Neil deGrasse Tyson Has Found Superman’s Home Star

11.06.12 4 years ago • 3 Comments

As you may have heard, scientist/walking meme Neil Degrasse Tyson will be appearing in Action Comics tomorrow, helping Superman find his home star at the exact moment it exploded, which if you think about it is a bit like a cop showing an orphan the car crash that killed his parents.

What you probably don’t know is that he actually hunted down a star and tagged it as Superman’s home system.

OK, OK, so this is a bit like Riverside, IA declaring itself Captain Kirk’s hometown. But there’s more validity to this one than just a bunch of nerds deciding to make an arbitrary decision. It’s one ubernerd making a very well-informed totally arbitrary decision.

Tyson looked for a red sun that would fit the characteristics of Superman’s home system, and wound up settling on a red dwarf. Red supergiants have too short a lifespan for Krypton society to evolve, and there isn’t a red giant close enough to Earth to fit into the backstory DC has written.

So, the winner is LHS 2520, located in the constellation Corvus. If you’re interested and have a telescope handy, here are the coordinates:

Right Ascension: 12 hours 10 minutes 5.77 seconds
Declination: -15 degrees 4 minutes 17.9 seconds
Proper Motion: 0.76 arcseconds per year, along 172.94 degrees from due north

By the way, fun fact: a mineral with the chemical composition of Kryptonite has been found on Earth. So if, on some distant day, we actually go to this star and find it in asteroids all over the place, we’re going to be kind of curious to see DC’s explanation, provided they haven’t been consumed by five different megacorps.

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