Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Super noooooooo... nooo. nooo.. there is nooo... NOVA

That's similar to the quote on that Amiga demo :)

My relation to astronomy is minimal even though I'd always like to get more into it. Obscured by my everyday activities, real life (if that even exists :P), hobbies (I realize I spend most of my time in front of my PC nowadays :) never let me get into a second hobby. And that would be buying a telescope and watching the sky for me. Maybe also follow what other comes with it, like going to astroparties, moving to far away locations to watch the sky (not just from my balcony) and even studying the physics of it. But sometimes it's hard to have a second hobby after the first grand one. Or not?

I have heard about the supernova possible being visible with binoculars and I was fascinated about it because supernova always fascinated me since I was a child. I must have been watching Cosmos by Carl Sagan in the greek TV then, a series that I'd like to watch again today (I was a child back then and maybe I don't remember much, also nostalgy).

So, I tried this time to locate where this thing happens, at which times during the night it's visible and where I can locate it in my balcony. Yes, normally I should have gone somewhere far away where there are no city lights, though I don't have a car and I couldn't ask anyone then (they would probably want to sleep :P). But anyway, there was a nice window of time between 22:00 - 24:00 and visible from the side of a balcony in my home with a nice stand where I could sit there steady and aim my horrible binoculars I got from the middle ages to the sky. I could see just darkness. I had to take some mushrooms and imagine stuff. Who knows, they say drugs enhance your perception :)

No, no, no,.. there was no NO VA. But this thing motivated me to get new binoculars or even a telescope and start getting more into it (well, when I have the time and the money :P). At least I had tried for three days. Friday, Saturday, Sunday every night. Then the phenomenon fades away slowly. 21 million light years is boggling even if considered small for astronomical scales. This thing was fairly visible with a good set of binoculars they say.

News on the net also speak about some older supernovas that have occurred throughout history, one in 1576 that was visible with the naked eye and another one in 1006 which according to the Arabian and Chinese files was so bright that you could read at night. Wow! I am wondering how far away those supernovas were (there is nowhere stated in the news) and my greatest curiosity is, has a supernova inside our galaxy happened? With so many billion stars, wouldn't it be too common for one to happen inside our galaxy? And if a 21 million light years supernova is barely visible with binoculars, how bright would it be if it happened in our galaxy? Would a close enough supernova affect life here in disastrous ways? Maybe I should start studying these stuff instead of just asking, but you know these questions boggle my mind :)

When I started this blog, I had a post entitled the hermit and the stars. I think the stars are similar to our hobbies. People spend time in social casual talk while wondering what are we geeks doing with our lives. It's not about our life or a geekness trend though, it's not about belonging, it's not a bridge to the social, it's only because we find a meaning in these stuff. And as one cannot understand why are you so enthusiastic about programming and demos and retro and stuff, one can also not imagine what is there in the stars, more than just some bright dots. Ok,. he understands there is something that is not just bright twinkling dots but this is a thing for scientists not someone who likes to stare either with his naked eyes or with a telescope. Or he might just not care while we are fixated to this. Anyway, so my passion for the stars (which has not evolved because of my computer hobby :) is also relevant to my hermit personality. I like stuff, I like ideas, I like the human mind, I don't enjoy casual talk. I want the real thing!

Though, that was an irrelevant thought, not having to do with the supernova specific and since I have said everything I would like to say today about my epic failure at seeing it and my wish to get better equipment then I should stop. See you in a next post!

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