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Space Science

Neil deGrasse Tyson Pinpoints Superman's Home Star System 102

kmoser writes "Everybody's favorite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, makes an appearance in upcoming Superman #14, in which Superman visits the Hayden Planetarium to view his original planet. Meanwhile, back in reality, DC Comics explains that NdGT has used his 'astronomical' powers to select the red dwarf LHS 2520 as the most likely real-life red star to fit with Superman's back story."
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Neil deGrasse Tyson Pinpoints Superman's Home Star System

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  • NIce (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @08:24PM (#41901777) Homepage Journal

    More science stars please.

    • Re:NIce (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @08:40PM (#41901957) Homepage

      I'm not sure that science stars are all that helpful. Something they can be self-aggrandising publicity whores that, instead of really educating the public, obfuscate the sciences by offering vacuous factoids on fields they have only a passing acquaintance with. At the same time, science popularizing takes time away with their own research.

      Michio Kaku's a good example: once a fine research physicist, he has now become the media's go-to man whenever they want to look deep, even if it is on something outside his field like climate change or UFOs. (The signs of losing rigor were showing already in the early '90s with his first popular science book Hyperspace [amazon.com], which seemed curiously obsessed with -- and optimistic about -- humanity gaining "god-like powers").

      Some might counter that these folks do good in attracting young people to the sciences, but I would like to see some hard figures on that. I suspect the bureaucrats that quietly set educational policy, not media go-to scientists, can have a much, much greater effect.

      • Something they can be self-aggrandising...

        That should have been "Sometimes they can be self-aggrandising...", sorry.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Ahh, somebody has hurt feelings and is somewhat bitter me thinks.

        So, who would you rather have talking to the idiot public about things they do not understand?

        Michio Kaku is a fine example of somebody who is very smart, and is good at breaking down complex topics so that regular tards can understand at least some of it. He is a very valuable science resource. Just because you have had a bone to pick with Hyperspace for 20 years doesn't mean he does a bad job. It is a good sign that we have science "celebrit

        • Re:NIce (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Mr2cents ( 323101 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @10:03PM (#41902541)

          Comparing Feynman to Kaku is a bit like blasphemy to me. Feynman was able to make rock solid arguments that silenced all opposition (see e.g. the Challenger accident investigation). Kaku, on the other hand seems to be fascinated by what-if scenario's, theoretical possibilities and the like. Not that it's not entertaining or thought-provoking, but it's not the same thing by far. Kaku doesn't explain current science well, he's just good at extrapolating.

          • Re:NIce (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Mr2cents ( 323101 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @10:52PM (#41902767)

            If you like Feynman, I hope you have watched these lectures [vega.org.uk], the video quality isn't great but the content more than makes up for it.

          • As far as actual physics achievements, yes there's no comparison between the two. But as a science "presenter", Kaku wins. His books are another matter though. The last one I read - not sure if it's Physics of the Future/Impossible - I had the feeling he hired Google as editor. There was so much trivia you even got whole paragraphs enclosed in parentheses. I still prefer Carl Sagan, who managed to connect the dots in Cosmos, or Brian Cox, if he could just get rid of his annoying accent.
            • Really? Have you ever watched lectures by Feynman (see my earlier posts)? I think your point is based upon the fact that Feynman is dead and dead people don't answer questions from reporters well.

          • Re:NIce (Score:4, Funny)

            by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @12:00AM (#41903213) Journal

            Ya but what if Kaku had rock solid arguments?

      • Re:NIce (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mr2cents ( 323101 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @09:52PM (#41902469)

        I agree that Michio Kaku is a bit "way out there". But in regard to Neil Tyson, I have nothing but praise. Search youtube for his interviews, this man really knows how to spread scientific thinking and knows why it is important.

      • Re:NIce (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Guru80 ( 1579277 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @10:02PM (#41902537)

        Going to have to disagree with you. Michio Kaku and Neil deGrasse Tyson are probably the best thing to happen to the various science fields in a long time when it comes to connecting with those outside the field. They give science a much needed boost in perception to those that see it as nothing more than a bunch of guys in white lab coats hunched over a microscope all day getting off on microbes or other invisible "stuff". They can explain everything from the unbelievably complex to the down right absurd in a way that no matter who you are you know exactly what they are talking about.

        Science only wins with those two, no matter what they are talking about. Tyson especially has the whole cool factor that transcends stereotypes.

      • Re:NIce (Score:5, Interesting)

        by WGFCrafty ( 1062506 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @11:39PM (#41903097)
        When Sagans's cosmos began it was the most watched show in the history of public television history. You need hard numbers to prove science popularization has done something to influence the public?

        The problem is many modern science shows emphasize effects over knowledge. Carl Sagans "apple pie" episode is so jam packed with essential knowledge it's ridiculous.
        • You're assuming quite a lot. You assume that because a large viewership means that somehow people changed by watching it. This assumes that people didn't do what people do which is to find within the information presented, something that confirms what they already know. It also assumes that not everyone who watched it knew the information presented. But aside from these simple logical errors you make, I'm not quite sure what point you are making. I am guessing (but not assuming) that you mean to say th
          • by Anonymous Coward

            It doesn't advance science directly, and neither did the grandfather post say that it does. What it does is popularize science, making it seem friendlier and more accessible to the layman. This is already a very good thing in its own merit, and it also carries the possibility of attracting more young minds into scientific careers. One of these young minds just might do something big to advance science, or at least be a good sci-fi writer or a passionate high school science teacher who will, in turn, attract

      • by chthon ( 580889 )

        As for the balance between popularising science and actual research, you should obtain a copy of Isaac Asimov's "View From a Height".

        In his introduction he makes the case for both kinds of scientists. After he obtained his degree, his doctorate, etc, he found that he had to specialise too much. He really liked to be able to know a little bit of everything instead of a whole lot of one thing. Its unfortunate that he only had a very narrow channel to popularise science.

        His essays are invaluable material to

      • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

        Science Stars are better than NASA's current PR strategy. Go watch SpaceX coverage of a rocket launch, then go watch NASA's coverage some time. Night and day.

    • I love this, too. Not everything in science has to be about inaccessible theses. And, there are more people watching than the scientific community; by that I mean kids and young adults who will have the curiosity awakened by this. Oh, geeks too!

    • You insensitive CLOD! This is the exact same star that I purchased for my MOM! Please, don't make fun of her special, officially registered, star!
  • by Horshu ( 2754893 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @08:27PM (#41901825)
    What's with the trend of these guys spending time calculating fictional things? Wasn't there a mathematician last week who tried calculating some Cthulhu/wormhole fantasy? Waste...of...reputation.
    • What's with the trend of these guys spending time calculating fictional things? Wasn't there a mathematician last week who tried calculating some Cthulhu/wormhole fantasy? Waste...of...reputation.

      I think the uncertainty of threatened budget cuts have NSF reluctant to give out research grants, so the scientists have to find something to do with their time.

    • Apparently they didn't get stuffed into their lockers enough at high school.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @08:41PM (#41901971) Homepage Journal

      No it isn't.
      It gives actually science a venue into public discourse. It teaches scientists how to communicate to non scientists.

      Important, and frankly it should be something as many scientists as possible strive to do.

      • It makes him look like he's not a scientist, and he's sold out to give publicity to an upcoming movie [youtube.com].
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Jesus Christ, I'm so tired of the whole sell out bullshit...you're right, he should obviously not have any fun with the public whatsoever and go shove his microscope so far up his ass he doesn't have to bend over to look into it and only do research.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hmm, perhaps thats because normal idiot people will actually READ an article about Superman or whatever. You then slip some information in there about stars and whatnot, and bam - you have educated them without their knowledge.

      What is wrong with this? Why are so many asshole science nerds upset by things like this? It is fun, it DOES have legit information attached to it and it hurts nobody.

      Asshole science nerds like you can sit around and fume all day long (with nobody to tell how wrong these scientists ar

  • What's with the newscientist link? I thought this was the badastronomy discussion board.

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @08:43PM (#41901981) Journal

    they used a real scientist to lie about a fake planet?

    • And Stephen Hawking, a real physicist with impeccable credentials, is used to become part of the fictional worlds of [wikipedia.org] "The Big Bang Theory", Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, and Futurama. So that's another case where they use a real scientist to lie about a fake fictional world. It's part of entertainment; and the fact that someone like Hawking can become part of the mass culture and reach to people who may have to ask people like "us" who that person is. Seriously, Hawking on "Big Bang The
    • At least he didn't claim Superman is from a dwarf planet.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The summary is slightly wrong. The comic in question is not Superman #14. It is the other Superman comic, ACTION COMICS #14. In stores tomorrow, by the way.

    • by tragedy ( 27079 )

      I haven't read comics in a while. Can anyone tell me what's up with the numbering? Shouldn't Action Comics be in the 1000's by now?

      • by tragedy ( 27079 )

        Never mind, should have just looked it up for myself. Another reboot of the whole DC Universe. Looks like they did it without a Crisis event this time, they just editorially declared "everything is different now, except for some stuff that isn't" and restarted the issue numbers.

        • by witherstaff ( 713820 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @05:18AM (#41905243) Homepage
          I had been reading comics around the reboot and just gave up on DC. Marvel does a variety of reboots to a point and restarts numbers at #1 on a near regular basis but that's a series not a whole continuity change. But the crossover mania, even not having to err.. pay much.. for comics got so it wasn't worth the time. Last year's Fear itself storyline was over 100 comics. That'd be a lot of money shelled out to follow one storyline.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... Krypton demoted to "dwarf planet"

    • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

      ... Krypton demoted to "dwarf planet"

      The kryptonians should be grateful for still having one, don't you think?

  • Fiction -> Science
  • Tyson is not my favourite because he was the man behind Pluto's reclassification. But rather than suggest he be demoted to being classified a dwarf astronomer I'd like to point out that astronomers missed a marvellous opportunity.

    There are clearly three main types of natural orbiting object (that we know about) - big round gassy planets, smaller round rocky planets, and smaller again not round objects. The boundary between first two is the natural line between giant planets and dwarf planets.

    By concentr
  • There are quite a few red dwarfs within a 30 ly radius of earth. What's so special about LHS2520? Maybe it was just chosen randomly.

  • In case you forgot, Dru-Zod is also hails from Krypton... so I wouldn't attract any attention, or else us Terrans will "kneel before Zod".
  • Next up: Kolob found

  • Everybody's favorite astrophysicist

    Hey, speak for yourself, buddy. For me, it's E. Margaret Burbidge or nothing.

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison