How Much Is a Supernova Worth?

If I had a nickel for every nickel you could make from the nickel in supernova SN1999em, I’d be very, very, VERY rich.

If I were you, dear BABloggee, I’d be thinking, “What the what?” So let me explain. Well, let me explain in a minute. First, I want to introduce you to the gorgeous but somewhat lopsided spiral galaxy NGC 1637, care of the Very Large Telescope in Chile:

Very Large Telescope image of the spiral galaxy NGC 1637

Very Large Telescope image of the spiral galaxy NGC 1637

NGC 1637 is a decent-size spiral galaxy about 26 million light years away. That’s pretty close for a galaxy, roughly equivalent to being down the block in our galactic neighborhood. As you can see, it’s noticeably asymmetric—lopsided—with the arm to the upper left a lot longer than its counterpart on the other side. This kind of thing is fairly common, occurring in about a third of all spiral galaxies. It’s even more common when the galaxy is part of a cluster of galaxies, so it’s probably due to gravitational interactions with other galaxies as they pass close by………

….. Read more: http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/03/21

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