I just got word from a friend who was observing the Pinwheel Galaxy that there was a star that had just gone supernova! Not just “nova”, mind you. SUPERNOVA! Before PAL, my robot assistant, could lecture me on how supernovae are formed, I swiveled the viewing dome to get a look at it myself.
The supernova is called SN 2011fe. That’s not exactly the kind of name that inspires tales of thrilling adventure. Perhaps it can be named Zwicky after Fritz Zwicky, the astronomer who gave collapsing stars their super name. Astronomers have declared this supernova to be the brightest one recorded by terrestrial-bound instrumentation in 20 Earth years. How quaint. If only they could take a gander at it from my safe vantage point out near the edge of the Milky Way. What a brilliant sight indeed!
Ah, the stars! I am reminded of a motto that has stayed with me since my cadet days at Interstellar Flight Academy, “Sic itur ad astra” or “Thus one goes to the stars”. Yes, I knew I was captain material early on and I had the t-shirt to prove it. Not just any t-shirt, mind you, but one obtained from the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. There was no doubt about my destiny. I mean, seriously, what part of “interstellar space travel” is not awesome?