A headline in the Los Angeles Times last Friday caught my eye: 'Supernova Rich in Calcium.'
Gigantic explosions in space are always in order for this blog, but it was the wording of that particular headline that got my attention. At least here in 'Murrica, the phrase 'rich in calcium' is practically synonymous with milk, in a way that merely 'calcium rich' would not be. Indeed, the LAT's health blogger also saw the headline, and was on the case.
I didn't blog it at the time because I tend to wait for confirmation of astronomy news from Sky & Telescope, the general media being rather iffy when it comes to matters extraterrestrial. And indeed the S&T website duly reports not one but two recent, unusual supernovae. Both, as it happens, were rich in calcium, one of them exceptionally so. They were also both something of a fizzle, as supernovae go. (Bummer!)
All the same, the mental image of exploding milk is wonderfully vivid, and sort of gives a whole new meaning to 'Milky Way.'
Image: The Crab Nebula supernova was not calcium-fortified that I know of, but it sure left a spectacular aftermath.
Related posts: I previously looked at other supernovae, recent and prospective, the (relatively) imminent demise of Betelgeuse, and the untimely end of a couple of mere exoplanets.