 so yes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler's_Nova [wikipedia.org] . They are more common than that. so there probably have been supernova in our galaxy. But given our position in the galaxy there's a large part of our galaxy where if a supernova happens we weren't that likely to see if (because there are so many stars and dust in the way). That's not the case as much since we have much better, larger telescopes. But yeah, they are pretty rare.

Re:Close, like real close (3, Informative)

Kentari (1265084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219060)

At least 2 have occured but have gone unnoticed at the time: The Cas A supernova remnant is about 350 years old, discovered as a radio source in 1947 and supernova remnant G1.9+0.3 which is less than 150 years old but only discovered using radio telescopes in 1984.

Re:Close, like real close (2)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218414)

This supernova was very close to us.

It's in another galaxy. Are these things really so rare that the closest one we've ever seen is in another galaxy?

Yes, within the time of modern instruments. The last one in this galaxy was Kepler's Supernova in 1604. However, we sould expect about 0ne every 50 years, so we are having a bit of a drought,

Re:Close, like real close (5, Informative)

StupendousMan (69768) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218486)

Alas, we shouldn't expect any neutrinos to be detected from this event. I am an astronomer who studies supernovae, and the Type Ia events --- those due to a runaway thermonuclear reaction inside a white dwarf --- do _not_ produce the same sort of giant burst of neutrinos as core-collapse events.

In addition, this supernova is much, much farther away than SN 1987A. This event, in M101, is about 6400 kpc away, while SN 1987A was only about 50 kpc away. So, in very rough terms, the new SN is about 100 times farther away ... which means than the flux of particles from it will be about 100*100 = 10,000 times weaker than that from an object at the distance of SN 1987A. We only detected about 30-40 neutrinos in total from SN 1987A, so, even if this new supernova was a core-collapse event (which it isn't), we might only expect 40/10,000 = 0.004 neutrinos to be detected.

Yes, yes, today's neutrino detectors are larger than the ones operating in 1987. However, I don't think they could make up this sort of difference. And remember, a Type Ia supernova doesn't produce as many neutrinos to start with.

But this should be a good object for people to see through telescopes or (possibly) binoculars!

Re:Close, like real close (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218568)

Thank you for the insightful post. Probably one of the more informative posts I've read around here in a long time. Much better than that Joshua retard who gave us the Discovery Channel version of the event.

Re:Close, like real close (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219202)

Thanks. That helps clarify things a lot.

You can never step in the same river twice. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218082)

The first time the niggar approached me.
I rebuked him, much as my Father did before me.

The second time the niggar approached me.
I gave him money, to hasten his departure.

The third time the niggar approached me.
I gave him food, to teach the kids active compassion.

The fourth time the niggar approached me.
I gave him my beer, as that's what he wanted.

The last time the niggar approached me.
I sat down and listened.

Is it dangerous? (0)

unik (929502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218094)

Oh ... ....Mai. ..... Agaw!

But, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218116)

But it happened 21 million years ago! It's old news!

completely incorrect (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218222)

Astronomers believe they caught the supernova within hours of its explosion

Actually it happened about 21 million years ago and the light is just getting here now.

Re:completely incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218384)

Actually the light got here 21 million years ago and Slashdot is just reporting on it now.

Re:completely incorrect (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218442)

Which, in a relativistic way of thinking, makes it now: now in 4D spacetime is the set of point from which light travelling by the shortest path would reach us at a single instant.

Re:completely incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218824)

No it's not. In relativity, the speed of light is a finite constant c, speed = distance / time, but computing c using 21 Mly / (now - now) would give infinity.

In relativity, you talk about events (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37219678)

In relativity, you talk about events and that event has a spacetime point. That event where the supernova happened was hours before the event where we spotted it and took a look.

It's only in non-relativity you can talk about that event happening 21 million years ago.

It's only assholes who like to show off how dumb science is and how smart they are that get this wrong.

Unfortunately, they seem to have sprung out of the woodwork here.

Re:completely incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218578)

First, this is exactly the same as the first comment.

Second, the way the article is phrased is not incorrect (as mentioned in response the earlier post). It's happening now from our frame of reference.

Danger to earth? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218272)

Type Ia supernovae are thought to be potentially the most dangerous if they occur close enough to the Earth. Because these supernovae arise from dim, common white dwarf stars, it is likely that a supernova that can affect the Earth will occur unpredictably and in a star system that is not well studied. One theory suggests that a Type Ia supernova would have to be closer than a thousand parsecs (3300 light-years) to affect the Earth.[108]

[108]: http://www.tass-survey.org/richmond/answers/snrisks.txt

Well, at least we have 20+ yrs left :)

Re:Danger to earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37219230)

Somehow I missed the million in 21 million light years. ROFL Whatever...

As fast as i could... (1)

alendit (1454311) | more than 2 years ago | (#37218424)

Came here to say "In b4 'It was 21 Mio years ago!'". Unfortunately, my message could travel only that fast....

But seriously, guys, relativity isn't exactly "breaking news" today. Everyone knows that it takes a year for light to travel a light-year (DUH!). Don't you have any other way, to show you intellectual superiority?

correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37218744)

Astronomers believe they caught the supernova within hours of its explosion

Well 21 million years and 20 hours to be more precise.

How long (0)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37219550)

How long before pieces of the planet/sun/star reach earth? I imagine the planet/sun/star wasn't totally vaporized?
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