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Posted at 02:47 PM ET, 04/09/2012

In other news...: Barbara Mikulski inspires supernova name


An artist's illustration of Supernova SN 2006gy, not to be confused with Supernova Mikulski, which was recently named for Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). (Associated Press/Getty Images)

Sorry, we know you were planning to use this name for your new band, but “Supernova Mikulski” has been taken. That’s the title Nobel-winning astrophysicist Adam Riess gave to an exploding star 7.4 billion light-years away that his team discovered earlier this year, in honor of Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). The Space Telescope Science Institute also named a database after the senator last week, in recognition of her support of NASA research. “It’s something to see your name like that, when you’re only used to seeing your name on memos or bumper stickers,” Mikulski told scientists at a ceremony in Baltimore last week. “It’s said that supernovas can emit as much energy as a sun over its entire lifetime, and that’s how much energy I feel for you.”

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