A nova in the sky of science

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Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day features a multi-spectrum composite image of Kepler's supernova, or rather the expanding cloud that still remains from the stellar explosion that became visible on Earth in 1604:

Kepler's Supernova Remnant
The picture and its description got me thinking. We're used to thinking about events on our own planet, or at least from within our own solar system, that may have affected the course of human evolution. The asteroid strike 65 million years ago comes to mind, which may have cleared out the dinosaurs and set the stage for the ascendancy of mammals. How strange if our scientific development were affected by a distant star that exploded 13,000 years ago, and whose light fell on Earth at just the right time to inflame and focus the curiosity of Kepler and other early astronomers. Wouldn't that be something? Talk about a strong force acting across a distance!
[ original post:  http://shunn.livejournal.com/172948.html ]

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William Shunn

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on October 8, 2004 12:59 PM.

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