Today, you are a member of … Earth, Wind, Fire, Supernovas

Yes, Members, there are plenty of hairless monkeys out there believing they are the biggest force of nature you’ll ever meet. But really, they got nothing on Supernova 1987A, formerly a blue supergiant star named Sanduleak hailing from the Tarantula Nebula sector of the Large Magellanic Cloud whose supernova’d light bang into the eyes of Earthings on February 23rd, 1987. Supernova 1987A’s  transient astronomical event achieved 10% the speed of light, making sure even neighboring galaxies saw its gamma-ray photons. Because it afforded us the luxury of direct observation, Supernova 1987A taught us a little something the nature of visible light as stemming from radioactive energy.  Even better, Supernova 1987A remained particularly mysterious and captivating because it still has not divulged the location of its neutron star, the usual product of such cosmic explosions, and its remnant ring can still be seen in telescopes (at least until around 2020). So though blowhards on the third rock from the sun will be blowing particularly hard this week, remember that even with cosmic explosions, 99% of the source star will radiate away in a dispersed cloud of neutrinos that, though flavorful, are one of the weakest things with regard to matter.


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