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Supernova from before dinosaurs important now


Okay… In February, scientists were able to watch a “nearby” star explosion. The observation of this explosion will help redefine stellar astronomy to some extent, as evidenced by their upcoming article in Nature. All really cool.

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/space/0,71687-0.html 

But the thing is – the “nearby” star was about 440 million light-years away. Which means that this supernova happened 440 million years ago.

To put 440 million years ago in perspective… Way before Fenway Park. Before people. Before dinosaurs. In fact, this was barely after early animals first started walking (flopping?) around on land. Fish were the dominant large species. Plants didn’t have the ability to seed. Craziest of all, this supernova was 140 million years before Pangaea. (Thanks, Wikipedia)

We won’t know what’s happening now until 440 million years from now (probably, there’ll be no “we” around by then). And this is “nearby”. The universe is absurd huge.

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Filed under: Science

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Idealink by vijtable is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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