back to article Astroboffins 'sprinkle iron filings' over remnant supernova

How to measure a magnetic field that's very long way away, and is very, very weak. An international group of boffins have announced that they figured out how. The magnetic field in question belongs to a distant supernova remnant, Supernova 1987A, 168,000 light years from Earth. While the supernova exploded in 1987, its …

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The Universe - Some Information To Help You Live In It.

One: ‘Area’. Infinite.

As far as anyone can make out

Two: ’Imports’. None.

It’s impossible to import things into an infinite area, there being no outside to import things in from.

Three: ‘Exports’. None.

See ’Imports’.

Four: ‘Rainfall’. None.

Rain can not fall because in an infinite space there is no up for it to fall down from.

Thanks Douglas.

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Boffin

Slack language

The supernova did not "explode in 1987". That was merely the date the supernova was seen. The actual explosion happened around 168,031 years ago.

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Coat

Re: Slack language

"The actual explosion happened around 168,031 years ago."

It was 1987 there...

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Re: Slack language

I knew Guns 'n' Roses had been around for a really long time, but that's pushing it a bit.

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Not too shabby indeed

A very interesting remark that puts things in perspective in a useful manner.

Space is very often awesome and mind-boggling given the size of the objects we look at and their distance. It's something that, I think, tends to numb the mind a bit.

So yeah, a reading on a magnetic field that is 50k times less powerful than a fridge magnet, from this distance ? That's hardly shabby, that's simply incredible and a wonderful indication of Humanity's technological level.

Now, where's my flying car again ? <ducks>

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Re: Not too shabby indeed

Why are you ducking? Were you about to be hit by a personal jetpack?

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Re: Not too shabby indeed

No. He was warning his voice assitant that there was a flight of ducks in the way, that might get sucked into the engines of his flying car. That's what's delayed it. As soon as the computer's charged the capacitor circuits of the traffic-control-laser, he'll have both crispy ducks and his flying car. Just in time to fly to the supermarket to pick up pancakes and hoisin sauce...

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Devil

Re: Not too shabby indeed

"Traffic-control-laser"

I'm okay with this as long as I'm the only person with one.

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Re: Not too shabby indeed

"Just in time to fly to the supermarket to pick up pancakes and hoisin sauce."

But won't the crispy duck have got cold by the time he gets back?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not too shabby indeed

Not if the wormhole he uses to get to the market takes him there shortly before he fries his duck. Obviously, it'll take him back to the place and time shortly after he fried his duck so that all temperatures of his meal will be just right. Exactly as Mama Bear's porridge was :)

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Devil

Re: Not too shabby indeed

"Traffic-control-laser"
I'm okay with this as long as I'm the only person with one.
Fine, you can have the only Traffic Control Laser, so long as I can have the only Traffic Control Maser.

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Re: Not too shabby indeed

Not too shabby until you realize that there is absolutely no way to verify their analysis. Most of what we 'know' today will be proved either wrong or woefully incomplete in the future. For starters, we have no way of determining if our 'laws of nature' remain constant over either large timescales or distances. If, say, the speed of light in a vacuum is not invariant in the universe, it would upend all cosmological theories.

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I don't understand how if the supernova happened in 1987 and it is 168,000 light years from Earth, surely we would only see what happened 168,000 years ago not 31 years ago.

When you look at the sun ("you must never look at the sun": Sir Patrick Moore) apparently you are seeing the sun where it was 10 minutes earlier and not its actual position as the distance is so great it takes the light coming from the sun 10 minutes to reach us.

Ok everyone feel free to correct my ignorance.

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Iron in Uranus last night?

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