Monday, 5 November 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson finds Superman's home planet


This is just too cool. Astrophysicist and public science proponent Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked by DC to find exactly where Superman's home planet of Krypton is in real life.

“As a native of Metropolis, I was delighted to help Superman, who has done so much for my city over all these years,” said Tyson. “And it’s clear that if he weren’t a superhero he would have made quite an astrophysicist.”

Appearing in Action Comics #14, Tyson talks to Superman about the whereabouts of Krypton, which automatically makes him one of the coolest scientists ever.

“This is a major milestone in the Superman mythos that gives our Super Hero a place in the universe,” said DC Entertainment co-publisher, Dan DiDio. “Having Neil deGrasse Tyson in the book was one thing, but by applying real world science to this story he has forever changed Superman’s place in history. Now fans will be able to look up at the night’s sky and say – ‘that’s where Superman was born’."

Tyson concludes that Krypton would likely orbit red dwarf star LHS 2520. Amateur astronomers can find it here:

J2000
Right Ascension: 12 hours 10 minutes 5.77 seconds
Declination:  -15 degrees 4 minutes 17.9 seconds
Proper Motion: 0.76 arcseconds per year, along 172.94 degrees from due north

LHS 2520 is cooler than the Sun, with a red and highly turbulent surface, lying 27.1 light years from Earth. It's here that Tyson thinks Krypton would orbit.