Science Monday: Backyard Supernova + Newborn Stars + Lunar Pizza + New Mars Crater + More

Ready for this week’s science fix? Welcome to Science Monday. This week: Spot a supernova from your own backyard (with nothing but a pair of binoculars!), watch a star being born, order pizza — on the moon, and discover Endeavor crater with Mars rover Opportunity! All this and more, plus our picture of the week: a look at Earth from Juno.


How to See a Supernova from Your Backyard (With only Binoculars!)
If you read last week’s Science Saturday you already know about the “supernova of a generation”, a rather close by (21 million light years away) supernova that exploded in the Pinwheel Galaxy. Well, this supernova is so close, that you’ll be able to see the thing from YOUR backyard… with nothing but a pair of binoculars! And, if you’ve got a telescope (even a small one), even better. Here’s a video from a real live astronomer explaining how to locate it in the sky.

By the by, if you’ve got a scope and a camera, send us your supernova pictures to kayla [at] trekmovie [dot] com, and we’ll feature them on the site!

Hubble Captures Time-lapse Videos of Star Births
For decades, astronomers have been pointing the Hubble telescope towards interstellar jets, powerful jets of gas blasted into space where stars are being born, to try and learn more about their evolution and their role in the star formation process. Using a set of these images, they’ve been able to create time-lapse movies of these jets, giving insight into how they move and change throughout their lives. (More @ NASA)

Japanese to Build Domino’s Pizza on the Moon
Yes, you read that right. The Japanese division of Domino’s Pizza has just released their elaborate plans to build a dome-shaped Dominoes on the moon, and one that would apparently support a drive-through suitable for space motorcycles (who knows why?). Of course, this thing isn’t actually going to get made, as the designers estimate it will cost about U+00A51.67 trillion, or about $21.74 billion. So, maybe when we set up the first moon colonies, Domino’s will have the monopoly on pizza joints.

Will the pizzas feature a moon cheese topping?

Mars Rover Opportunity Begins Study of Endeavor Crater After 3 Year Journey
Ever since leaving Victoria crater in August, 2008, NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity has been heading for the 14-mile wide Endeavor Crater. On August 9th of this year, after a three year journey studying interesting martian geology along the way, Opportunity arrived at Spirit Point to study rock outcrops never seen before. “This is different from any rock ever seen on Mars,” said Steve Squyres, principal investigator for Opportunity. “It has a composition similar to some volcanic rocks, but there’s much more zinc and bromine than we’ve typically seen. We are getting confirmation that reaching Endeavour really has given us the equivalent of a second landing site for Opportunity.”

Read more at the Road to Endeavor blog.

Simulated image of Endeavor crater along with Opportunity and her tracks!

First rocks inspected by Opportunity at Endeavor

Pic of the Week: Earth and Moon as seen from Juno
The Juno space craft, currently en route to Jupiter, took a brief pause about 6 million miles from home to look back over its shoulder. Carl Sagan famously spoke about the significance of the “pale blue dot“, a photograph of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 space craft in 1990:

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Look again at that dot. That’s here, that’s home, that’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

Juno’s pale blue dot

Video of the Week: Meteorite’s fiery entrance into Peruvian atmosphere caught on video

The bright orange streak shooting across the sky in the following video is of a meteorite that fell to Earth this week, landing somewhere south of the city of Cusco, Peru. Experts think it may have caused some forest fires, and local officials are still trying to track down the rock itself.

Science Bytes
Not enough science for you? Here’s a warp-speed look at some more science tid-bits that are worth a peek.


Sort by:   newest | oldest
Sebastian S.
September 5, 2011 7:36 am

Beautiful ‘family portrait’ of earth and her moon taken from Juno!

September 5, 2011 7:44 am

Thank you for waking up! Keep it coming!

September 5, 2011 8:04 am

I have missed your articals. Hope the weather will cooperate. Its nice to have you back.

September 5, 2011 8:07 am

Thanks for another update here’s to 1000s more

I'm Dead Jim!
September 5, 2011 8:33 am

Thanks Kayla! It’s good to know that science keeps happening even if Trek doesn’t. I hope the clouds clear so I can see that supernova!

September 5, 2011 8:37 am

That supposed meteor over Peru certainly looks more like an airliner contrail at sunset. Moving way too slow for an inbound object. We had a flap of similar sightings here in SoCal when an airliner at sunset was mistaken for a rocket launch. Even if it was an incoming bit of space debris, the tip of the plume would have been a hot bright point similar to the ones generated during the Columbia shuttle disaster. There have been a lot of genuine meteor falls recorded on camera, and they don’t look like this.

September 5, 2011 8:43 am

Is Kayla runnng TrekMovie now?

September 5, 2011 8:54 am

Check out the great daylight fireball in 1972:

Now *that’s* an incoming (grazing, actually) object! Also, see the APOD showing a still image:

September 5, 2011 9:16 am

What is up with no articles- there must be something on the new snail production & there are plenty of old trek news- products to review, retro reviews & history to look at, actors interviews- conventions etc etc why the silence outside of science??

September 5, 2011 9:36 am

That video is most definitely a jetliner, not a meteor. Meteors go by much, much faster. That’s clearly a jet at altitude, with two engines, one under each wing, being illuminated by the setting sun.

Much ado about nothing.

Harry Ballz
September 5, 2011 9:44 am

Domino’s Pizza on the moon?

Well, that shoots the “30 minutes or it’s free” guarantee all to hell!

September 5, 2011 10:01 am

where hell you been trekmovie so long time!… come on news for star trek tv series next?

David Lizotte
September 5, 2011 10:04 am

Did not know where to post this. Trek fans: There is a Labor day Star Trek movie marathon running as we type on Cinemax in full HD. Enjoy!!!!

September 5, 2011 10:28 am


Harry the time horizon on breaking even on that $22B investment must be pretty long. Get a 2 Liter bottle of Coke for only $49,999.95 when you order 2 medium-size pies.

Red Dead Ryan
September 5, 2011 10:40 am

In Jay Leno voice:

Well, this is unbelievable but apparently, Domino’s Pizza in Japan has come up with plans to open a pizza joint on the moon.

Is this how fat we’re getting? We now need a Domino’s Pizza on the moon? Why? Are we getting too heavy to stay on Earth? Have we gotten so fat we have to move into outer space now?

Back in the sixities, it was about boldly going where no man has gone before. Now its about boldly getting fat where no man has gotten fat before!

Hat Rick
September 5, 2011 10:47 am

I can just see it now: “Domino’s Pizza Direct from the Moon: Delivery in 30 Seconds, Or It’s Free!*

“*(Condition of Pizza Not Guaranteed.)”

Hat Rick
September 5, 2011 10:51 am

Sagan’s words, as excerpted, often move me to tears.

We are all on this tiny speck of dust, surrounded by nothingness.

And all we can do is try to be as good as we can be, in the finite length of our existence, where Mozart and Beethoven and Lincoln and Lao-Tzu and the Buddha and Plato and Aristotle have coexisted in an instant in the uncaring, unseeing eye of the universe.

Around is nothingness.

We are all that is. And soon we will not be.

Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup
September 5, 2011 10:52 am

I’m definitely going to have to watch that supernova. How convenient it is that the Big Dipper and Orion are pretty much the only constellations I can see from my backyard.

Dee - lvs moon' surface
September 5, 2011 11:02 am

PIZZA!!! … in the moon!!! …LOL

Red Dead Ryan
September 5, 2011 11:03 am


“Domino’s Pizza: 30 minutes or it’s free. Unless it disintegrates upon entry into Earth’s atmosphere, in which case it’s all on you because you should have known the risks when you ordered pizza from our store on the moon. We give no refunds. Quality of pizza may vary. Type of pizza ordered is subject to change without notification or permission.”

“Thank you for ordering Lunar Domino’s Pizza, sucker!”

Dee - lvs moon' surface
September 5, 2011 11:06 am

… on the moon …I’ll be waiting ….:-) :-)

September 5, 2011 12:04 pm

Harry Balls

I would order from there every day!! Free Pizza for life!

September 5, 2011 12:05 pm

Yes is running again!!! as Johnny 5 would say ” MORE INPUT, MORE INPUT!!!!”

September 5, 2011 1:04 pm

Move your pizza operation to the biggest source of cheese in the solar system? Brilliant!

September 5, 2011 1:08 pm

I’m not going to eat at that Domino’s. The place has no atmosphere.

September 5, 2011 1:09 pm

love these articles thnx!!!!

September 5, 2011 1:15 pm

17 – Thanks for that quote. Now, I’m off to the bath with some champagne and qualoods.

Anyway, thanks Kayla. As always you put the Gee Whiz! back into … erm …

September 5, 2011 1:50 pm

Quick ref to new TNG BR project! From LeVar Burton!

Sebastian S.
September 5, 2011 2:21 pm

“I’m not going to eat at that Domino’s. The place has no atmosphere.”


Good one! ;-)

The cheese looks a bit green, too.

Samuel Clemens
September 5, 2011 2:32 pm

So… have the reports of this website’s death been greatly exaggerated?

September 5, 2011 3:01 pm

#17 Around us is the Universe, with, as Sagen said “Billions and billions of stars.” We are not “all that is”. But we are pretty tiny comparatively.

Jim Nightshade
September 5, 2011 3:29 pm

Oh My Great Bird!(of the galaxy)–a NEW article on! Oh uh, owe my heart!KLUNK!–doesnt take much to startle this old dude anymoe—

September 5, 2011 3:46 pm

28. Yeah kind of short on news these days

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
September 5, 2011 5:29 pm

Yes. I’ll have the cheese and Moon Pizza. Also. Can you deliever to the dark side of the Moon. Lol. Welcome back trekmovie. Long time no see.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
September 5, 2011 5:39 pm

#25. I’m not going to eat at that domino’s because they are just to spacy.

Hat Rick
September 5, 2011 5:45 pm

27, I must admit that sometimes I feel that we are not all that significant as a race of beings. I am saddened all over again when I think of what Dr. Carl Sagan tried to do to make us aware of the fragility of our beautiful planet in order to bring us together as a species, and how we are doing so little to fulfill his vision.

Dr. Stephen Hawking has recently warned us that we should not contact other species in the universe, as they would most likely be prone to conquer us. Knowing this, and understanding the serenity of Dr. Sagan’s quest for knowledge, sometimes I am moved to ask why we are placed in such vastness, only to have such insatiable hunger for knowledge of what it is that is out there and to be faced with the perils of a deeply apathetic universe.

At times I do as Voltaire asks, which is to tend our own garden (Candide).

In that garden we see life, we see death, and see rebirth.

We see our own cares for our own children — real children, intellectual children, emotional children — reflected, then perhaps disappeared, in the blink of a cosmic moment.

As a species, we could be gone and the universe would never know we had existed.

As Dr. Sagan said, you and I and all of humanity are, in fact, star stuff.

But what have we done to justify the faith of our existence, let alone our creation?

Samuel Clemens
September 5, 2011 6:31 pm


I think what we should be asking is: is it so important the universe knows we were ever here, or should we know who we really are as a people first?

Perhaps the latter will lead to the former.

C Mosenko
September 5, 2011 6:43 pm

Didn’t you know? We are just a proton going around the nucleus. If you were able to see the full picture of the universe, you’d see we are a peace of black construction paper hanging on the wall at a school.

Hat Rick
September 5, 2011 6:46 pm

I have the hope, but not the confidence, that in fact are self-knowledge will lead to the greater whole.

The world, meaning our archetypal perception of it, is sometimes a self-reflective whole (Leibniz) that in a larger sense contains the seeds of its own destruction (Hegel, Marx). The millions of years that have passed since, presumably, thousands of starfaring civilizations have risen and fallen in our galactic vicinity, with no evidence of alien conquest, suggests that Dr. Hawking is unduly fearful. But is he?

It is our hope that reason lifts us up and takes us beyond passions, that altruism is greater by far than predation, that the law of the jungle applies only to the beast, not the brain, in each of us.

It is our hope that with development, civilization infuses itself in culture, that culture and atavism does not hijack civilization, that madness does not subjugate understanding.

Through our telescopes, we look around for evidence that our hope is not misplaced.

We look. And look. And look.

And we see, among the hoary stars, between the abodes of civilizations that may or may not be…

Nothing, but the reflections of ourselves in the eyepiece.

Hat Rick
September 5, 2011 6:48 pm

^^ “our self-knowledge.”

As corrected.

C Mosenko
September 5, 2011 6:51 pm

Glad to know when we turn the moon into a death star with a really big fricken laser, it will also have a Dominos Pizza to feed the storm troopers. That will keep us safe from martians, if they attack we will send the some Dominos. It’d be like stealing a walet and finding out it only has 25 cents worth of Canadian Tire money. Only a few people would be happy to find it.

Samuel Clemens
September 5, 2011 6:52 pm

Not that I’m endorsing a strict singular philosophy for humanity; diversity is one of our strengths. My point was that maybe once the human race has reached a certain level of maturity it will finally be recognized by those “others” out there and be ready to join a much larger community.

But then that begs the question: what if we are the most advanced beings in our “neck of the woods”? UFOs and other phenomena notwithstanding, it is curious that we haven’t heard one official howdy from the cosmos.

Why can’t it work like in the movies!!!
Are you there, Klatuu?

Hat Rick
September 5, 2011 6:53 pm

38: Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones, thank goodness, already know. Or do they?

The black at least matches their suits.

Hat Rick
September 5, 2011 6:57 pm

41: Given the state of our financial markets, Canadian Tire money may become as good as any. At least it appears not to be printed with abandon and the regularity of the tides.

In fact, I’ve heard that in places, in times past, it was virtually legal tender.

Those bagpipes ain’t just blowing hot air.

September 5, 2011 10:03 pm

This Domino’s thing only makes sense if it is a promotional tie-in with Tom Hanks’ MAJOR MATT MASON movie. The artwork even made me think Mattel a little bit.

C Mosenko
September 5, 2011 11:06 pm

That’s it! The new world currency will be Canadian Tire money. I have like 60 dollars worth of it. It has taken many years to save it. There are a few places that do take it as currency besides canadian tire. One guy saved enough to buy a lawn tractor. Anyone who is no Canadian likely has no idea about our secret currency.

September 5, 2011 11:22 pm

According to the craptastic “Apollo 18” there are rock monsters with legs on the moon. So how can you have a pizza joint up there when the rock monsters will eat up all the food and the help? :-)

September 6, 2011 12:01 am

Uf that was a long time from one article to the article today!
Some time ago i sent in a tip of a star trek related story but it was newer made in to a article.
Here is the link:

September 6, 2011 12:19 am

Okay you want some quasi-Trek news? Hey it’s better than J.J. Abrams announcing that he’s going to make an announcement. Here it is. Is actress Jessica Chastain a Trekker? She’s in “The Help” and the excellent “The Debt.” I consider her the next Meryl Streep.

Anyway here’s the possible evidence. In Entertainment Weekly, while at a Halloween party, she says, “I was dressed as Spock” while playing a ukulele. 9-2-11. pg. 58.

Hat Rick
September 6, 2011 2:04 am

I’m trying to convince myself that JJ will be giving us some great news about Star Trek (2012) — oops! Star Trek (201x?) — very soon.

Come on, JJ! I’m rootin’ for ya! Not to mention for Star Trek.

We need to strike while the iron is hot.

None of us are gettin’ any younger.

If I weren’t such a prude, I’d almost think that this whole “will he or won’t he” thing is kind of a Star Trek striptease for all us geekboys out there (including me, I guess) who couldn’t live without the thought of the next movie.

If I weren’t such a prude, that is.