Remnant of a Supernova – the Crab Nebula – one of the few seen by mankind (1054AD) 

A supernova is the destruction of a star when it explodes in one of the most massively powerful explosions known to science.

They are rare things (fortunately as the radiation they emit could be deadly to all life on a nearby planetary system) and only a few have ever been witnessed by mankind. (You need a telescope to see the one pictured above in the constellation Taurus now.)

For some weird reason ( just the way my mind works – lucky me!) 😉 i was thinking today… even though a supernova is an unimaginably powerful explosion throwing out huge amounts of matter – you could never hear one!!!!

The tag line for the film Alien was: “In Space No-one Can Hear You Scream…” well that’s because to hear something you need air for the sound of something to travel to your ear/brain to hear it. In space there is no air, hence no sound – even from a massive explosion. Even more, you would not feel a pressure wave for the same reason.

No deafening sound, no being knocked backwards from the explosion’s pressure wave as we would expect from our experience here on Earth in an atmosphere.

That may be a small compensation for being immediately irradiated to death from the gigantic levels of radiation rushing at you from the supernova should you ever be unfortunate enough to be in ‘hearing range’ of one.

P.S. Next time you see a Sci Fi movie with explosions in space ask yourself just how can it be that the spaceships are being knocked around by explosions external to their ship? No air = no pressure waves.




    • It most certainly is – moreso when you think that what we now see is the result of almost a thousand years of continuously expanding gas in space some 100,000,000,000,000 km’s across and over 6,000 light years from our planet. Also amazing is the thought that if we were ‘up close’ we’d barely be able to see it at all. It would be barely distinguishable form the empty space it exists in. So much beauty in something so aethereal.



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