By Ann Finkbeiner | September 5, 2012 | 7 Comments
I don’t know what it is with these young people thinking the violent obliteration of a planet and all its civilizations is cool. Maybe they grew up with reality being virtual and not the other kind. Never mind. Supernova 1987A — the “A” because it was 1987′s first supernova — used to be a blue supergiant star called Sanduleak -69° 202; I mention these things because I like star names. It blew up in 1987, though as AG points out, it actually blew up in 166,000 BC, the middle of the Middle Paleolithic. If the obliterated planet had been Earth, civilization would have gotten only as far as tools, fire, and hunting, so maybe no great loss.