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January 27, 2013



Sorry to go all Neil DeGrasse Tyson on your astrophysics, but...

If Betelgeuse blows up tomorrow, it'll take 640 years for the explosion to be seen on Earth. That's what the distance of 640 light-years is all about. For us to see the explosion tomorrow, it would have had to happen 640 years (give or take a day) ago.

Finally, all those childhood visits to the Hayden Planetarium come in handy.

Abdulrahman M. Ghodayah

so what next????


Oh, no doubt. I probably should have made that clearer -- figured just mentioning the star's distance would be enough, but not everyone's literate in what a "light year" means.

Dr. Flarkey

Well, 640 light years or not, TIME as we know it on Earth is all that really matters for the discussion. "Tomorrow" refers to our perception of time, not Betelgeuse's. For example, Betelgeuse may have already gone supernova, or even went supernova 640 years ago, and we will see it tomorrow. It's not like we can travel to Betelgeuse instantly, we can't even travel at light speed, and if we could then time would have a very different meaning again. It is weird to talk about "now" as a constant throughout the universe; it is an ideal, it can't be experienced the same way "now" can be experienced by people on opposite coasts talking on the phone can experience "now" even though they are in different time zones.

You dig?

Jared Incognito

It might help if you actually knew what you were talking about before you started writing your poorly researched and self-aggrandizing piece. The HG group NEVER stated that they believed with ANY certainty that Hale-Bopp had a companion. The first sentence on their website (still up) states that whether or not Hale-Bopp had a companion was "irrelevant" to them but to this day every self-described writer with a keyboard at their disposal repeats the Hale-Bopp story as if it is the Gospel. You make a lot of judgments about them being "misfits" and "slightly off" as if you apparently are capable of determining what is "on" versus "off" and who is or isn't a misfit. People who call others misfits must not be very "secure" with themselves so they therefore have to place a label on someone who isn't like them just like teenagers do in their infinite wisdom. And what does "unleavened by exceptional talent" even mean? Besides a vehicle for stroking your own ego that is. If you had actually bothered to look into the backgrounds of these individuals rather than engaging in the prototypical and condescending assessment of them because they were part of HG you might actually find that many of them were quite successful by worldly standards. But most humans don't seem to feel "the least bit secure" in the world unless they pity and look down upon things that they have chosen to not understand. Arrogance and hubris will be the downfall of the many.

Zachary George

Hey Joe, I liked the article. Well written and not at all condescending or arrogant. And I don't think it's too big a stretch to say that people who join a suicide cult might be lonely misfits or "slightly off".

And thank goodness the internet offers a place to write anonymous comments about other people's work so that angry jerks have a place to vent their hair-trigger rage!

Have a great day.

mr. mike

Read best while listening to Vangelis' "Cosmos Theme."


For further interesting tangents on the subject at hand one might like to read "Truckin' with the Grateful Dead to Egypt" by Robert Nichols and then do a little research on the author. Everyone have a great soundcheck!


I used to have a copy of this tape on vhs many year ago '96. Made for a terrorizing party tape to be sure. Loved the article Ted don't be taken in by these blowhards trying to bring you down a peg. Its the internet.

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