Apr 26, 2011

What happens when a 1000 year document merges with the latest science

A supernova is a star that suddenly gets a lot brighter from an explosion that ejects most of its mass. In other words, it's the end of a star.
An example of a supernova remnant(SNR for short) is the Crab Nebula. It's called that because, well, it looks like a crab, duh. Looks nice though.
A SNR expands over time, and from the speed the Crab Nebula is expanding, scientists have estimated that it exploded about 900 years ago. But they didn't know exactly when.

That's where a 10-century old document in Japan, called Meigetsuki came in. Written by Sadaie Fujiwara, it records some of the stuff in the sky at that time.

An amateur astronomer in Japan found a mention of a bright star in the sky. It was written that it was seen around 1054. Its position matched perfectly with the Crab Nebula, and so scientists now know for a fact that the Crab Nebula was the remain of a supernova in 1054.

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